Intern, Study Abroad, Serve
Earn credit toward your degree while getting real-world experience—participate in internships that build on your education, study abroad, and help others in need.
"Western provides unique experiences for students that go beyond the standard education."Keara KingSammamish, WA, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management
Get on-the-job experience and make connections in the community while you work toward your degree.
Land Your Dream Job
Before graduating, Kyla Hall had already landed her dream job at REI. As a Supply Chain Sustainability Analyst, she regularly travels internationally and helps REI meet sustainability and fair labor standards. She was able to quickly jump into her position at REI, and attributes the smooth transition to her experience at Western. As a student, Kyla participated in five internships relevant to her majors in Business and Sustainability, and Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management.
Prepare for Graduate Studies
Undergraduate Behavioral Neuroscience students Journey Richardson and Kyle Griffin got hands-on experience during their highly-competitive 10-week neurosurgery internship. They worked alongside physicians at the Cascade Brain and Spine Center, gaining experience that will prepare them for medical careers.
"The neurosurgery internship showed me a behind-the-curtain view into a hospital OR. I also accompanied physicians through their visits with patients in the clinic. Seeing their care for their patients and proficiency in their work had a significant impact on me and has further inspired me to become a physician myself." --Kyle Griffin
Defend Constitutional Rights
In his senior year, Evan Frazier decided to put his political science education to good use. He took an unpaid internship investigating criminal defense cases for Bellingham's Public Defender's Office. Evan wanted to help ensure every person in his community got their constitutional right to a thorough defense, no matter how disadvantaged. He understands that a fair legal process is essential to the welfare of his city
Make the Web More Accessible
Senior Brynne Hollasch's Internet Resource Creation and Management minor allowed her to shadow Westen's accessibility experts. As she learned about navigating the web with assistive technology such as screen readers, Brynne also learned how important web accessibility is and how content creators can help make a more equitable internet.
Get ready to get out of your comfort zone and see the world while immersing yourself in another culture.
See Legendary Art
"This was a particularly inspiring moment for me because I had heard about the amazing architecture by Antoni Gaudí for years, but I was finally there, experiencing it in person! From this viewpoint, we could watch the sunrise over Barcelona and see the ocean, the construction of La Sagrada Familia, and see all the intricate detailing put into Parque Güell. It was truly amazing!"
--Emily Van Den Hul
Get Closer to Zeus
“Waking up at a local restaurant at 5:30am after 3 hours of sleep, we headed towards Athens, only to be greeted by various ancient monuments. This one in particular called Temple of Olympian Zeus with Ancient Parthenon in the back was an amazing spot. I could not help but to show excitement to such a stunning sight. Definitely made me forget how tired I was.”
Jumpstart Your Career
Yvonne Worden traveled abroad in Costa Rica's jungles and lived with the indigenous Bribri people while producing a podcast and sending reports back to Western's The Planet magazine. Since graduating, Yvonne has worked with destination marketing organizations, nonprofits, and taught English in Japan. She's on an adventure as an online teacher, freelance storyteller, and digital nomad.
"Studying ecotourism in Costa Rica has had a profound and lasting impact on my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the experience."
Raise funds, improve your community, restore native habitats and fight for social justice while you're here.
Solve Local Problems
Western's urban planning students don't just do assignments, they partner with Bellingham and its neighboring communities to design for good.
The senior Planning Studio class won the 2020 Excellence in Planning award for it's redevelopment of downtown Ferndale. The entire class focused on this single project, allowing students to truly devote their time to it. The City adopted several of the students' recommendations, and is moving forward with student-inspired solutions to revitalize downtown Ferndale.
Launch a Nonprofit
Communication Studies major Sukhmanii Kahlon founded the nonprofit organization American Sikhs to help elderly immigrants become U.S. citizens. At Western, she helped connect elderly Sikhs with free medical checkups. Today, she is a medical student who has been published by NCBI six times.
“The relationships I had built with my elderly students have stayed with me even after all these years. Their resilience to keep on learning is what inspired me to go to medical school. My future goal is to practice medicine in a community like Bellingham. I believe I will be able to do so much more for minority communities, like American Sikhs, by being a practicing physician.”
Western's service clubs are perfect for people who want to make a difference, and they don't stop working when things get tough.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Western's Planned Parenthood Generation service club was unable to meet in person, but that didn't stop them from learning, serving, and meeting community needs together. The club held a period product fundraising drive during quarantine, and donated $400 to donate to Whatcom DVSAS and the local YWCA.