Frequently Asked Questions

Studying abroad will require both planning and flexibility. If you are considering studying abroad, discuss the idea with your academic advisor and family. Please reach out to the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) at abroad@saintmary.edu so we can help you select the best option for you, and connect you with the specific coordinator for the program you’re most interested in. 

Program Choices

Where can I go? 

There are a variety of options available for study abroad to ensure that global study is possible for a broad range of students. Students have options to study abroad in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America! Explore Saint Mary’s Programs for details about program offerings. 

What are my options for how long I can study abroad? 

Students can study abroad during spring break, summer, or an academic semester. Students can even study abroad for a full academic year if they participate in a language immersion program, or the Oxford Program. 

Am I eligible to study abroad?

Students are eligible to go abroad after one semester in residency at Saint Mary's College through the first semester of their senior year. The most common approach for Saint Mary’s students is to study abroad in their sophomore year. Students should speak with their academic major department chair to determine their best timing. 

Can I study abroad during the summer?

For summer 2023, students have the option to study abroad in the summer on university campus in Argentina, France, Italy, Spain, or Puerto Rico.  Students can also participate in programs led by Saint Mary’s Faculty in Ecuador, Greece, or Uganda!

Can I study abroad if I am a student athlete?

If students don’t want to miss their sports season, here are some options to consider:

  • Volleyball, Cross Country, Soccer are fall sports, so students can study abroad in spring semesters or summer
  • Basketball, Golf, and Tennis span both semesters, so athletes must make the choice of either missing part of their sport season or choose a summer or spring break program
  • Softball and Lacrosse are spring sports, so a summer or fall program work best

Application

How do I apply? 

Students should select a program on the Saint Mary’s Study Abroad Website and click “Apply Now.”  All Saint Mary’s study abroad programs require an online application.

When is the deadline? 

March 1, 2023 is the deadline to apply to study abroad in Summer 2023, or Fall 2023

November 1, 2023 is the tentative deadline to apply to study abroad in Spring 2024. 

Finances

How much does it cost to study abroad?

Saint Mary's College is committed to making study abroad affordable for students.  

Students who study abroad during the academic year will pay the Saint Mary's College standard tuition rate as well as Saint Mary's room and board. Students should be aware that room and board rates can be slightly higher than staying on the Saint Mary's campus. Most of a student's financial aid can apply when they study abroad for a semester or year.

Rather than paying a student activities fee on campus, students who study abroad during the academic year will pay a study abroad fee. Students are responsible for their flights, passports and visas, books, personal expenses, and travel expenses while abroad. The year-long Oxford Program includes an additional program fee. 

Students who study abroad during the summer or spring break will pay a program fee that is specific to the site where they study. Students should see the pages for each site for details about what the costs are and what they include. The Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership offers need-based scholarships for summer and short-term programs.  

In all cases, students should expect to pay a deposit for their program once they are accepted in order to secure their spot. The non-refundable deposit is not an extra fee, and will be credited to their tuition.  

Saint Mary's college provides international health insurance and evacuation insurance for all students who study abroad.

Are there Grants, Scholarships or Financial Aid for Study Abroad?

For students who study abroad during the academic year, most forms of financial aid can be applied to the cost of tuition, room and board. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid for specific details.

For students who study abroad during spring break or summer, The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership offers grants for students who study abroad on Saint Mary’s programs during the summer.  

All students are encouraged to consider external scholarship opportunities.  Further information can be found on the Saint Mary’s Portal.

Students can learn more about these and other options on this page: Finance and Scholarships

Study Abroad Health and Safety

Student safety and well-being is a top priority for Saint Mary’s. Students who are admitted on a Saint Mary’s Study Abroad program will attend pre-departure orientations to learn about health and safety measures, and will be required to adhere to the College health and safety protocols in place at the time of study abroad. Students will also receive in-depth information on their program location before departure, as well as on-site orientations.

Is it safe to travel to other countries?

There are many levels of safety precautions in place for Study Abroad. 

  • The college policy is that students are allowed to study abroad in countries with a Department of State Advisory Level of Level 2 or lower.  In some cases, if COVID is the only reason for a State Department Advisory Level of 3 or higher, students can opt to study abroad.  
  • Students are directed to review Department of State Advisory Levels for the countries where they will travel. The latest information about the CDC Risk Assessment Level for COVID-19 can be found on the CDC Travel Health Notices website.  The CDC also provides Recommendations for International Travel
  • All Saint Mary’s study abroad programs are with Institutions with whom Saint Mary’s college has a partnership, or are led by Saint Mary’s faculty
  • Students receive pre-departure Health and Safety orientations, including instructions about emergency contacts when in country
  • Saint Mary’s college provides health insurance for all students who study abroad, as well as Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation Insurance

What are the COVID-19 considerations for study abroad? 

After a pause in study abroad at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Saint Mary's College is allowing students to once again study abroad. Students are expected to pay attention to the current health conditions of the global region to which they are traveling, and are given tools to evaluate and understand risks through pre-departure orientations. All students will be required to sign a Travel Waiver (link) in order to study abroad.  

What are the Vaccination Requirements for study abroad?

Students should be aware of other required vaccines for international travel. Also, in keeping with the College policy, students must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have received a booster, or have received a school approved vaccine waiver. Students who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 may only study at host institutions or countries which allow unvaccinated students, and may not participate in faculty-led programs. 

Do I need to purchase my own Health Insurance for study abroad? 

Saint Mary’s College provides International Health and Evacuation Insurance through GeoBlue International Health Insurance for Higher Education

For all details of the plan, students should refer to geobluestudents.com.

Medically necessary treatment for COVID-19 is covered as an illness under the policy. The plan covers prescribed testing from a doctor, contact testing, and medical facility admission testing. Nondiagnostic testing as a prerequisite for school or entry into a country is not covered by the insurance. The GeoBlue insurance includes post-departure trip interruption coverage in case students test positive during their travels and have to quarantine or change their flight.  

What happens if I get sick or injured while abroad?

If students get sick or injured (including testing positive for COVID-19) while abroad, they should immediately seek local medical care and inform their on-site contact.  Students should then contact their Geoblue insurance for medical assistance. 

What happens if I have an emergency while abroad?

  1. If a student has an emergency while abroad, they should first contact local emergency services (police, fire department) or go immediately to the nearest physician or hospital.  
  2. The student should then contact their on-site contact in the country where they are staying. 
  3. In the case of medical issues, the student should contact and coordinate with GeoBlue with the Medical Assistance number on their GeoBlue insurance card. GeoBlue will then take the appropriate action to assist and monitor the medical care until the situation is resolved.
  4. Students are then required to contact Saint Mary’s College campus safety so that the Saint Mary’s community can follow up and provide continued support to the student.  

The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership follows the Saint Mary's Emergency Response Plan for Study Abroad.  This framework defines roles and responsibilities of Saint Mary’s College, CWIL, On-site program coordinators and students to prepare for and respond in case of an emergency.  

Academic Considerations

Can I fulfill Sophia (General Education) Courses while abroad?

The most common path is for Saint Mary’s students to fulfill general education requirements while abroad.  Each partner university offers classes which are accepted by Saint Mary’s College to fulfill Sophia requirements. 

Can I take courses for my Majors and Minors while abroad?

In some cases, students can receive approval from their major department for courses they take abroad to count towards their major or minor.  Students will need to gather syllabus information and seek written approval from their department chair. 

What if I haven’t yet met the Saint Mary’s College Writing Requirement?

Students are strongly encouraged to have completed their Writing (W) requirement before studying abroad. 

How many credits can I take while abroad? 

The number of credits a student will receive depends on the length of the program.  

Students who study abroad during the academic year are required to be enrolled in a full academic course load, which is equivalent to a minimum of 12 credit hours at Saint Mary’s.

What GPA am I required to have to go abroad?

Grades from study abroad are calculated into a students’ GPA just as they are while on campus.  All the grades that a Saint Mary’s student receives while abroad will appear on their transcript and will be calculated into their Grade Point Average. 

Do I need to speak a Foreign Language?

A number of the Saint Mary’s study abroad programs involve language immersion.  Students have the options of immersive language study in French, Spanish, and Italian.  

There are also many options for students who want to take courses in English in Ireland and England, but there are also programs which are located in host countries where English is not the native language that offer coursework primarily in English (for example in Italy and South Korea, or on faculty led programs in Greece and Ecuador).