Experience the World

Discover your connection to the global community. As part of our Marianist tradition of equity, we aim to make study abroad accessible, so all students can experience life abroad. Study, intern and serve while experiencing life in another country.

Benefits of Studying Abroad

Experiential Learning

Students are introduced to new experiences, meet new people and access materials that aren’t available on campus. On a program led by business faculty, students visit corporations, meet with industry leaders and engage in design projects. A fine arts class may be primarily conducted in museums, archives or backstage at a national theater.

Career Prospects

Numerous studies demonstrate that study abroad participants have higher graduation rates and better placement into graduate school and the job market. Students interning with an overseas organization distinguish themselves; just 1% of the U.S. university population has this experience at the time of graduation.

Learn a New Way of Life

Traveling as a student comes with different expectations than tourism. Students become immersed in their surroundings, learn new languages, the local history and politics of a region and its people’s values, beliefs and cultures. Exposure to all these areas means students develop intercultural competency: the ability to communicate with people of other cultures.

Lessons Learned

Returning students demonstrate an increased ability to articulate their experiences. They learn what it takes to show empathy and compassion for others. Students learn to work independently and gain resilience through the process of cultural adaptation. Our students learn what it means to be a global citizen and a global leader.

More Affordable Than You Think

Our study abroad program prices are lower than most institutions, and a student’s normal scholarship package often travels with the student.

Many resources are available to students on summer- or semester-long programs.

All St. Mary’s undergraduate students are eligible to apply for a CIP Study Abroad Grant, which awards up to $1,000 for summer programs and up to $2,000 for a semester abroad. Each year, St. Mary’s awards over $40,000 in study abroad scholarships. The application for the scholarship will be found in the application for the study abroad program of interest.

CIP Study Abroad Scholarship

Students attending semester-long programs are able to use their academic merit scholarships and most other semester-based scholarships. Often, the difference in cost between a semester abroad and a semester at St. Mary’s is the cost of airfare. Depending on the program you attend, your semester cost may actually decrease when taking into consideration the cost of living in a particular country.

Academic Merit Scholarships

This scholarship donates up to $7,000 each year to students attending semester-long study abroad programs. The scholarship was organized in 1996 by friends and family of Jessica Marie Garcia (B.A. ’92) and has supported students for the past 20 years. The scholarship honors Jessica’s commitment to excellence in life and appreciation of the world and other cultures, and is awarded to those who demonstrate a commitment to scholarship and community service.

Jessica Garcia Memorial Scholarship

In addition to St. Mary’s scholarships, we help students apply for prestigious national scholarships such as the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, which awards students up to $8,000 toward a program during the semester and up to $3,000 during the summer. The Gilman Scholarship is awarded to Pell Grant recipients and promotes study abroad for underserved populations who might otherwise not be able to study abroad. The award is funded by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute for International Education and serves as a first stepping stone for many to consider a career in foreign service or work with the U.S. Department of State.

Nationally- and Internationally-awarded Scholarships

Students can take advantage of a number of financial resources, as all study abroad programs award academic credit. Students can use Pell Grant funding on eligible programs during the summer and semesters, as long as students maintain half- to full-time status. Summer Pell Grants are awarded in amounts upward of $2,500.

All of these resources help minimize the number and amount of student loans that students may take out for a program, which is also a viable option.

The Center for International Programs works very closely with all students, mentoring them as they work through the application process. We view applying for scholarships and grants as a form of academic and professional development and as a form of resiliency building for students who will later enter the workforce.

Other Resources

Choose from a Variety of Programs

You can travel to over 20 countries while you’re a St. Mary’s student. We’ll help you choose from a variety of countries, decide how long you want to stay and consider all the options before you narrow down your list.

Which study abroad program is right for you?

Things to consider:

  • Can I take courses that fit my degree plan?
  • Do I want to learn a foreign language?
  • How long do I want to be away from home?
  • Do I want to travel independently or with other St. Mary’s students?
  • What are my goals in attending this program?

Current Students

Head over to the Rattlers Abroad portal for in-depth details on everything from individual programs to how you can sign up!

Information for Parents

We know you want to keep your student safe. That’s why each student attends an orientation session and obtains a health clearance. Discover more of the resources available to families of students studying abroad.

Study abroad has the potential to be one of the most transformative experiences that your student will participate in. The decision for a student to study abroad often involves the entire family. We welcome questions from parents and family concerned with health and safety, costs and accessibility. It is our privilege to work with your student as they discover a whole new world of opportunity.

When designing programs and forming new partnerships with universities overseas, health and safety are our first priority. Students encounter many of the same risks while studying abroad as they would on campus at St. Mary’s or elsewhere in San Antonio. At the same time, we recognize that being farther away from home may complicate hardships.

All students:

  • Enroll with an inexpensive international health insurance provider, which supplements the student’s regular domestic plan.
  • Have 24-hour phone access to the St. Mary’s Student Counseling Center.
  • Have 24-hour emergency contacts both on site and at St. Mary’s.
  • Attend orientation at least one month prior to departure.
  • Must obtain a health clearance.
  • Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which alerts U.S. embassies that U.S. citizens are traveling in the region and provide the student with safety updates.
Health and Safety

All students need a passport valid at least 6 months beyond their return date. Depending on the country of travel and the duration of stay, students may need a visa to enter the country. The Center for International Programs helps students apply for visas. In some cases, a student may need to travel to Houston to visit an embassy or consulate or mail in their passport for processing. Passport and visa costs are educational costs and are partially funded through financial aid.

While your student is making travel arrangements, we recommend at least one family member also possess a valid passport. This way a designated family member can travel on site, in the rare instance it is needed. Some parents join students after a program ends for additional independent travel.

Passports and Travel

We encourage students to plan with family ahead of time how they will maintain contact while studying abroad. With increasing global access to wireless internet and advanced telecommunications, families are more connected than ever at a low cost. Families can overcome distances by connecting via Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime.

St. Mary’s Center for International Programs and other University offices also maintain contact with students throughout their program, informing students of important dates and events such as course registration. Students can also share photos and stories on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

While we welcome questions from parents and families, as adults, students maintain the legal rights for privacy through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

We encourage students to sign a waiver that allows us to contact families and various institutions on their behalf.

In the case of an emergency, the University does maintain the right to contact families on the student’s behalf without requiring their written permission.

Maintaining Contact

  • Contact Us

    Stephanie Ramin
    Assistant Director of Study Abroad and Exchanges
    Center for Life Directions, Room 130


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