KIIS programs are open to all undergraduate, graduate, and honors students (and those not currently enrolled in a college or university) age 18 years and older. Preference is given to students from KIIS consortium member institutions. KIIS welcomes appliocants from other North American colleges and universities to participate on our study abroad programs (students from non-consortium schools are considered on a space-available basis).
Summer applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above at the time of application. Semester applicants must have a 2.75 GPA or above. Winter applicants must have a 2.0 GPA or above, with the exeption of the Maya Mexico Winter program, which requires a 3.2 GPA or higher. All applicants must complete the application process, register for at least one course (Summer and Winter), and be paid in full by the payment deadline.
Students on academic or disciplinary probation at their home institution are not permitted to participate on KIIS study abroad programs.
Each KIIS student must take at least one three-credit course for academic credit during a summer program. Typically, most summer students take two three-credit courses (the program fee is the same). Winter students may only take one three-credit hour course. Semester students are required to take at least 12 credit hours.
Only four of KIIS's 26 Summer programs have a language requirement (Munich, Paris II, Spain I & Spain II). All other programs have no language requirement, and the vast majority of KIIS courses are taught in English. As part of our efforts to promote the study of foreign languages, KIIS offers participating students the opportunity to enroll in language courses (though you are not required to take a language course).
All KIIS Semester programs are language-focused. That said, the Merida, Mexico Fall Semester program and the Caen, France Spring Semester program do not require prior language study and each includes two English-language Honors course offerings. Please refer to individual program course descriptions for details.
While the classroom experience abroad often differs greatly from that on U.S. campuses, KIIS adheres to all of the applicable regulations of its Sponsoring Institution, Western Kentucky University (WKU) and utilizes WKU's academic and accreditation standards from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Each KIIS course totals at least 37.5 instruction hours.
Note: with the exception of certain language courses, most KIIS summer and winter courses do not have prerequisites. Course offerings are subject to change according to enrollment.
KIIS Honors Options
KIIS offers one Honors study abroad program, the annual Maya Mexico Winter offering in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is open to Honors and non-Honors students with a 3.2 GPA and above. Interdisciplinary in nature, it employs a Place-as-Text approach that encourages students to take an active role in the direction of their learning (view syllabus). Students learn to work effectively in small groups, improve their oral presentation and analytical skills, and develop a heightened sense of confidence and leadership. On average, there are 3.5 hours of instruction per day, in the form of excursions, seminars, and debriefings, for a total of 38.5 contact hours. No Spanish language is required.
For Summer 2014, KIIS offers a range of Honors courses on our Greece program. On other KIIS programs, it may be possible to offer an Honors Augmentation option; if no Honors courses are offered on your desired KIIS program, please contact the Program Director or Dr. John Dizgun to discuss Honors Augmentation options.
Any student with a 3.2 GPA or above (at time of application) can enroll in any KIIS Honors course. Students enrolled for Honors credit will have more challenging and unconventional assignments that will require greater analytical, creative, and critical thinking skills. Many Honors Colleges or Programs offer their Honors students generous study abroad scholarships (such Honors scholarships are in addition to KIIS scholarships and your college/university study abroad scholarships; for details, contact the Honors Director at your home institution).
Semester programs: KIIS offers two English-language Honors courses on our Caen, France Spring Semester program. These Honors offerings permit academically-strong students with little or no prior language study to enroll in beginner or intermediate language courses (i.e. FREN 101/102 or FREN 201/202) plus two English-language theme-based Honors courses.
Many KIIS Summer and Semester programs offer graduate courses. Graduate students are encouraged to contact the Program Director (of their desired program) to discuss graduate credit options. To enroll in KIIS graduate courses, students must complete their Bachelor's degree by the end of the semester preceeding their KIIS program (i.e. by end of Spring Semester if participating on a KIIS summer program). Note: (non-WKU) students taking KIIS graduate courses must complete and submit to KIIS a WKU Graduate Admissions form (different from the WKU Undergraduate form). Graduate students are also required to provide KIIS with their official undergraduate transcript (have it mailed to KIIS so it arrives no later than February 15). See the KIIS Admitted Students page for more details
KIIS also provides a 3-credit Assistant to the Program Director Internship for Graduate students and Undergraduate seniors. The Internship enables students to shadow a summer or winter KIIS program director. In consultation with the KIIS office and KIIS director, the student creates a personalized work plan outlining the duties and responsibilities to be performed. Previous interns have assisted with residence life duties, accounting and administration, orientation, risk management, and communication between students & faculty. Interns apply for a specific KIIS program and receive a $300 scholarship. Contact Dr. John Dizgun for details.
KIIS program participants are expected to be punctual, attend all classes, meetings, and required excursions, and remain with the program for the full academic period. Unexcused absences from classes and/or mandatory meetings/excursions will result in a lowering of the student's final grade, as will excessive tardiness. Multiple unexcused absences could result in expulsion from the program. Any absence from an academic session must be excused for medical reasons.
Credit, Grades and Registration
All KIIS course credit is awarded by Western Kentucky University. Approximately three weeks after the completion of a study abroad program, individual grades will be posted on each student's MyKIIS account. For KIIS Summer programs, the WKU Registrar will transfer grades to each student's home institution between August 12-15. For the Merida and Segovia Semester programs, grades are transferred approximately 4 weeks after completion of the program; for Caen and Regensburg, approximately 8-10 weeks. Students do not need to complete any additional paperwork.
As part of the online application process, students must select their desired summer, winter, or semester courses. However, admitted students will have the opportunity to make changes to their selections. Ten days prior to the April (summer) student orientation, accepted students will receive a course registration sheet. Students must complete and email the registration sheet to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are undecided about your desired KIIS program courses, you may wait until the April orientation to hear more about each individual course from the various professors and then complete and submit your course registration sheet at that time. All admitted students must submit their course registration sheets at or prior to the April orientation.
The same course registration procedure applies for KIIS winter or semester students. Spring and Fall Semester students will receive their course registration sheet two weeks prior to their respective orientations.
Mandatory Student Orientation
All students participating on a KIIS program must attend the KIIS mandatory student orientation prior to departure. See orientation date.
Your parents or other emergency contacts are welcome at the orientation. You will meet your fellow participants at the orientation.
The orientation is designed to inform students of what they can expect in the foreign setting. Among the topics discussed: host country culture and laws, academics, housing, health and safety, social and sexual mores, climate, unfamiliar or different terrain, money matters, communications, traffic, independent travel, and packing.
If for any reason a student cannot attend the mandatory orientation, a $200 fee will be added to the student's program fee to cover the cost of carrying out an individual orientation with the Program Director. A parent or other relative cannot attend the orientation in place of the participating student. A student who misses the mandatory orientation must (after holding their individual orientation with the Program Director) email email@example.com a completed Individual Student Orientation form
In many countries abroad, there is no comprehensive legislation that protects individuals covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a result, businesses operating in those countries, which may provide support services such as lodging or transportation to KIIS, may not have made any provisions for disability accommodations. Therefore, although KIIS will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodation for program participants with special needs, KIIS cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. After acceptance into a KIIS program, program participants must notify KIIS (by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org) if they have a special need or disability that might impact their experience abroad. Any special accommodations must be supported with documentation prior to the start of the program. In consulation with KIIS, the program participant may need to make arrangements and financial provisions for a care-giver to join him/her on the KIIS program should the participant's physician, university disability services, or KIIS make such a recommendation and that I cannot rely on other program participants to assist me.
Spouses or children may accompany program participants on a space-available basis. Spouses of participants are required to apply to the program and register for at least one course for academic credit unless that spouse is going to take care of a child or a participant with a disability.
Family members must pay the full program fee whether taking classes or not. A minor child must have child care on-site which has been arranged by the program participant prior to the program departure. The program participant is responsible for all child care costs.