At IWU, study abroad is not about travel to an exotic locale. It means becoming an
active participant in the life and culture of a foreign country in order to learn
as much as possible about it. By applying to your program of choice, you have taken
a significant step towards expanding your mind, engaging other cultures, and becoming
a more informed participant in our global society.
In a very real way, you go abroad as an ambassador for the University as well. Your
attitude, interactions and presence abroad will speak volumes about you and about
us. You are privileged to be there as a full-time learner, both academically and in
every act of your daily life. Resist reinforcing stereotypes of Americans when you
interact with others. Resolve instead to develop understanding and respect for the
culture you are visiting.
To help prepare you both in practical terms and in terms of the conduct you will be
expected to exhibit in your host culture, study abroad students are required to complete a self-paced pre-departure course on Moodle. Students are enrolled in the Moodle once study abroad approval has been granted.
In addition, the International Office runs a mandatory three-hour pre-departure orientation session each semester: all IWU students studying abroad are required to attend. Students
who, for valid academic or personal reasons, cannot attend the scheduled meeting must
make arrangements to meet with the director of the International Office for a one-on-one
The University reserves the right to revoke permission to study abroad from any student
who does not participate in mandatory orientation events.
For students participating in the IWU London or IWU Spain programs, there will be
additional on-campus orientations organized by the programs’ directors. These, too,
Statement of Responsibility and Authorization
You are expected to abide by the conditions set forth in the Letter of Understanding that you sign before leaving campus to study abroad. You should be prepared to obey
host country laws, abide by the policies of your host institution, and respect the
norms of the host culture with regard to behavior and appropriate attire. You must
attend and participate in classes, complete assignments, respect the property of the
host institution, and provide the program director with contact information and/or
an itinerary before leaving for individual travel.
College policies regarding student conduct as outlined in the IWU Catalog and Student Handbook, including academic infractions such as plagiarism, apply to students studying abroad
just as if you were on campus. Students are expected to respect the rights of other
students (whether other study abroad students or host national students), as well
as those of homestay families, faculty, and staff. Any violations of student conduct
policies abroad may result in disciplinary action at IWU.
Most cultures have well-established customs with regard to acceptable social drinking.
Students abroad need to demonstrate mature behavior and respect for local customs.
The misuse of alcohol will not be tolerated and can result in dismissal from the program.
The use, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs is prohibited.
Legal penalties with regard to drugs and alcohol may be more severe in the host country
than in the United States, and may entail fines and/or jail time. A student charged
with breaking local laws will be subject to the rulings of local courts. U.S. laws and constitutional guarantees do not apply. The ability of program staff or U.S. Embassy personnel to assist is very limited,
and in most countries release on bail while awaiting trial is not an option.