We'd love to answer your questions!
Where can I study abroad?
Anywhere you want! We have study abroad opportunities in Italy, France, Spain, England, Ireland, South Africa, Mexico, Austrailia, Japan and China. There are also many more programs available through the Lasallian Study Abroad Consortium. Just click on the links to the left to find out more information.
There are many more programs available all across the world, some sponsored by other universities and programs and some that can be independently arranged. Check out our non-SMC Travel link to find out more about these prospects.
What are the requirements?
The most important requirement is maturity, independence and a desire to learn more about our international community. Students must have a sophomore standing at least, have a clear discipline record through SMC's Community Life and a minimum GPA of 2.8. Some programs have more stringent academic requirements and possibly some language requirements, so be sure to learn in as much as you can before applying. The best key is to plan ahead!
How do I apply?
Once you have decided on the program that you want to apply to, you can either click on the 'Application' link at the side to be redirected to the Online Application.
All the applications will require you to write a 'Statement of Purpose' outlining how your study abroad experience will contribute and enrich your major, lifetime and career goals. It should also include if you have traveled or lived abroad before, your interests in other cultures and anything you have done, which would make you a good candidate.
You will also need to fill out a 'Financial Aid Clearance Form,' with your financial aid officer, a 'Health History Clearance Form,' and include your Academic Planning Worksheet and 2 letters of recommendation.
Some programs require additional forms, such as the John Cabot Program in Italy, Sophia program in Japan, and the Cape Town program in South Africa, so be sure to call and check with the office. Make sure to turn in your complete application before the deadline!
How do I get a passport?
It is possible to download passport applications online at http://travel.state.gov, and click on their passport link. They have all the information you need!
Who can help me decide which classes to take?
The Center for International Programs cannot help you decide on your specific courses, but you are encouraged to speak with your advisor about your decisions. It is important to know which classes are required for your major and when they are offered at Saint Mary's so you can take the opportunity to study abroad, without having to delay your graduation.
Do my grades, courses and credits transfer back to Saint Mary's?
During your application process a Academic Planning Worksheet will be filled out. All courses taken through Saint Mary's sponsored programs and programs through the Lasallian Consortium will transfer directly to your Saint Mary's degree.
When doing a non-SMC it is necessary to ensure the number of credits you are taking abroad will also transfer over. For more information please visit the Registrar's Office in Filipi Hall.
What is the purpose of the Academic Planning Worksheet form?
The purpose of filling out the Academic Planning Worksheet is to make sure that your courses will transfer back to St. Mary’s and fulfill your requirements. Once your form is received, the Registrar’s Office will check your course requests against your Academic Evaluation to verify that the courses will satisfy your degree requirements as listed on your evaluation. We will email you if there is a question regarding a course which you are intending on taking abroad. If you register for a course abroad which is not listed on your Academic Planning Worksheet, you must email the Registrar’s Office at [email protected], so that we can update your Evaluation.
Can I use my financial aid, grants or government funding for study abroad?
All Saint Mary's grants and financial aid will apply to SMC-sponsored programs. If you will be undertaking a non-SMC study abroad program our financial aid and grants will not go with you, but government financial aid and grants may still apply. Your financial aid counselor can explain all the details.
Can I use my financial aid and scholarships once I return to Saint Mary's?
All financial aid and scholarships will begin after returning from an SMC or non-SMC study abroad program. Talk to your financial aid counselor.
Can I get a scholarship to study abroad?
Gilman Scholarship: this scholarship awards up to $5,000 for students to pursue study abroad opportunities. this scholarship is intended for students who are Pell Grant recipients. To learn more information please go to www.iie.org/programs/gilman.
Jeanine Shahna Fela Endowed Scholarship for Ireland: this special endowment scholarship for SMC students accepted to study at National University Galway, Ireland through the Lasallian Consortium program. To learn more, please visit our scholarship section on our website.
SMC Study Abroad Scholarship: this scholarship is intended for students who are Pell Grant recipients. To learn more, please visit our scholarship section on our website.
How do I get a new course approved while I'm out of the country?
Like during the application process when you had to get your courses pre-approved by your Department Chair and/or Academic Advisor, any new classes for which you register must be approved while you are abroad. You can get your faculty's virtual signature by sending them the course description and/or syllabus via email and asking them to approve the course and identify the SMC equivalent. Be sure to send the virtual approval to both the Center for International Programs ([email protected]).
Am I still eligible for the housing lottery after I return?
Only if you're returning from a Saint Mary's Study Abroad Program or a Lasallian Study Abroad Program. For questions about the lottery process or additional issues pertaining to Campus Housing, please contact [email protected].
How can I evaluate my study abroad experience for Saint Mary's?
The Center for International Programs values your experience and opinions of the Saint Mary's sponsored programs. We encourage you to write evaluations highlighting the positive and negative aspects of your trip, to help us improve our study abroad programs. Download the evaluation form here and return to [email protected].
How can I maintain an international feeling once I return to Saint Mary's?
There are many ways to stay connected to your study abroad experience. Consider joining our Peer Mentor Program!
What address should I send postcards to?
We would love to hear how you are doing and post your beautiful post-cards on our board! Please write to us at:
The Center for International Programs
1928 St. Mary's Road
PO BOX 3091
Moraga, CA 94575-3091