Santa Clara University

Study Abroad

SCU-Operated Programs


Santa Clara University operates a growing number of our own programs abroad. These SCU-led programs allow you to enjoy the same quality education from Santa Clara faculty members that you would experience here on the SCU home campus with a higher degree of community-building with other Santa Clara students as they usually live and travel together in homes, study centers, local university dorms, or research centers. All SCU-operated programs require a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, but the faculty directors have the discretion of reviewing applications on their own merit if a GPA is below the minimum.

Casa de la Solidaridad

EL SALVADOR - Casa de la Solidaridad Program

Terms: Summer, Fall, Spring
Cost: visit fees site
Housing: Student housing
Emphasis: Social justice, pre-health, community-based learning
Language Requirements: Spanish (1-2 sem for Fall, Spring), None required for Summer Pre-Health Program

Faculty Directors: Trena and Kevin Yonkers-Talz


Program Overview: Come to El Salvador to learn Spanish, immerse yourself in the Salvadoran culture and gain experience in the medical field! This  academic initiative is designed for students interested in social justice and community-building (Fall & Spring) and those pursuing careers in the health profession (Summer). Students will integrate classroom learning with experiential community-based learning in marginal Salvadoran communities. Each student will have a praxis site (field placement) where they will work 4 afternoons a week in either a hospital or clinic. These praxis sites will be supervised by medical professionals here in El Salvador. Students live in community with other Casa students as well as with peer Salvadoran scholarship students studying at the Jesuit-run Central American University (UCA). Field trips include: Major public hospitals, rural clinics, health cooperatives (dentistry, optomology, natural medicine), community organizations,

Course Offerings: For course offerings and other detail program description, please visit the Casa de la Solidaridad website

More information: Contact Trena Yonkers-Talz ( or visit the official website:

How to Apply: Click here when you're ready to apply.


Costa Rica Summer Program

COSTA RICA - Field Course in Rainforst Ecology and Primate Behavior

Term: Summer
Cost: TBA
Housing: Field stations, homestays, others
Emphasis: Environmental Studies
Language Requirement: Spanish recommended; not required
Faculty Directors: Professors Michelle Bezanson & Sean Watts
Application Deadline: February


Program Summary:
The Costa Rica summer program offers a small cohort of students the opportunity to experience the biodiversity of a Costa Rica tropical rainforest. Students enroll in two courses taught by Santa Clara University instructors, Michelle Bezanson (Anthropology) and Sean Watts (Environmental Studies Institute). Upon successful completion of the course requirements they will receive a total of 10 units of credit. Students have one week of pre-field instruction at Santa Clara then spend three weeks at a La Suerte Biological Field Station gaining hands-on experience in community ecology and animal behavior.


Course Offerings: All students in the Costa Rica Summer Abroad program will enroll in two courses. The two courses are complementary. Typical days will involve fieldwork (e.g. hiking, data collection) and afternoon lectures/ discussions. The final week of the course will take place at SCU and emphasizes data interpretation and presentation:


ANTH 197: Field Course: Primate Behavioral Ecology
Instructor: Professor Michelle Bezanson
In this course we emphasize on-site anthropological field research with practical experience in the basic techniques of observation and field data analysis. Lectures emphasize core theoretical concepts in primatological research with examples from field studies of New World primates. Each student conducts independent data collection to produce a completed scientific paper where they are the sole author.  They can use these results to present in classes, at a conference or research symposium, or to develop future projects.  Great projects can be developed into publications to submit to peer-reviewed journals.  Finally, each student learns about themselves and their role in the community.  First, they are immersed within a new academic community where they establish lasting relationships with future colleagues.  Second, they learn about the importance of the local community and how our role in research is not restricted to the academic community or our study subjects.


ENVS 134: Plant Ecology in the Tropics
Instructor: Sean Watts
This course is primarily focused on plant community ecology; including instruction in evolution, systematics, biogeography, plant defense, and pollination/dispersal syndromes… it just happens to incorporate some field work in tropical rainforest.  Because the course has both a Californian (mediterranean-type climate) and Costa Rican (pre-montane rainforest) component, labs will compare the community ecology and diversity of similar landscapes in each region.  Extensive training in field methods will prepare students for these labs and the development of each student’s proposal for final projects.  After this course students should have a basic ability to distinguish members of major plant families, an understanding of the biogeographic and ecological forces that influence plant communities and practical experience in plant field ecological methods and the development of testable hypotheses.


For more information: Contact Michelle Bezanson: ( or Sean Watts: ( )


APPLY EARLY!!!! Click here when you're ready to apply.


German Language Summer Program

FREIBURG, GERMANY - Intensive German Language Summer Program

Term: Summer
Cost: TBA
Housing: student dormitories

Emphasis: Intensive German language

Language Requirement:
Director: Professor Gudrun Tabbert-Jones

Program Overview:
The German Language courses in Freiburg are offered in conjunction with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, at Santa Clara University. Credits are to be arranged through Santa Clara faculty. Professor Gudrun Tabbert-Jones (German) will be in Freiburg for the duration of the summer program and will meet with students regularly.

Lectures and seminars offer a survey of literary, linguistic as well as cultural, historical, political, legal and social developments in Germany. Depending on individual language skills, summer course participants may attend all afternoon lectures and seminars. Program Fees: Exact cost to be determined, but will include tuition, orientation, housing, placement test fees, on-site student services, emergency medical insurance coverage. Not covered: meals, textbooks, airfare, transportation, and personal expenses.

To alleviate costs for the program, students with an interest in a German Studies Major or Minor are eligible for the financial assistance from the Geoff & Josie Fox German Studies Fund. To qualify, students must have taken at least 3 quarters of college-level German at Santa Clara University. Priority is given to those who have declared a German Studies Minor or Major.

Course Offerings: Students will fulfill two-quarters worth of language requirements (specifically recommended for Business majors) at the end of the 4-week program (85 hours language instruction). Students will be tested onsite and placed in the appropriate language course (groups) below.

GERM 111: Contemporary German Civilization
Geography, culture, education, politics, and the economy in the German-speaking countries since 1945. Prerequisit: GERM 100 or consent of instructor. (5 units)

German Language Courses (Group A)
Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced German Language Classes designed for students seeking to enhance their speaking, writing and comprehension skills. 85 hours contact hours. 4 hours of language instruction daily. A language lab is available for additional practice. The intense language classes are further complemented by lectures and seminars in the afternoon. They are open to all participants. Students will take a German language test the day after arrival and will be placed in language classes appropriate for their level.

Upper Division German Language Courses (Group B)
Language, Culture, Philosophy and Society in Germany. 34 contact hours, complementary lectures and seminars. Two hours of language instruction daily. One hour daily in the language lab for additional practice. Participants will enhance their proficiency by working with texts and various practical exercises. They will also attend lectures and seminars (see: Group A) focusing on recent developments and trends in German language, culture, philosophy, politics and society (Advanced German language skills required).

Business German (Group C)
Prerequisite: Excellent German Skills. Four hours of instruction daily (85 contact hours). This group of courses focuses on many aspects of German business culture such as banking, marketing, stock exchange, and the economy as well as how to handle commercial correspondence and give presentations. Students may consider taking the internationally recognized "Pr?fung Wirtschaftsdeutsch" (PWD) after completing this course. There will be an additional charge for taking the PWD exam. Students will be tested prior to enrolling in this course. It is essential that all course participants are able to function at the same advanced language level. Students who do not score high enough on the placement exam are guaranteed placement in courses A or B.

For more information: Contact Professor Gudrun Tabbert-Jones ( in the Modern Languages Department.

How to Apply: Click here when you're ready to apply.



London Program

LONDON, ENGLAND - Internship Program


Terms: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring
see website
Cost: TBA
Housing: student flats
Emphasis: internship

Language Requirement:
Director: Fr. Dennis Parnell, SJ

Program Overview:
A Santa Clara education puts students in real world situations and helps them assess their meaning through a lifelong journey of learning and service. In the SCU London Summer Internship Program this means combining a cultural awareness class with a community-based unpaid internship so students can experience first-hand what life is like in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

All student services and courses are offered by the Foundation for International Education (FIE) including housing, evaluation of student’s coursework, curriculum vitae (resume), health and safety. (visit the FIE website:

In addition to elective courses, participants in the Summer, Fall, and Spring Semester programs are placed in internships in London based on their personal statement and field choices. Winter Quarter students participate in a guided study tour of the U.K.

Course Offerings: For complete course offerings and and other program details, please visit the SCU London website (

For more information: please contact Fr. Dennis Parnell, SJ, ( the Director of the SCU London Program.

How to Apply: Click here when you're ready to apply.



Scotland Summer Program

STIRLING, SCOTLAND - University of Stirling Summer Program


Term: Summer
Cost: TBA
Housing: student dormitories / chalet
Emphasis: Scottish Walks and Hikes

Language Requirement:
Fr. Dennis Parnell, SJ, Ph.D.
Professor John Farnsworth

Program Overview:
Students have the option of participating in one or both sessions.

SESSION I: Students are expected to arrive in Edinburgh on June 14, 2008 to participate in Arcadia's orientation before starting classes on June 16, 2008. Because the program concludes on July 11, 2008, students who choose to participate in this session will miss the first week in London for Session II.

SESSION II: The program will begin in London on July 4 with a series of events and tours based upon the theme "What it Means to Be British--Past, Present, and Future.Sites visited in London will include the Globe Theater, BanglaTown on historic Brick   Lane, the Tower of London, and Greenwich.  The group will spend a few days in Edinburgh for orientation and introduction to the Scottish capitol, and then move into the student residences on July 12.  Classes start on July 14 and end on August 8th.  Stirling University will allow students to remain in the residence halls beyond August 8 for an additional fee if they wish to attend the Edinburgh Festival. There will be excursions and other events throughout the summer session.

Course Offerings:  Students can choose classes from the following:

ENVS 142: Environmental and Nature Writing
Instructor: Prof. John Farnsworth
This course combines a comparative study of contemporary Anglo-American nature writing with a series of advanced writing exercises designed to strengthen abilities of observation and description.Taught in the style of classical British tutorials, during each week students will participate in a single large writing seminar and a small tutorial.This class satisfies the SCU 3rd writing core requirement, and can be taken either as ENVS 142 or ENGL 174.

POLI 149S. Special Topics in Comparative Politics: Green Politics in Scotland

Offered at the University of Stirling this class offers a study of green political thinking, green actors and their involvement in different political settings. The class will cover the following themes: green concepts, ideologies and approaches; state and non-state actors and their role/influence in environmental politics; comparing different political settings and their varying degrees of green policy integration.

Witchcraft in Early Modern Scotland
Between 1563 and 1736, during years of political and religious turmoil, around 4,000 people were accused of witchcraft in Scotland. This module will examine this significant aspect of Scottish history, looking at the phenomena of witchcraft belief as part of early modern culture, as well as its prosecution. Other themes that will be covered will include: religion, popular culture, law and order, illness and death, community tensions and gender issues. We will also consider the continuity and development of ideas about magic and witchcraft.

MGMT 172: Sports Management & Culture: A European Perspective
Instructor: Stirling faculty
That Scotland can lay claim to being the home of modern day golf and football (soccer) makes it an ideal place to learn about the integration of culture, management and sport. The aim of this module is to teach you about how sport is managed in Scotland and in Europe and about how it is incorporated into the thread of Scottish culture. The module will include a mixture of lectures and seminars accompanied by academic field trips to Scottish sports clubs and organisations, providing students with an understanding that sport is influenced by cultural traditions, social values and economic factors.

EN 73S - Creative Writing II: Human Spaces
Instructor: Stirling faculty
Human Spaces are where comedy meets tragedy, where the personal meets the public, where art meets life. Under the guidance of expert writers and teachers you will explore these spaces through two of the most powerful modes of human expression: memoir and drama. Through a rich mix of writing exercises and practical workshop sessions, you will learn how to make literature out of your own experience, and take major steps towards writing for the stage. You will also have the opportunity to visit sites of historic importance and natural beauty to inspire your writing. Fulfills CORE 3rd Writing. Performing Arts credit approval pending.

Scotland on Screen
Instructor: Stirling faculty
This module explores images of Scotland in film and television in the context of historically recurrent Scottish cultural themes, with sideways references to literature and Scottish history, and an introductory approach to the topic of representation. The themes of the module include a) Scotland in Hollywood: Brigadoon to Braveheart (Scotland on the American screen, b) the Dark Side: Crime and the Supernatural – from Burke and Hare to Rebus, 3) the Politics of Representation: contemporary Scotland in cinema and television. Fulfills COMM 199. Fieldtrips include screenings and visits to celebrated screen locations.

International Relations
Instructor: Stirling faculty
The module explores contemporary issues and debates that shape world politics today. It starts by introducing International Relations (IR) theory before turning to the three broad themes that dominate: Security, Economics, Environment. The module then analyses two key regions — the Middle East and Africa — before presenting an overall assessment of International Relations. Objectives of this module include: providing an overview of current issues and IR contexts; highlighting inter connections / dependencies as well as recurring themes in IR; and with the help of key concepts, making sense of the world we live in in order to come to an informed conclusion on priorities, regime-building, conflicts and the future of IR. Highlights: Equivalent to POLI025 at SCU. This module includes a visit to the Scottish Parliament.

Religion & Conflict
Instructor: Stirling faculty
Everywhere we look today, from our television screens to the streets of our cities, we see conflict in the name of religion. Some is at the verbal level, some at the military level, some at a catastrophic level. Why does it appear that religion and conflict seem to go hand in hand? This course will explore the nature of this supposed relationship, first by looking at what actually constitutes ‘conflict’ (is it the same as ‘violence’, for example?), second by looking at whether such conflict is actually inherent in what we perceive as ‘religion’ today, and third by looking at the role the media plays in defining these terms and their relationship for us. The course aims to give a more critical perspective on what we see happening around us in the name of religion, and to understand why some religions struggle more than others with the nature of conflict. 

Scottish History: The Jacobites
Instructor: Stirling faculty
For a long time the subject of romanticism and myth, the Jacobites remain an intriguing subject. Themes for this module include royalism – the Stewart monarchy in general, King James VII in particular; multiple monarchy – relations between Scotland and England; Highlands and Lowlands; the wider European context of Jacobitism; and early modern warfare. You will be given the opportunity to make use of the University’s own collection of Jacobite material, the Amulree Collection. Historical objects, images and manuscripts from this collection will offer a unique insight into the study of the Jacobites.

For more information: Please contact Fr. Parnell ( and the International Programs Office.

How to Apply: Click here when you're ready to apply.


Rome Summer Program

ROME, ITALY - Rome Summer Program


Term: Summer
June 19 - July 25, 2009
Cost: TBA
Housing: hotel
Emphasis: None
Application Deadline: March
Language Requirement:
Co-Directors: Dr. Eric Apfelstadt and Dr. Rebecca Edwards

Program Overview:

Like many Romans, Santa Clara summer students will escape the heat and crush of the central city by residing in the beautiful nearby lakeside town of Bracciano.  Bracciano is a popular haven for both tourists desiring a more affordable base for their excursions to Rome and Romans in search of a quieter, safer place to live.  Regular commuter trains from this suburban redoubt, located in the midst of a large regional nature park, reach downtown Rome and the Vatican in less than an hour.  Students will have the opportunity to experience life in both a traditional, small Italian community and one of the world’s great capital cities, while taking classes in both Rome and Bracciano.

Course Offerings: Students will select 2 classes from the following course offerings:

  ARTH 97/197. Bernini and Baroque Rome

Instructor: Eric Apfelstadt, PhD, Princeton
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the greatest European sculptor of the seventeenth century, also excelled in architecture and many other media, to the extent that he, more than any other, fairly may be regarded as the quintessential artist of the Baroque age in Italy. This class will survey Bernini’s unparalleled series of dynamic, illusionistic masterpieces in the context of his talented and often fiercely competitive contemporary artists, his powerful patrons, and the larger forces at work in his society. Museums, galleries, churches and palaces in Rome, where Bernini spent nearly all of his long and fruitful career, will be visited (entrance fees approx. 50 euro). No prerequisite.      

CLAS 107. The World of the Etruscans

Instructor: John Heath, PhD, Stanford
Study a fascinating ancient culture while living under the Etruscan sun!  Taking advantage of our location in the heart of southern Etruria, we will explore the history and culture of the Etruscans, an enigmatic people who dominated much of the area between Florence and Rome until their ultimate subjugation by the expanding Roman republic.  In addition to classes in Bracciano and Rome, we will visit archeological sites and museums in Cerveteri, Tarquinia and Florence. Students will also explore nearby sites on their own. Topics will include Etruscan religion, daily life (especially the status of women), art, and cultural connections with the ancient Greeks and Romans. No prerequisite.   

ITAL 15. Italian Conversation and Composition
Instructor: James Schwarten, PhD, Wisconsin
This intensive course is designed to enable students to develop their speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills in everyday situations. Instruction will be carried out both in the classroom and on location (e.g., in neighborhood markets and cafés) in Rome and its surrounding area. Students will also gain knowledge of Italian culture within the scope of this course. No prerequisite.      

MUSC 112. Writing About Music (CORE 3rd Writing)
Instructor: Rebecca Edwards, PhD, Princeton

The rich Italian musical tradition—from chant to opera and Gabrieli to Boccelli—has helped to lay the foundation for what today's listener hears and thinks. Utilizing the vivid backdrop of Rome's historic sites and performing venues and building upon each student's personal listening habits and level of musical comprehension, this class will promote critical thinking and writing about music—its moods, messages, cultural contexts, historical importance, audiences and, where appropriate, its complexity.  Attention will be paid to the continuation of topics and tools acquired in Composition and Rhetoric I and II, including purpose, genre, authorial voices, methodologies, specialized vocabulary, drafting and revising. Prerequisite: Engl 2.  No prior musical training is necessary. Fulfills CORE 3rd Writing Requirements

TESP 146.  The Morality of Violence in the Political Thought of St. Augustine (CORE 3rd Religion)
Instructor: Robert Dodaro, OSA, DPhil Oxford
Augustine’s attitudes to state-sanctioned violence have shaped Western thinking for centuries, and they continue to engender debate today, especially in the Anglo-American world. Through readings of his letters to public officials, the course will investigate Augustine’s thinking about the moral issues surrounding capital punishment, war, imperialism, criminal justice, torture, and religious coercion. Augustine’s letters, along with some of his sermons, offer today’s students an opportunity to see how a pastor living in a corner of the Roman Empire tried to confront the massive political injustice of his day. Fulfills CORE 3rd Religion Requirements.


About the Location:  The program will be based in the historic town of Bracciano, dominated by the imposing Orsini-Odescalchi castle, on beautiful Lake Bracciano about twenty miles north of Rome.  The town, best known to most Americans as the site of the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes celebrity wedding, is home to degree-granting programs of Rome’s Università La Sapienza and Viterbo’s Università della Tuscia, as well as its own museum and historic archive.  Classes will be held in both Bracciano and Rome, with plenty of time left over for personal exploration.  Regular commuter trains reach downtown Rome, the Trastevere neighborhood and Vatican City in less than an hour.  From there, an inexhaustible wealth of eye-opening experiences awaits.   

Accommodations:  Students will reside in shared rooms with private baths at the Hotel Villa Maria in Bracciano, with breakfast and one full meal provided seven days a week by the hotel’s restaurant.  This small, family-run establishment sits in a park-like hillside setting, a ten-minute walk from both the town center of Bracciano above and the lakeside beaches below.  Numerous recreational opportunities, ranging from hiking and biking to swimming, sailing, wind-surfing, dining and dancing, are available around the lake.


Program-sponsored Travel:  The directors will lead day trips to the historic hill towns of Assisi and Siena. Optional outings at student expense also may be arranged to Florence and Venice.

Other Special Events: Walking tours in Rome, excursions on and around Lake Bracciano, musical performances, and a closing banquet will round out the formal program.

Program Fee:  The fee (actual amount to be determined by the Board of Trustees and published here)  includes tuition, orientation, housing, breakfast and one meal each day, some local transportation, day trips to Assisi and Siena, outings and special events in and around Rome.  Airfare, airport transfers, textbooks, other meals and personal expenses are the student’s responsibility.

Airfare, airport transfers, textbooks, other meals and personal expenses are the student’s responsibility.


About the Directors: Prof. Eric Apfelstadt ( and Prof. Rebecca Edwards (, former SCU faculty members and more recently directors of Loyola University Chicago’s Rome Center, specialize in Italian art and music and have lived and taught in Italy for many years.


Useful Websites:

How to Apply: Click here when you're ready to apply.


Burkina FasoBURKINA FASO - Reading West Africa Program

Term: Fall
Sept.1 - Dec. 10, 2009
Cost: TBA
Housing: community / student housing
Emphasis: Reading West Africa, economic development, social justice, community-based learing, French

Language Requirement:
At least 1 year of French
Program Director: Dr. Michael Kevane (Dept. of Economics)

Program Overview:
  The Santa Clara University Fall Semester Study Abroad/Immersion in Burkina Faso is a study abroad program for intermediate or advanced French-speakers interested in combining academic work on the literature and development challenges of West Africa with immersion and community-based learning experiences in public libraries in small towns and villages in rural areas. Students spend the first six weeks of the program in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, the second six weeks in a rural village in southwestern Burkina Faso, a week in Dogon country, on the Burkina-Mali border, and a final two weeks back in Ouagadougou.

Course Offerings: Students take five courses (Economic Development, Literature, Photography, Intermediate French, Community-based Learning). For course offerings and program details, please visit the Burkina Faso website:

More Information: Visit the website and contact Professor Michael Kevane ( in the Department of Economics.

How to Apply: Click here when you're ready to apply.


Baja ExpeditionBAJA, Mexico - Spring Break Expedition


Term: Spring Break (Winter courses)
Cost: $1,250
Housing: tents
Emphasis: Environmental Studies, Sea Kayak Expedition, 3rd Writing,

Language Requirement:
Program Co-Directors:  Prof. John Farnsworth and Prof. Elizabeth Dahlhoff

Program Overview:
  Co-sponsored by the International Programs Office (IPO) and the Environmental Studies Institute (ESI), this faculty-led Spring Break Sea Kayak Expedition to the desert island of Espiritu Santo enables students to participate in an international program with an academic component. Students are required to take the two courses which are offered in a single Tuesday / Thursday 11:50 AM slot. .

Course Offerings: Students must take both classes during the Winter Quarter in order to participate in the Spring Break expedition.

ENVS 142b, Environmental Writing
Instructor: Prof. John Farnsworth
This course engages students in ecocritical reading and writing about the natural history of Baja California Sur. The on-campus portion of the course prepares students to engage in first-hand explorations of the environment in and around the Sea of Cortez. During the on-site portion of the course, students will compile extensive field notes in preparation for the composition of their own natural histories. Taught in conjunction with ENVS 144. Fulfills the 3rd writing core requirement. Prerequisites: ENGL 1 & 2. Enrollment by application only. Travel fees required. Fulfills third writing core requirement. May be taken as ENGL 174.


BIOL 144, Natural History of Baja
Instructor: Prof. Elizabeth Dahlhoff
Baja California is a land of extremes, of great beauty, and of incredible biological diversity. Humans have inhabited Baja for many thousands of years but have only recently begun to transform it. This course will examine the challenges of sustainable development in a resource rich but ecologically fragile environment. Students will study the natural history of Baja with an emphasis on Espiritu Santo Island, where we will spend several days sea kayaking and studying the local flora, fauna, geology, and marine ecology over spring break. Taught in conjunction with ENVS 142b. Fulfills the world (regional/area studies) core requirement. Enrollment by application only. Travel fees required. Fulfills world area studies requirement. May be taken as ENVS 144.

Services: The fee covers meals, kayak gear, and transportation within Mexico. Airfare to Cabo San Jose NOT included.

Fine Print:

  • Tents will be provided, but you set up your own, and you help with cooking.
  • You must take both classes (taught in a single 11:50 T/R slot Winter quarter)
  • Instructor approval required.

More Information or application: Contact ESI or Prof. John Farnsworth ( and Prof. Elizabeth Dahlhoff (

How to Apply: Click here when you're ready to apply.

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