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Western Carolina University


Safe, friendly campus located in the charming southern town of Cullowhee, surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains within driving distance of Asheville (1 hour), Charlotte (3 hours), Knoxville (2 hours), Atlanta (2.5 hours).


Affordable: The NC Promise reduces international tuition by more than half, to $2,500/semester.

Global: 10,000+ students with 200 international students from 32 countries

Distinguished: national and international award winning faculty--authors, recognizedexperts, and winners of Emmy, O. Henry and National Endowment for the Arts awards.

Engaging: Small classes - the average class size is 19 students; The average Intensive English Program class size is 9.

Accredited: 10 nationally recognized agencies and more than 15 college or program specific agencies are among WCU's accreditation.

Adventurous: Voted Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine's Top Adventure College three years in a row.

Green: One of the most environmentally responsible colleges in North America listed by The Princeton Review for the fourth consecutive year.

WCU Fast Facts








Academic Programs

Western Carolina University is one of the seventeen institutions that make up the University of North Carolina system and offers academic programs that span more than 120 specialties, including:

•  The highest-ranked entrepreneurship and 

      project management programs in the U.S.A.
•   A national award-winning
teacher education program

•   A national award-winning criminal justice program
•   The U.S.A.’s first accredited four-year emergency medical care program.

Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees

•   International Student and Scholar Services is here to assist all of WCUs incoming international students. 

     From admissions to arrival and beyond, we are here to help WCUs international student community.
    We offer over 120 academic programs for both undergraduate and graduate study

   To apply as an undergraduate student, please visit our website at, fill out the

    international undergraduate application. Additional documents required for admission:
         * Academic transcripts
         * Conditional admission available upon completion of the WCU Intensive English Program
         * English proficiency- minimum required test scores: 68 TOEFL iBT, 520 TOEFL PBT, 6.0 IELTS

•   To apply as a graduate student, please fill out the online application found on the Graduate School’s

      website Additional documents required for admission:
          * Academic transcripts
          * Some programs may require GRE or GMAT
          * English proficiency- minimum required test scores: 79 TOEFL iBT, 550 TO EFL PBT, 6.5 IELTS
















Intensive English Program and Other Non-Degree Programs

Learn the language and academic skills needed to succeed at the university and gain a competitive edge in a future career. Our small class size, friendly campus, and high quality instruction provide students with a community and environment to develop their language and academic skills.

     * Three levels of English study
     * 18+ hours per week language instruction and activities
     * Conditional admission to WCU available
     * Access to all student services and activities at WCU

Our experienced faculty hold graduate degrees in linguistics or language teaching and are 

native English speakers. A minimum age of 18 is required for admission.

Enhance your English teaching skills at Western Carolina University's Online Teacher Training Program. Immerse yourself in courses and activities designed by experienced TESL/TEFL teacher-trainers to renew and broaden your professional skills and knowledge. It includes 100 hours of online instruction and 20 hours of supervised practicum.

•   International Student and Scholar Services is here to assist all of WCUs incoming international students. 

     From admissions to arrival and beyond, we are here to help WCUs international student community.
    We offer over 120 academic programs for both undergraduate and graduate study

Student Testimonials

"I actually recommended WCU to my friends because I really like the environment. I like that the staff and faculty are very friendly and helpful. Whenever you need help they are there for you. The quality of research and education is also very good."
 – Mitra, Master of Science

    in Technology (Engineering Technology,

    Mechanical Engineering)

"During the first semester in Intensive English Program (IEP), my English language was starting to improve quickly and the result was just stunning. The IEP program provided me with a high standard of education, which has prepared me for further education in college or university here. Now, I am a college student at Western. [...] I strongly encourage all the students who want to improve their English language to take classes with the IEP. It is the right program, especially for international students and it opens the door to you all." 
- Chhaingheap, Undergraduate (Computer

   Information Systems)

Settle In

International students typically live in residence halls on campus. Rooms are furnished and equipped with utilities and high-speed internet. Meals are served in campus dining halls and offer a range of food choices. Housing options for non- traditional students or students accompanied by family members are available off campus. International freshmen and students under the age of 21 are required to live in on campus dormitories.

Stay Active

The Campus Recreation Center (CRC) has something for everyone. Meet new friends while keeping active. Students have access to intramural sports, group exercise classes, personal training sessions, basketball and volleyball courts, a 50 ft.climbing wall, and so much more.

Find Adventure

Discover the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. WCU’s adventure center, Base Camp Cullowhee, offers affordable student excursions - go whitewater rafting, learn to kayak, go skydiving. International students can also go on their own outdoor adventures with friends. Camping equipment rental makes trip planning simple and fun.

Get Support

The International Programs and Services Office  provides students with the information they need to maintain visa status, connect with campus offices, and learn about campus life. IPS also offers exciting opportunities for student involvement like International Catamounts and Coffee Hour. Academic support is also available through free tutoring services for writing, science, and mathematics.

Campus Life

International Activities

International Catamounts (I-Cats)

Coffee Hour

International Campus Events


International Friendship Program

U.S. and international students share experiences, cultures, and organize community service events through involvement in this student club.

Spend time with students from different backgrounds over coffee, snacks, and cultural presentations. All WCU students, staff, and faculty are welcome.

WCU's International Festival and International Education Week provide our campus community with unique opportunities to engage and explore world cultures. Learn about global traditions through food, music, and dance.

U.S. American students support new international students through comradery and friendship.

Settle into campus life and the local community through support and mentorship of WCU faculty and staff.

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