Studying abroad during your time at Santa Clara is an important decision which requires proper advising from a variety of people including your academic adviser, a study abroad adviser, program recruiters, returned study abroad students, and most definitely your parents. At the very least, you should discuss the following questions with each of these advisers:
Study Abroad 101
All students who want to study abroad are encouraged to attend one of the Study Abroad 101 sessions. Led by the Study Abroad staff, these group advising sessions are the first step to a year-long process. At the end of the session, you should know the answer to the following questions.
- Who are your contacts for study abroad advising?
- Why Study Abroad?
- How to choose a study abroad program?
- What are the three types of study abroad program?
- How do I comparison between program types: academics, cost, student life?
- What's the study abroad admission process?
- What are the eligibility requirements for study abroad?
- How much will I pay for study abroad program?
- What are the funding sources for studying abroad?
- How do I apply?
Make an appointment with your academic adviser within your major to discuss your academic plan. The goal of your meeting should be to understand your complete graduation requirements and to get his/her approval to petition and apply to study abroad. Download the Academic Advisor Approval Form
to bring to your appointment for his/her signature at the conclusion of your discussion. At the end of your appointment, you should have a good understanding of the following questions:
- What Santa Clara courses do you need to complete by your Junior and Senior year in order to graduate on time?
- Which Santa Clara requirements (major, minor, or core) do you absolutely need to fulfill during the term that you plan to study abroad in order to stay on track with your graduation plan?
- Since open electives are the easiest to fulfill abroad, does your major allow room in your academic plan to take 1 or 2 electives during your time abroad?
- Does your faculty adviser have any recommendation for a study abroad program that would maximize your major, career plans, etc? (NOTE: Don't worry if your academic adviser has no clue; the Study Abroad Office staff will have plenty of recommendations for you based on your Academic Planning Sheet.
- Does your adviser approve your pursuing a study abroad program? If so, have him / her sign the bottom of the Academic Planning Sheet authorizing you to apply to an appropriate study abroad program?
Study Abroad Adviser
Ideally you should talk with your academic adviser first and have a good understanding of your graduation requirements before making an appointment to meet with a staff
at the Study Abroad Office. We would be able to recommend some study abroad programs for you based on your Academic Planning Sheet. Call or visit the office (located in Varsi Hall, first floor). By the end of your appointment with the study abroad adviser, you should have a good understanding of the following:
- How to search for the appropriate study abroad program that maximizes your academic plan, career choices, personal and professional plans.
- How to find the appropriate courses that you can potentially get approved to fulfill your major, minor, or core requirements.
- What is the process of getting an abroad course approved to fulfill your graduation requirements.
- Ways to hone your search for the appropriate study abroad program for you.
- Where to find the appropriate fees for each program based on your GPA, budget, country, city, housing option, courses offered, terms abroad, etc.
- How to utilize the International Education Month.
- The 4-step process of researching, petitioning, applying, and preparing for your study abroad experience.
Returned Study Abroad Students
Contact them via email (find returned student contact information in the Explore section of our website) to meet over coffee, chat via the internet, or send them your questions via email. At your meeting or correspondence with a returned study abroad student, you should ask the following questions:
- What are the pluses & minuses of the specific program location in terms of academics, social, cultural, practical, etc.
- What did you find as the risks associated with the program location from a student perspectives?
- Where kind of housing options were available to students? How did your housing choice affect your study abroad experience?
- What courses did you take abroad? How difficult were they compared to courses at Santa Clara?
- How much does a student need per week, month in the program-location?
- What tips do you offer?
Our Study Abroad Peer Advisers are students who work at the Study Abroad Office and help answer students' questions about studying abroad. Be sure to ask them any questions about the eligibility requirements, program options, application procedures, etc. If they are unable to answer your questions, then they have access to set up appointments with the study abroad adviser. Before you call the office to talk with a Peer Adviser, please review the Frequently Asked Questions page first.
Parents / Guardians
The foundation of your advising should be your parents or guardians. Some parents will appreciate being a part of the process from the very beginning so encourage them to participate in the sessions on study abroad during the Parents Weekend. You can also alert them to the Parents Resources page on our website which contains helpful information for them. Our recommendation is for students to do all the research, narrow their choices down to three options, and use the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to discuss all your findings. Whatever your parents/guardians prefer, you should be ready to discuss the following with them:
- Give the advantages / disadvantages of your top three choices of program locations.
- The actual (price point I, II, III, or IV) and the estimated additional cost of your program location.
- What financial aid do you plan to apply for to off-set the actual and estimated cost of your program.
- Download the Budget Planning Sheet and work with your parents to complete as a way to understand all the expenses associated with study abroad programs.
- What are the actual risk factors for your program choices.
- Give your parents the phone number ( 408-551-3019 ) for the Study Abroad Office in case they have any follow up questions.