Jan Term Travel FAQ

Have questions about Jan Term Travel? Find the answers to our most asked questions here!


When will I find out if I got the scholarship? 

On Thursday, 9/19.


Do I need to file a FAFSA to apply for the Jan Term Travel Scholarship?

YES. Students without a FAFSA are ineligible to be considered for any type of financial aid.


Do I need a 3.0 GPA in my major to qualify for the Jan Term Travel Scholarship? 

The minimum requirement is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Students with a lower GPA will not be considered for the scholarship.


If I traveled internationally with Jan Term or SMC’s Study Abroad program, am I eligible for the Jan Term Travel Scholarship?

Unfortunately, no. Only students who have not traveled internationally, whether with the Study Abroad or with Jan Term programs, are eligible for the Jan Term Travel Scholarship. Prior local or domestic travel with the College is not counted against eligibility. 


If I received a scholarship last year, may I apply again?

Students who previously received the Jan Term Scholarship will not be considered for the scholarship for Jan Term 2020. 


Do juniors or sophomores ever receive a Jan Term Scholarship? 

Historically, because the scholarship prioritizes seniors, then juniors, then sophomores, and the number of scholarships is limited by the amount of scholarship money, sophomores and most juniors are not awarded scholarships. But you’ll have priority as a senior! 


On my Scholarship application, I put down a less expensive course than the one I actually registered for. Can I get 75% of my new, more expensive course covered? 

Unfortunately, because we need to ensure we can cover 75% of the course fees for all recipients, the calculations are based on the course listed in the application. So, that is the amount you will receive with the remainder of the higher course for you to cover. 



The course I want doesn't have any more info sessions scheduled! What do I do?

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.


Where can I find details about a particular travel course?

Links to our travel course brochures may be found on our webpage


How much do the travel courses cost?

It varies by course, but this information will be found in the online brochures


How long are the travel courses?

Each course has its own travel dates and duration. You’ll need to check the brochure and confirm with the instructor. 


What if I can’t make my enrolled class’ pre-departure meetings or complete pre-departure assignments?

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. 



How does the registration process for travel courses work?

1) You will need to attend an informational session for the course you want. If you cannot make a meeting, contact the instructor to meet with them, ASAP. Make sure you meet the requirements for the course. Give the instructor:

  • Your name 
  • SMC ID #
  • Your SMC email by Sept. 23rd.

2) Submit the $2000.00 deposit via GaelXpress through "Student Accounts" or in-person at the Business Office between Friday, Sept 20 - Tuesday, Sept 24. They will accept Cash or Check. You must have a zero balance or on a payment plan.

3) At your set registration time on Thurs, 9/26, register for your course on GaelXpress.  All the information may be found here.


I'm on a payment plan but it says I need to have a zero fall balance! Can I still register for a travel course?

If you are on a scheduled payment plan and up to date on those payments with only the 10/15 payment due and submit the deposit, you will be cleared to register. 


I'm a parent of a student who wants to travel. How can I pay for this deposit on their behalf?

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 2020” then select your travel destination. https://secure.touchnet.net:443/C21320_tsa/web


What if I am unable to access my loan during the deposit window. Would I receive an extension?

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. Phone: (925) 631-4370 or (866) 306-0390 or finaid@stmarys-ca.edu.


What if I don't get into a travel course? Is my deposit still non-refundable?

If you do not register for a travel course, your deposit will be refunded to you. 


I’m enrolled at SMC part-time. Can I register for a travel course?

Yes, however, please be aware that you will be charged tuition of $6,140 in addition to the travel course's fee.


Can first-year students travel in Jan Term?

First-year students may travel domestically and/or if an international course is specifically designated for first-year students. There is not a first-year specific course being offered in Jan Term 2020.


I am a graduate student. Can I register for a Jan Term travel course?

No, Jan Term travel courses are specifically for undergraduates at SMC. We always have more undergraduates who want to travel than travel course seats, so we cannot open them to graduates.



I registered for a travel course on GaelXpress. Is that all I have to do?

As you will learn at the mandatory post-registration meeting, you must register with our travel portal: https://global.stmarys-ca.edu. 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.


Help! I can't sign in!

We will be holding drop-in hours that will be displayed on our website. Or you can come to the Center for International Programs Office (Br. Jerome West Hall) or the January Term & Seminar Office in the Arcade & we will help you. 


If I traveled with Study Abroad, do I still need to fill out all the forms? 

Yes, you do! 


My passport is valid through March 2020. Is that okay?

No. All U.S. Passports must be valid through August 2020. You must RENEW & EXPEDITE as soon as possible.


What is a beneficiary?

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


Who should my beneficiary be? 

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


I can’t see my doctor until Thanksgiving break. Can I get an extension for my health form?

Unfortunately, no. All health forms, etc. must be submitted to the Travel Portal by Friday, Nov 15th by noon. 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 Jan 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.


How is the list of immunizations decided? 

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


How do I find out which immunizations I need for my travel course?

The Jan 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.


What if I choose not to be immunized or don’t want all the immunizations?

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 Jan Term Travel. Please note: if the destination(s) of the course requires proof of vaccination for entry, the Jan 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.



If I am traveling domestically (within the U.S.), do I need to submit a copy of a passport?

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. 


Can I depart from another airport for my travel course?

This accommodation will be at the discretion of the course instructor, and if given approval, you will need to submit supporting documents and an Assumption of Risk & Release form to the Jan Term Office prior to departure.


Can I change my return flight to another location or stay after the course is over?

This accommodation will be at the discretion of the course instructor, and if given approval, you will need to submit supporting documents and an Assumption of Risk & Release form to the Jan Term Office prior to departure.


What happens if I get sick or injured while traveling?

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.


What happens if I need to go home due to an emergency?

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 Jan Term Office to figure out a solution or plan.