Jan Term Travel

Jan Term Travel Jan Term Travel

Planning to travel with us? 

We've got all your answers right here.


If you have a question that is not answered below, just send us an email at janterm@stmarys-ca.edu


Whether you are traveling abroad or in the US, we know you will have lots of questions. From choosing a travel course to applying for the Jan Term scholarship, registering in a course to making sure your passport and health forms are up to date and submitted, we are here to help make this process as smooth as possible. 

Jan Term Travel Processes

The courtyard of the Salvador Dali Museum in Spain.


The first thing we recommend students do is to apply for a passport! 

In mid-spring, the travel courses proposed by the faculty are announced and info sessions are held for each course. There you will learn details about the itinerary, student requirements, prerequisites, costs, and the content of the course. Attending an info session in spring or fall is required to be approved to register for a course during registration in the fall semester.

To be approved for the ability to register, let the instructor know and they will add you to their approval list. Because courses have specific caps, you may want to have a backup travel course in mind, so take the opportunity to learn more about the trips that appeal to you. 

Students stand in the ocean against a bright orange sunset.

Jan Term Travel Scholarship

The January Term Travel Scholarship is an award of 75% of the course fee of a travel course of the applicant's choice. 

  • During a normal year, students can apply for this scholarship online beginning of the fall semester.
  • A scholarship winner is unfortunately not guaranteed a spot in a course and must register through the same process and timeline as all other students.

In awarding scholarships, the January Term Committee considers:

  • Preference is given to seniors before juniors, etc. (status is based upon the number of completed units at the time of applying)
  • Eligibility for financial aid (FAFSA submitted)
  • Greatest need
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • No previous experience studying abroad with January Term or Study Abroad
  • Students who have previously received the January Term Scholarship will not be considered for the January Term Scholarship.
  • Scholarship award winners will also need to place a standardized deposit of $500.


Kathmandu temple

The following steps are required to enroll in a travel course:

  1. Attend a travel course’s pre-registration informational meeting offered by the course instructor. Information Session Schedules will be posted on the website, SMC calendars, and flyers posted on bulletin boards all over campus.
  2. Confirm with the instructor that you meet all of the course's requirements and submit your name, SMC ID, SMC email, & phone number to the instructor so they may approve your registration in GaelXpress.
  3. Confirm with the Business Office that your Fall bill has a $0 balance. If you are on a payment plan, your September payment must be submitted by the set deadline (usually mid-Sept).
  4. Pay the deposit ($2k for all trips, $500 for scholarship awardees) either in person at the Business Office before 5PM on the deadline date or via GaelXpress 2.0 through "Student Accounts" by 11:59PM on the deadline date.
  5. Register on GaelXpress 2.0 on the registration date set by the Registrar's Office.
  6. Final payment is due on the set deadline. No exceptions can be made.

Jan Term Travel FAQ

When travel courses are approved in March, a brochure will be created with details for each trip listed on the Jan Term website. Multiple info sessions will be held by the instructor(s) in spring and fall.

It varies by course. Course fees are determined by the cost of airfare/travel, accommodation, excursions, etc by destination. If you have a question about the fee for a course, email the course instructor.

Contact the instructor by email to let them know you are interested. They should meet with you individually or may schedule another session if there is enough student interest. They will only add students to a registration approval list who have received all of the information and agreed to all of the requirements.

If you are on a scheduled payment plan, you are up to date on those payments AND you have submitted the deposit, you will be cleared to register. 

If you are a parent, you must be set up as an Authorized User by your student in order to pay. Authorized Users log in using the link below and follow the same instructions by going to the Deposits link (on the top menu bar) then select “Jan Term 2024” and then select your travel destination. https://secure.touchnet.net:443/C21320_tsa/web

Due to travel course constraints, we are unable to extend the deadline. If you have concerns about your financial aid/loan, please contact Financial Aid as soon as possible. 

If you do not register for a travel course, your deposit will be refunded to you or put towards your next tuition bill. However, if you waitlist for a course and are subsequently given a seat, you will be required to pay the course fee. 

First-year students may travel only domestically and/or nternational courses is specifically designated for first-year students. 

If you enrolled in a higher-cost travel course - your scholarship will not be increased beyond the original awarded amount. 

If you enrolled in a lower-cost travel course - only 75% of that course fee will be covered by the January Term Scholarship and the remaining award amount is forfeited.

First-year students may travel only domestically and/or nternational courses is specifically designated for first-year students. 

Unfortunately no. January Term travel courses are specifically for undergraduates enrolled at SMC.

During a normal travel year, you will learn this information at the mandatory post-registration meeting. You will need to complete all of the required forms, submit your passport (international course) or ID card (local or domestic), and upload your signed Health form on the travel portal https://global.stmarys-ca.edu

You can come to the Center for International Programs Office (Dante Hall 110) for assistance.

No. All U.S. Passports must be valid through August 2024. If your passport expired before then, you must renew and expedite it as soon as possible. Check the State Department website and follow the steps on how to apply for and/or renew passports: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html

A beneficiary is someone who would receive any sort of insurance payment in the event of an accident.

It is up to you to choose, but generally, students name a close family member as their beneficiary.

By registering for a travel course, you are agreeing to comply with all processes and deadlines. Not meeting those deadlines prevents you from traveling in January Term. If you cannot travel home to see your primary care physician, please make an appt with the campus’ Health & Wellness Center or another local travel clinic. If you are planning on going to the Health & Wellness Center, make your appointment right away in September, rather than waiting until November. They may not have open appointments at that point.

SMC’s Health & Wellness Center consults with the CDC and State Department’s recommendations for the location and the individual country’s laws.

The January Term office shares that information with the instructors and the students during the mandatory post-registration meetings. They will also be posted on our webpage once we receive the finalized lists.

Regardless of whether or not you chose to be immunized, a physician or health care provider will need to complete and sign off on your travel health form to verify that you have no medical condition precluding you from participating in January Term Travel.

Please note: if the destination(s) of the course requires proof of vaccination for entry, the January Term Office will not be held liable if you are barred from entry into said location and you will be accountable for determining and being financially responsible travel accommodations in the case of said event.

No, only those traveling internationally will need to submit a passport. You may upload your student ID or driver’s license in place of the passport.

These accommodations will be at the discretion of the course instructor, and if given approval, you will need to submit the Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement to the January Term Office prior to departure.

You must make this plan very early on as plane tickets are often bought shortly after registration.


All traveling students are covered under the College’s insurance (ACE insurance providers) and should be treated immediately, whether they are ill or injured. Any illness or injury should be reported to the instructor who will, in turn, reach out to the emergency contacts to come up with an action plan.

If a student has an emergency (whether abroad or at home), they are advised to go to the instructor to discuss the situation and the options. They will work with the January Term Office to figure out a solution or plan.

All courses will have mandatory pre-departure meetings and possibly assignments during the fall semester. Please contact the instructor before registering for the course to discuss your options. 


Jan Term Email: janterm@stmarys-ca.edu

Jan Term Director: Claire Williams

Email: cmw9@stmarys-ca.edu

Jan Term Travel/CIP Office: Dante Hall 110

Jan Term Travel Phone: 925-631-4245

Jan Term Office: South Arcade/Korth Tower Breezeway