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Help and Advice

Defining and embarking on your own study abroad program can be an amazing experience. We understand that you may need help in realizing it, and stand ready to assist you.

Plan of study help

It is perfectly fine to begin the application process without a good notion of where you want to go or what, exactly, you want to do. Sometimes it starts with a simple thought: “I would really like to study at the UW (or in Norway, or in Riga, or in Iceland, etc.).” We recommend you think carefully about these big questions:

  • What is the broad subject area(s) in which you have interest?
  • Where are people located that might have expertise in this area?
  • Where might you want to study?
  • How long would you like to study abroad?

If you are applying to study in a Nordic country, you have many options. Importantly, when you study in a Nordic country, even if you study at a particular university, you remain a full-time UW student while you are studying abroad. You do not enroll at a University there (although you may take classes depending upon what you can arrange with your Valle mentor - see next section). Instead, your experience will likely be conducting research, or working for/with an organization.

As you begin to write your plan of study, remember that we can help you with examples, recommendations, and advice. Contact us:

Valle mentor help

Think about who might be able to help you realize your Valle experience at your destination. We call this person (or persons) your Valle mentor. A Valle mentor is someone that you will study with (or work for/with) at your destination. If you are coming to UW, your Valle mentor will likely be a UW professor in your field of study. If you are going to a Nordic country, your Valle mentor may be a professor at a university, a manager at a research organization, a company executive, etc. It is important that you find this person and spend time communicating with them. They can help you define and craft your Valle exchange experience, as well as offer you support once you arrive at your destination. As part of your application, we email this person a reference request. We want to be sure they know you are applying to be a Valle scholar and you are counting on their support.

Finding your Valle mentor

You may have someone in mind for this vital role in your exchange experience. If so, great. Contact them and start planning. However, it is also likely that you will not know of anyone who could fill this role. We can help. Since 1980, the Valle program has developed many contacts and has many great alumni in Nordic countries and the U.S. We also know people who have worked with our scholars before, people who can help locate a Valle mentor, or people who want to be Valle mentors. Our best advice is to contact us. We can talk with you, figure out what you are interested in, and determine who may be able to help.

UW Study Abroad general help

More information about how to prepare for UW Study Abroad programs is provided below: