Office of International Programs and Services

Internationalization Data and Report

Executive Summary of Campus Internationalization (2016-2017)

The Office of International Programs & Services (IPS) at Western Carolina University (WCU) had a productive and successful academic year of 2016-2017.We received more international students than ever, with a 36% increase compared to 2015-2016, and sent over 2.3% of WCU student population to study abroad.  Our innovative student and faculty engagement programs (e.g., I-PAL, I-CAT, and I-Friend programs) have successfully helped international students transit to campus life and adjust to the American culture. More importantly, those programs have expanded American students’ horizons and provided opportunities for them to explore international cultures and to obtain global perspectives on campus.

IPS is devoted to faculty international development. In 2016-2017, IPS co-founded the first Global Learning Academy at WCU, and has successfully developed the first team of six WCU faculty who work with professionals to internationalize curriculum. Along with the traditional faculty-led study abroad programs administered by IPS, an additional number of WCU faculty were engaged in international professional development devoted to student global learning. WCU faculty’s footprints were left literally all over the world (e.g., South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Russia, China, India, Korea, Japan, Cuba, Argentina, Peru, Australia, and may other countries). In 2016-2017, IPS also took a leadership role by developing WCU’s International Faculty and Staff Council to promote professional advancement, diversity and inclusion.

IPS developed long term partnerships with universities around the world by establishing bilateral agreements with six universities in 2016-2017 in China, Korea, Japan, Belgium, and Germany. We are honored to be friends to these reputable global institutions. Last but not least, IPS supported a Myanmar professor who was awarded an IIE grant through the Connecting with the World project, for the purpose of international education management training. WCU was one of only two universities in the U.S. that were honored with this opportunity.

In 2017-2018, IPS will continue to provide first-class academic enrichment programs and services to international students and scholars, study abroad students, faculty and staff, as well as engage in curriculum integration. IPS will continue to be a proud ambassador of WCU and to promote WCU’s strengths and opportunities to the world.   

Highlights in 2016-2017

  1. Increased international student number from 140 to 191[1]
  2. Increased student study abroad number from 225 to 234[2]
  3. Developed comprehensive Faculty Handbook for Faculty-led programs
  4. Developed comprehensive Student Handbook for Study Abroad
  5. Created Study Abroad Module for FYE program
  6. Developed mandatory faculty orientation for faculty-led programs
  7. Created I-PAL and I-CAT and International Friendship programs to engaged international students with domestic students and faculty
  8. Developed International Faculty and Staff Council to advance diversity
  9. Created Study Abroad Advisory Committee
  10. Implemented website revamping
  11. Co-Founded and implemented the first Global Learning Academy
  12. Established agreements with seven higher education institutions and organizations
  13. Established means for international student armchair recruitment
  14. Facilitated an IIE grant as one of two receiving universities in the U.S. and had WCU featured in the world.

International Student



Study Abroad


Faculty Engagement

[1] This number excludes students from Jamaica program. In 2015-2016, there were 85 students. In 2016-2017, there is 0. It is expected in 2017-2018 the Jamaica summer program resumes.

[2] This number includes faculty-led domestic travel courses. Excluding domestic travel courses, the study abroad number in 2015-2016 was 218, and 205 in 2017-2018.

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