Global Education & Outreach

Divisions Within the School of Global Education and Outreach

Global Learning

The School of Global Education and Outreach at Western Illinois University offers educational learning experiences to support the growth, development, and success of students of all ages. The School is committed to profoundly impacting our changing and diverse world by preparing globally competent citizens, advancing the development of in-demand online academic degree programs, promoting intercultural and educational exchange on campus and abroad, and providing meaningful community service and educational experiences for youth and adults. 

Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) - Includes a FULLY ONLINE Option

The BGS degree is a highly individualized, flexible, non-majored undergraduate degree and is especially suited to students who are place bound due to work or family responsibilities. The degree may be completed fully online, on-campus, or a combination of both formats. Since its inception, over 8,400 individuals have graduated from the BGS degree program.  Visit BGS on Facebook >>>

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Interdisciplinary Studies students may self-design a curriculum to reflect either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, which will be declared upon admission to the program. Student admission proposals must reflect these requirements. Interdisciplinary Studies students may alternatively select multidisciplinary concentrations in one of the following areas:

  • Youth Development
  • Renewable Energy and Biofuels Technology
  • Renewable Energy and Wind Technology
  • Renewable Energy Policy, Planning, and Management

Specific requirements for each of these Interdisciplinary degree programs may be found in the WIU catalog.

International Admissions

The  International Admissions Office   assists students during the application process. Admissions staff provides students information on the required documents,  ESL requirements, application deadlines, financial documentation, and visa and immigration information.

International Student Services

This office provides a wide range of services and activities designed to help students adjust to their new surroundings. The goal is to get students involved in campus and community events and ensure they have a successful academic career at WIU.

Study Abroad and Outreach

This office offers over 20 study abroad programs and internship opportunities for students to gain global experience. Outreach opportunities are also available for international groups who want to experience American culture and activities with short-term, or professional development programs.

Western's Intensive English Program (WESL)

The Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA)  accredits  Western’s English as A Second Language Institute (WESL). WESL provides an intensive program in academic English for international students who are preparing to enter an American college or university. The WESL curriculum is designed and taught by professional faculty to prepare students academically, socially, and culturally for success as university students.

Outreach Programs - Non-credit, Certificate, Professional Development, Conferences, Workshops, & Youth Development

Outreach Programs offers professional development in the form of conferences, sponsored credit, and certificate programs across the state of Illinois. For teachers, this may mean earning college credit or Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) for professional licensing requirements. For other professionals, this may mean college credit, contact hours, or Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

International Outreach opportunities are available for international groups who want to experience American culture, activities, short-term programs, or professional development programs

Community Expeditions

The Office of Study Abroad and Outreach  has added a new program to their existing programs called Community Expeditions, a series of domestic and international trips designed for adults. These initiatives provide individuals the opportunity to travel with a group while also helping WIU students achieve their dreams of studying abroad. A small portion of the funds collected for each program goes to support scholarships for WIU students to study abroad.

Learning Is Forever (L.I.F.E.)

Outreach Programs also sponsors the  "Learning Is Forever" (L.I.F.E.)  program at WIU for all who wish to enjoy lifelong learning. An independently administrated organization, it is composed of area residents who develop the courses, select the teachers, establish the class fees, and promote the curriculum. Any adult is welcome to register for a LIFE course. There are no age or educational requirements, nor are there any prerequisites or exams. All anyone needs is an interest in sharing an educational experience, learn new skills or participating in a cultural event, while making new friends in the process.

WIU in Latin America

Western Illinois University is committed to address important issues in Latin America, the life and experiences of Latino students on campus, and the Latino population in surrounding communities. Through the Title VI Project Communities as Agents of Change: Language and Area Studies for a Sustainable Future, it is possible to expand and enhance study abroad opportunities in Latin America. The project also provides a way to expand language training in international, community and campus settings, and develop partnerships with local organizations and academic institutions. Opening classrooms to the world involves initiatives in Puerto Rico and Ecuador to strengthen the role of international perspectives across campus.

Youth Enrichment Programs

With the participation of Western Illinois University (WIU) faculty, staff, and student counselors, the  Office of Study Abroad and Outreach  provides youth with unique hands-on learning opportunities that will transform the way young people think about their future. These high quality and academically challenging summer camps have been serving youth for more than 30 years.