Center for International Programs - Study Tours

Frequently Asked Questions about Study Tours
What is a Study Tour?

A Study Tour is an academic course offered by SJU faculty combined with a required short-term travel component. The course is held on campus, primarily during the spring or fall semester. Study Tours are designed to introduce students to other countries and cultures.

Who may enroll in a Study Tour?

Any student who is not on academic or disciplinary probation may enroll provided that s/he has received academic advisor approval and has met course pre-requisites. Some Study Tours may have participation restrictions such as class year, course pre-requisites, or GPA.

When do Study Tours run?

It varies. Some tours are spring courses with travel over spring break, or travel in May. Others are summer courses with travel in May or June. Occasionally there are fall courses with travel in January.

What is the length of a Study Tour?

Most last 7-10 days, while others may last only a few days or even two weeks.

Can I participate in only the travel portion?

All students must take the Study Tour courses for credit. Students cannot enroll in a Study Tour course “for the travel portion only.” This means you must register for the course for which you will get a grade and pay tuition. Once you register, your SJU account will be billed for both tuition and travel expenses.

Study Tour or Semester Abroad?

Students interested in gaining international experience may be unsure as to whether to pursue a Study Tour course or a semester, year or summer program. Here is a brief outline of some of the considerations.

  • Courses. Semester abroad students must get pre-approval to take courses overseas so that they will transfer back to SJU for degree requirements. When enrolling in a Study Tour, a student is registering for an SJU class, taught by an SJU professor who will both meet with the group on campus before and after the travel and who will lead the group in classes or site visits during the Study Tour.
  • Immersion. Semester abroad is typically done during a fall or spring semester with the emphasis placed on the individual U.S. student enrolling in an overseas university or host program to take a full load of courses. Semester abroad allows students many months to immerse themselves into the host country, culture and language. A Study Tour is a short travel period designed for a group of students to visit one or several countries. Study Tours will have class meetings on site and students may engage in service learning or other experiences with host country nationals. Study Tours move as a group from site to site quickly, with lots of bus, train and airport transfers in a short time.
  • Housing. Semester abroad students may be able to live with a host family, with host country nationals, with other international students, or with other Americans in dorms or apartments (depending on their program). A Study Tour will typically have students living in dorms or tourist-class hotels.
  • Free Time. Students who live in a host country for a year, semester or summer, will have time outside of classes to explore host city, culture & country or neighboring countries as well. For Study Tour students, the focus is on the group visiting the sites associated with the course, so there is less free time for students to “do their own thing.
What is the cost of a Study Tour?

There is a program fee for all Study Tours that covers airfare, lodging, site visits, insurance, some meals, and more. Program fees vary based upon location and length of stay.

If the academic course is part of the student’s full time semester load, there is no additional tuition charge. If the Study Tour takes place during the summer or is an overload course, the student is required to pay summer or overload tuition as well.

What is the deadline to apply for a Study Tour?

Deadlines vary from program to program. Students applying for spring courses with spring travel will apply in the preceding fall semester. Students applying for fall courses with January travel will apply in the preceding spring semester. See the Upcoming Tours & Deadlines page for specific due dates. Please keep in mind that spaces are limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Some programs fill before the advertised deadlines.

How are students prepared to participate in a Study Tour?

Prior to departure, students complete reading and assignments that help them prepare for the upcoming travel portion of the class. They meet with their professor and classmates throughout the semester to prepare for travel. Students must also attend 2 mandatory pre-departure meetings by CIP. Here, students receive important information on their itinerary as well as tips for traveling related to topics such as packing, currency, and much more. They also receive information on emergency procedures and health & safety issues among other topics. See the Health & Safety page for more information.

If I decide to withdraw from the Study Tour before it runs, will I get my money back?

If SJU cancels a tour, the $300 deposit is refundable. However, if the tour runs and a student decides not to participate, the deposit remains non-refundable. Depending on when a student withdraws their participation in the program, there will also be other program fee withdrawal penalties.

Are there any scholarships available?

Yes. CIP offers grants to several study tour participants. Students must be full-time degree-seeking undergraduates applying for one of the SJU Study Tour. Please see the application for more qualifications. The grant committee will select students based on merit, need, and an essay. The grant application can be found here. Students should also check with academic departments for any scholarships they may have available as well.

How can I pay my Study Tour program fee?

After the Study Tour program fee has been posted to the students’ account, the program fee can be paid online just as one pays their regular tuition. However, a check made payable to Saint Joseph’s University and sent to Hawk Central is the best method of payment. Please be sure to include the program in the ‘memo’ section of the check. The program fee can be paid all at once or in installments adhering to payment deadlines. If students would like to create a more detailed payment plan, they should contact Hawk Central to set one up as soon as they learn they will be participating in the Study Tour. If a student has any questions regarding Study Tour payments, they should contact Hawk Central at 610-660-2000.

Whom can I contact for more information on current Study Tour offerings?

Please contact Lindsey Martin, Coordinator for Study Abroad (610-660-3461 or lmartin@sju.edu).