Parent Resources

You've got them into college and now they want to study abroad. What do you do?

General Information

It is thrilling that your student is thinking about studying abroad—an exciting, once in a lifetime journey!  The Center for Internaitonal Programs is committed to supporting students through the process.  Students are encouraged to plan early can meet with a variety of different people to begin discussing their study abroad plans; our Study Abroad Peer Mentors can give recent testimonials about their experience abroad while any of our staff can advise the students in determining which program best suits their academic needs. Our office focuses academic year, semester or summer long programs that provide students with quality academic programs to enhance their degree.

Saint Mary's students are eligible to study abroad with a SMC-SPONSORED, LASALLIAN CONSORTIUM, EXCHANGE OR NON-SMC PROGRAM. The first three programs are endorsed by the Center for Internaitonal Programs office while Non-SMC programs allow the students freedom to attend a program that provides an experience, destination or field of study that our programs do not offer. All program types are available during the semester and for a full year, some are offered over the summer. It is possible, and encouraged, to study abroad more than once during a student's SMC career and students may choose any program that interests them. Below you will find more information about the differences between program types. 

 

SMC-sponsored programs
These programs have been vetted by Saint Mary's College of California.

  • Courses transfer back one-to-one. All courses are vetted and pre-approved by Saint Mary's faculty and transferred back as SMC equivalents
  • Students can take classes that count towards their major & minor requirements to ensure that they graduate on time
  • There are no additional program cost--tuition and housing costs are the same on campus as they are abroad
  •  Financial aid and SMC scholarships travel with you--students who study on a SMC program can apply all their federal and state financial aid as well as any institutional scholarships

Exchange programs
These programs have been vetted by Saint Mary's College of California.

  • Courses transfer back one-to-one. All courses are vetted and pre-approved by Saint Mary's faculty and transferred back as SMC equivalents
  • Students can take classes that count towards their major & minor requirements to ensure that they graduate on time
  • There are no additional program cost--tuition costs are the same on campus as abroad but students pays housing fees on site
  • Financial aid and SMC scholarships travel with you--students who study on a SMC program can apply all their federal and state financial aid as well as any institutional scholarships

Lasallian Consortium programs
These programs are administered by another Lasallian university in the U.S. but the benefits are the same as a SMC-sponsored program.

  • Courses transfer back one-to-one. All courses are vetted and pre-approved by Saint Mary's faculty and transferred back as SMC equivalents
  • Students can take classes that count towards their major & minor requirements to ensure that they graduate on time
  • There are no additional program cost--tuition and housing costs are the same on campus as they are abroad
  • Financial aid and SMC scholarships travel with you--students who study on a SMC program can apply all their federal and state financial aid as well as any institutional scholarships

Non-SMC programs
In some cases, students wish to study abroad on a program that is not offered through the SMC-sponsored, Exchange or Lasallian Consortium programs. Please take into consideration the following notes:

  • Students need to apply and be accepted to study abroad through both the Center for International Programs and their non-SMC program
  • Students take a Leave of Absence from Saint Mary's for the study abroad term (Fall/Spring/Year programs)
  • All federal & state financial aid travels with students but SMC scholarships do not--the SMC scholarships are, of course, available to students again as soon as they return to Saint Mary's
  • Courses may not transfer back exactly as one-to-one equivalents
  • Students pay a $200 non-SMC processing fee to the Business Office as part of their SMC study abroad application

 

About Our Office

The Center for International Programs (CIP) is a comprehensive department that works with students, faculty, and administration in the Saint Mary’s community to provide services to international students and scholars as well as study abroad and exchange programs to the students and faculty of Saint Mary’s. 

We look forward to working with your student throughout the study abroad experience and your student will be our primary contact throughout this process. Our office is happy to work with the parents, but it is ultimately your student’s responsibility to keep you informed with any information you may need in order to assist your student in studying abroad. Please review with your student any information your student may receive from our office or from your student’s study abroad program.

Please keep in mind that due to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the CIP can share very limited information with parents including, but not limited to, the status of student study abroad applications, fee payments, transcripts, and student records. Please rest assured that we will do our very best to make sure that your student will be properly prepared for studying abroad.