• International Programs

    Welcome to the University of Charleston’s Office of International Programs and Services. The office serves international students from 43 countries. With a growing number of foreign students and more domestic students expanding their horizons through studying abroad opportunities, UC is reaching the far corners of the globe.

    International Programs

    The University of Charleston is committed to the internationalization of our institution. The mission of the Office of International Programs is to prepare, engage, and support international students, promote opportunities for international education, and encourage understanding of life in a global society. Similarly, the Office of International Programs is committed to promoting the exchange of educational and cultural ideas both at the University of Charleston and in the greater Charleston community. Through the development and offering of programs and services for students and faculty, the Office of International Programs supports the process of internationalizing the campus.

    Throughout the academic year, programs and activities are developed to engage students along with faculty and staff in the exchange of knowledge and culture. The events include but are not limited to the following:

    • New F-1 Student Orientation
    • Global Eagles: International Education Week
    • Worldfest: Passport to the World
    • Global Student Organization spring break tour of Washington, D.C.

    Tours and trips are scheduled strategically throughout the year particularly for new international students, and are part of the process of cultural integration and acclimation. Campus events such as Global Eagles International Education Week and Worldfest celebrate the rich cultural diversity represented at UC. We encourage all students, international and domestic, to embrace these opportunities to learn more about the world around us.


    Each semester, an orientation is organized for new international undergraduate and graduate students covering areas specific to being an F-1 visa student in the United States of America.

    The orientation will include:

    • Campus tours
    • Student services information
    • English as a Second Language placement test (if applicable)
    • Health, safety, and immunization briefing
    • Team building and icebreaker activities
    • Cultural norms training
    • Student visa expectations

    Global Eagles: International Education Week

    During International Education Week in mid-November, the University of Charleston sponsors activities to create campus-wide awareness of international education. International and domestic students are encouraged to participate and attend this week-long event. Students from local elementary, middle, and high schools are welcome to visit during this time as well.

    In the past, International Education Week activities have included:

    • Foreign films
    • 10,000 Villages sale
    • Free foreign language classes
    • Salsa dancing lessons
    • Study abroad fair
    • International cuisine in the Dining Hall (Miss a dish from home? We happily take requests!)

    Worldfest: Passport to the World

    At the Worldfest celebration in mid-February, the Global Student Organization presents Worldfest as a way to share and celebrate the cultures represented at the University of Charleston. Our chefs prepare a special dinner for all students together in the ballroom to enjoy between the hours of 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. During these hours, guests can peruse student-made country exhibits that showcase many countries of origin.

    At 6:00 p.m., students hold a talent show that may feature a classical piano solo, a Nepali dance, a Latin salsa-dancing performance, a soccer trick, or a Peruvian ballad accompanied by live guitar music. Prizes are awarded to first, second, and third place winners. The talent show is followed by an international fashion show, where students are encouraged to model their country's traditional dress. Bring an extra outfit and share it with a new friend!

    Global Student Organization (GSO)

    During the fall of 1996, fifty international students at the University of Charleston organized a Global Student Organization (GSO). The purpose and goal of the student-led organization is to promote cultural awareness on campus and throughout the local community.

    Members of GSO meet bi-weekly to plan community service events, develop fund-raising strategies, and create activities to engage local and international students in cultural exchanges. The members of the group also serve as a support for one another through the process of transitioning to university life in the United States.

    During Spring Break, members of the Global Student Organization have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. via Amtrak train. During this three day trip, students will see the White House, Capitol building, Smithsonian museums, Chinatown, National Zoo, and more!