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, and Australia. 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 download the application or drop by the Center for International Programs.
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 'Transfer Credit Approval Form,' and include your Degree Audit and 2 letters of recommendation.
Some programs require additional forms, such as the John Cabot Program in Italy 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 Transfer Credit Approval form 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 Transfer and Articulation Advisor in Filipi Hall.
What is the purpose of the Transfer Credit Approval form?
The purpose of filling out the TCA form is the 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 TCA, you must email the Registrar’s Office at email@example.com, 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?
The Gilman Scholarship awards up to $5,000 for students to pursue study abroad opportunities. For more information please go to www.iie.org/programs/gilman.
Some other scholarhips include:
National Security Education Program www.iie.org/programs/nsep
Bridging Scholarship for Study in Japan www.colorado.edu/ealld/atj/bridging/schoarships.html
We encourage you to research other scholarship opportunities as well.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Director of Transfer and Articulation in the Registrar's Office, Craig Means (email@example.com) so we have it on file.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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@example.com.
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. See our study abroad alumni link for more information.
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
PO BOX 3091
Moraga, CA 94575-3091