What is study abroad (or study away)?
Undergraduate students can study in another country (or countries) for an academic year, a semester, during academic breaks (summer or winter) or with faculty on short-term programs. Students may also choose to study off-campus through the Washington Semester Program in Washington, DC, the SEA Education program in Woods Hole, MA or with internship programs in Los Angeles, CA. Students generally study abroad (or away) on pre-approved programs organized by US-based organizations. These organizations arrange for classes, housing, meals, advising, and support services while the student is overseas. Students can take courses at colleges or universities, or participate in programs that offer credit-bearing experiential based learning opportunites.
Saint Michael's College also has a unique semester program in England for education majors and exchange programs (for all majors) with international universities in Japan, Korea, Mexico and Thailand.
How do I qualify to study abroad?
For semester or year-long programs applicants must have a 2.8 or greater cumulative GPA. Certain programs require a higher GPA for admission. Students generally study abroad during their junior year, but seniors can also apply for consideration. GPA requirements for summer and short-term programs have individualized requirements. Applications (including a letter of intent and letter of recommendation) are reviewed on a rolling basis. Students must meet eligibility requirements for both SMC and the specific program or university. Students are encouraged to submit completed applications well before the published application deadline dates.
When do I begin planning and applying to study abroad?
Students interested in studying abroad should begin the planning process as early as possible – freshman year is a good time to start. An annual study abroad fair is held in late January or early February and offers an opportunity for freshmen to begin their search for programs that best meet their academic and personal needs. Academic planning and program research can be a complicated and time-consuming process, so students should allow ample time to speak with their academic advisors, meet with the study abroad director, and complete application materials. Fall semester applications are due in early February. Spring semester applications are due in June, though early submission (April or May) is strongly encouraged.
Where can I go?
SMC students can participate in pre-approved programs in Latin America, the Caribbean, Western & Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. There are also exciting programs based in the US.
What types of programs are there?
There are several types of study abroad options to choose from:
- English-speaking universities. Choose from a wide selection of courses in different academic departments.
- Universities in non-English speaking countries. Study the language of the host country (at any level of proficiency) and take content courses either in the target language or in English.
- Internship Programs. Take courses and participate in a credit-bearing internship.
- Experiential, field-based programs. Learn about a culture and learn a language while conducting an independent research project. Field-based programs offer a wide range of themes, including public health, gender studies, environmental and sustainability issues, peace and conflict, social justice, and globalization. Community-engaged learning programs are also available for students interested in participating in a service project while abroad.
How many credits do I earn?
Students earn 12-18 credits during a semester abroad. Credits earned for short-term programs vary with length and content of the program. All courses must be pre-approved for transfer credit towards a student’s graduation requirements. Credits earned for courses with grade C- or above will transfer back to SMC. Study abroad grades are not calculated into a student’s SMC cumulative GPA.
How do I pay for study abroad?
Study abroad students pay Saint Michael’s College the equivalent of a semester’s tuition, housing, and meals. The College in turn pays the program's study abroad tuition, housing and meals (up to the amount of SMC's tuition, housing and meals). Institutional (SMC) scholarships and grants can be used for one semester abroad. Non-institutional aid (except work study) can be used for one or two semesters abroad. SMC tuition payment plans can be maintained during the study abroad semester.
How can I get more information?
Students should make an appointment to meet with the Director of Study Abroad for academic and program advice prior to completing the SMC study abroad application.