Jul 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Study Abroad

Students are strongly encouraged to spend a semester, year, or summer in an international setting sometime during their undergraduate studies at Saint Michael’s College. Our aim is to encourage students to engage in meaningful academic programs located in communities culturally, socially and economically different from their own. It is by active and intentional involvement with diverse and unfamiliar regions of the world that students can better understanding their current and future roles and responsibilities as global citizens.

The Study Abroad Office works with academic departments to develop program options that meet the academic and mission-driven needs of our students. Course credits earned abroad are pre-approved for transfer credit and are directly applied toward graduation. Students study in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, the Pacific Rim, and Latin America through a variety of programs pre-approved by Saint Michael’s College. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisors and the Study Abroad Office to develop study plans that maximize study abroad opportunities. Students generally study off campus during their junior year, and the minimum cumulative grade point average required for semester study is 3.0. 

In addition to programs offered by off-campus program providers, study abroad options include a number of Academic Study Trips developed each year by SMC faculty. Faculty-led programs, generally 2-4 weeks in length, introduce students to unique academic topics and cultures. Previous programs have included: medieval culture and society of France, tropical ecology in Costa Rica, health and development approaches in East Africa, community service and engagement in Guyana, politics and globalization in Guatemala, Shakespeare in London, and coral reef ecology in Cuba. Program offerings change from year to year as new courses are developed based on student and faculty interest.

For more information on program options, eligibility requirements, financial aid policies, and the application process, refer to the Study Abroad website.

International Programs

  1. Language programs in non-English speaking countries. These programs enhance language and cultural skills in the target languages offered at the College (i.e. Spanish, French) or provide students with access to languages not taught on campus (i.e. Swahili, Arabic, Russian). Students can complete the College’s Second Language Proficiency Requirement through study abroad.
  2. University programs in English-speaking countries. Study options in English speaking universities often allow for full access to a university’s course offerings. This is a valuable option for students who need to fulfill specific SMC course requirement while abroad.
  3. Field based study programs. These programs give students extensive exposure to different cultures and provide opportunities for field research or independent study projects related to a specific theme or topic. These programs are often based in developing countries or non-traditional settings. 
  4. International internship programs. Internships allow students to gain hands-on work experience by requiring a full semester of course work, plus an academic internship within a specific field of study. Internship placements are numerous and varied with popular placements in organizations that focus on international business, film and television, heath services, art, journalism, theatre, and international relations.
  5. International service-learning programs. Service-learning programs offer students a chance to take courses and earn academic credit for work with community based projects or services. Foreign language skills are a plus, but programs in English speaking countries are also available.
  6. Exchange programs at various international universities provide the independent student with direct enrollment and immersion into a new culture. Current SMC exchanges are in Japan and South Korea. Exchange students from SMC partner institutions have an opportunity to study at Saint Michael’s College.
  7. Academic Study Trips are developed each year by Saint Michael’s College faculty to introduce students to unique cultures and academic topics. Program offerings change from year to year as new courses are developed based on student and faculty interest.

Domestic Programs

  1. American University’s Washington Semester Program. The nation’s capital and its unique resources offer SMC students limitless learning opportunities. Students in the program enroll in two 4-credit seminars, a 4-credit internship, and a 4-credit research project in subject areas such as American Politics, International Environment and Development, Journalism, Public Policy, and International Law. National experts are regular guest speakers and classes are held throughout the city.
  2. SEA Education, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. SEA Semester offers field based programs in marine and environmental studies. This program is widely recognized for its challenging interdisciplinary curriculum and its on-shore and at-sea learning environments.
  3. Domestic Saint Michael’s Academic Study Trips. These programs of less than two weeks are often developed in connection with an on-campus course. A recent example involved a trip to Selma, Alabama to further research the US Civil Rights Movement and the role the Society of Saint Edmund’s played in the movement. Other examples include courses focusing on Canadian history, politics, or environment that involve class trips to our neighbor to the North.

Application Procedures

Students should plan early for study abroad and are encouraged to work with their advisors and the Office of Study Abroad to develop study plans that maximize study options.  Applications are due the semester prior to the study abroad semester and most students study overseas during their junior year. Semester programs require a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and approval from the student’s academic advisor. Students submit applications to the Office of Study Abroad and to their study abroad program.

Students who study abroad without Saint Michael’s pre-approval or in non-approved programs must withdraw from the College during their time abroad and apply for readmission. Housing is on a space-available basis and eligibility for financial aid is subject to regulations at the time of readmission.