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School of Languages, Cultures, and Race College of Arts and Sciences

Giving Tuesday 2023

Help our students study abroad!
Help our students participate in faculty-led educational experiences!

According to a report on CNBC, it costs a student over $16,000 to study abroad for a single semester. Over 30% of students report that costs would be prohibitive despite their desire to have this experience.  Even those students who did not see the high price tag as an impediment to studying abroad saw more student loans as necessary – almost 60% of students said they would take out more student loans to be able to study abroad. Our summer programs are less expensive although the costs for everything is roughly $10,000. Not surprisingly, given costs of summer classes, travel, the program itself, and so much more, money remains a significant obstacle for too many students.

The costs of studying abroad, whether for 5 weeks or an entire semester, should not be the reason our students are denied this life-changing opportunity.  Students should not have to further mortgage their futures in an effort to take their learning to other parts of the world.

All students should have the ability to study abroad. You can help future generations, leaders, and Cougs, have that experience.

With your support, our students will have:

  • The opportunity to take their learning beyond the classroom, to not only improve in their quest to learn another language, but to connect with native speakers.
  • The chance to connect with different communities and cultures, to develop knowledge and appreciation for the world outside of Pullman, Washington.
  • The ability to develop tools and skills that they will bring back to campus and into their careers after graduation.
  • The opportunity to connect with their faculty and their classmates outside the classroom, to share in a life-changing experience.
  • The chance to share the language and see the cultures they have been studying in a myriad of places, learning history, seeing diversity, and otherwise experiencing cultures and communities outside their own.

Our faculty, whose commitment to learning, to empowering students with knowledge, literacy, and skills is inspiring, plan amazing classes and powerful activities throughout their trips. The learning happens in the classroom, but also in trips to museums and monuments, in talking to locals and eating treats, and in otherwise immersing themselves in a world they learned about yet never were able to fully experience.  Professors Joshua Bonzo and Karen Jennings, who led the trips to Germany and Austria, describe the goals of their trip as follows: “The aim of this alternating-site program is to allow students who have studied abroad with the Berlin program to have a second opportunity for exposure to wider variety of the German language and Germanic culture in Vienna. Whether in Berlin or Vienna, the program offers two courses, cultural history and a grammar, writing, and speaking course, which are both repeatable, should students desire to participate in a successive year.

During these faculty-led trips, professors from the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race pack their brilliance, their immense knowledge of language and culture, their pedagogical acumen, and their dedication to student-learning, to other parts of the world, bringing their lessons to life in places like France, Austria, and Germany.  Your financial assistance can bring this opportunity to more students and allow our unit to develop additional programing in the future. Your help can change lives and set our students up for an even brighter future.

Professor Insook Webber, who leads our trip to France, powerfully describes this experience as transformative for both faculty and students alike: “There are few pedagogical activities that give me more personal joy and satisfaction than the faculty-led study abroad; it serves as an accelerator of intellectual and spiritual growth of the student through the exposure to, or confrontation with, the Other,” writes Webber. Those studying abroad, “are in the world where all that had been abstract and theoretical becomes real and concrete. We as a society then have the duty, I believe, to make such an opportunity available to all motivated youths by means of, above all, financial support for such a linguistic, cultural, and intellectual adventure that could change life in the form of personal and professional blossoming.”

The power of these trips is evident in the dedication of our faculty, who create programs that build from the classroom, introducing students to a world where their learning continues whether eating at a café, walking the around Berlin or Paris, or setting foot in one of these countries amazing museums or other sites  It is equally evident in the powerful descriptions in the potential of their programs, which illustrate the power and potential of their traveling classrooms..

“There is nothing comparable to the experience of watching our students first venture into a foreign country. It is truly profound to have students close their textbooks and leave the classroom to see first-hand places and sites they have only heard or read about,” notes Professor Bonzo. “Even more satisfying than this is watching the change in those same students as they come to view themselves as global citizens, learning to appreciate that people in other parts of the world have their own beliefs, attitudes, opinions, and practices which, though not entirely like those of our students, are just as valid and valuable. No classroom experience can give our students that kind of worldview.”

These trips are transformative for all who are able to participate. Our students make clear how much these experiences not only transformed their time at Washington State University, but how the indelible impact on their professional aspirations and their sense of self.  These experiences are truly-life changing.  As you read these student testimonials, know with your help, we can further these opportunities.

“Participating in this program cemented my adoration of the French language and has sparked a personal interest in me to further my study of French beyond graduation, creating what I hope to be a life-long interest. This experience was also my first time abroad, and it helped me reach a level of comfort in visiting an unfamiliar country and getting to know and understand people of another culture, which I expect to suit me well in an anticipated career as a therapist,” C.H. – Paris, 2023

“As a French language student, I found it absolutely essential to my learning to visit somewhere where everyone speaks the language, as it forced me to use French in situations I never would have had to in the United States. But outside of the educational benefits, my study abroad experience gave me an entirely new perspective on the world. I was able to feel like a part of French society, embrace the culture in its entirety, and see the tangible benefits of knowing another language than my native language. It has inspired me to continue to look beyond my home country and beyond language barriers in all aspects of life,” J.B. – Paris, 2019

“Studying abroad in Vienna, Austria in the summer of 2022 through WSU made me a more well-rounded person and changed the trajectory my life for the better. If I had not had financial assistance for the trip, I would not have been able to go, even with the assistance I had to take the previous semester off so I could pay the summer semester tuition instead. I believe that everybody should have the chance to experience a place and culture that is different from the one they grew up in, but many people will not be able to do that unless they have financial assistance like I did,” S.D. – Vienna, 2023

“Vienna was my first trip to Europe. From turning a corner and suddenly seeing Napoleon Crossing the Alps at Franz Ferdinand’s Belvedere Palace, to visiting the nearby bakery every afternoon, I was admiring every moment of the historical city—and countryside. I also appreciated the balance of public transport, cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. I really wish to see US infrastructure mature in this direction. Without financial support, a trip outside the US would have placed and kept finances on my mind at least throughout the following academic year. I simply would not have gone,” R.S. – Vienna, 2023

“My time in Paris absolutely changed me! As a teenager, I didn’t feel the ability to take control of my own life. I had no strong sense of volition or of who I was before college. When I went to Paris, I was suddenly in charge of my own life more than I ever had been before. And I learned that not only am I capable of leading myself in a bustling foreign city, but it is so freeing, too! After this trip, I have more confidence in my abilities. I can be independent. I can express myself in bold ways. I can make friends. I feel that I have such a deeper understanding of both me and the world that I am eternally grateful for” E.N, – Paris, 2022

“Stepping off the plane and immediately being immersed in all things French was the perfect way to finally put all my French studies into practice. … Studying in Paris truly gave me a better understanding of not only France and Francophone culture, but of myself as well. Now, I easily adapt to new environments, I am more comfortable around new people, and my self-confidence has greatly improved. Studying abroad is something that I think everyone should have the opportunity to experience; it changed my life and I know it will change the lives of many more who come after me” S.T. – Paris, 2023

“When I initially made the decision to immerse myself in another culture through study- in my case it was French culture- it was purely an intrinsic interest. However, I gained so much from the experience that it left a profound impact on me academically and professionally as a lawyer…. Having an in-depth understanding of another language and culture has given me career prospects as an international lawyer that I would not have had otherwise. I think experiences like this are not only valuable, but necessary for anyone wishing to succeed in academia or on the job market,” A.Y, – Paris, 2022

As evident with these powerful testimonials, studying abroad is not just a transformative experience but a life-changing event. The ability to further language mastery with faculty from Washington State University; to immerse themselves in the culture and customs of other countries; the possibilities of traveling with friends, classmates, and mentors, and seeing a world outside of Pullman, the Pacific Northwest, and the United States are but of a few ways these experiences forever change our students.

Study abroad group photo.

Study abroad group photo in Versailles. Study abroad group photo. Study abroad group photo. Study abroad group photo. Study abroad group photo. Study abroad group photo in Berlin.Study abroad group photo.