International Distinction Award

Our students, faculty and staff at Webster University believe being a global citizen means more than raising your hand in class — it means taking an active role in our community and beyond.

For us, global citizenship is about preparing our students to build a more socially just and secure world by developing essential skills through an academic framework. Students who complete their undergraduate requirements and satisfy three core components of international education earn our University’s prestigious International Distinction award. We annotate your diploma and transcript with the International Distinction, which reflects significant and practical international field experience in a country other than your own.

Additional Information and Resources

1. Secondary Language Proficiency

Students must reach a level of second language proficiency in a language other than English. Second language proficiency may be demonstrated by any of the following:

  • Completion of secondary school in which the language of instruction was a language other than English
  • Completion of at least one language course (other than English) at or above the 3000-level with a grade of C or higher
  • “Intermediate-High” proficiency on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) which is administered by Language Testing International

2. Study Abroad

Students must study abroad at least one term as a full-time student at one of Webster’s campuses, an affiliated partner institution abroad, or an approved study abroad program.

3. International Field Work/Internship

Students must have a significant, practical international field experience in a country other than their native country. Students must complete at least 21 hours of international field work/internship hours over one term. This experience may include:

  • A pre-approved paid or unpaid internship* that provides the student practical and professional experience related to his/her major;
  • Pre-approved community service under a recognized agency or organization;
  • Pre-approved artistic, scholarly, and other research activities (under the direction of a faculty member) that result in a significant research project; and/or
  • Pre-approved class-field experiences that provide direct interaction and engagement with the material and/or people in the country.

*To establish uniformity in the use and application of the term “internship,”the National Association of Colleges and Employers recommends the following definition of internship: An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

Students must apply for the International Distinction Award by completing a two-part online application.

Part 1 of the application includes description of the proposed field work/internship, identification of 3-5 objectives/goals, and the name of the field work/internship supervisor. Part 1 should be completed no later than two weeks prior to the start of the international field work/internship and must be approved prior to its start. The student will receive email notification of approval.

Part 2 of the application includes documentation of second language proficiency and study abroad location, and the submission of a 3-5 page written, guided reflection about the international field work/internship.

In addition, a letter of support written by the field work/internship supervisor should be submitted to the Office of Study Abroad by emailing Part 2 of the application should be submitted within two weeks of completion of the international field work/internship.

The application deadline is March 1st for students graduating in May. The application deadline is November 1 for students graduating in December.

Guided reflection questions about the international field work/internship include the following:

  • Reflect on your goals and objectives. Did you meet them? Did they change during the course of the term? If so, how?
  • In what ways did your field experience foster global citizenship?
  • Explain the impact the international host culture had on your experience and how the overall experience has impacted you.

Part 2 of the application will be reviewed by an International Distinction Award Committee. Students must have submitted their petition to graduate and all three of the required core components must be completed before the International Distinction Award can be awarded.

The International Distinction Award will be recognized in the following ways:

  • The International Distinction designation is annotated on both the student's diploma and official transcript.
  • Students graduating with International Distinction will be recognized at appropriate awards events.

If you have any questions, contact Tyler Worlund in the Office of Study Abroad at

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Announced: Spring 2020 International Distinction Award Recipients

The Office of Study Abroad is pleased to announce the Spring 2020 International Distinction Award recipients which includes four students, each from a different campus (Webster Groves, Vienna, Geneva and Thailand).

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