Study Abroad: Faculty & Staff
Whether you are creating your own study abroad experience, planning a study tour or summer program or recommending a student for a study abroad program outside of Hawk Hill, the Center for International Programs appreciates your dedication and support of students studying abroad. We realize that in many cases it would not be possible without your preparation and encouragement.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. If you're interested in scheduling a brief classroom visit by a CIP staff member or a peer ambassador, we'd be happy to assist with that as well.
Saint Joseph's University and the Center for International Programs are pleased to offer our students study abroad opportunities around the world, led by our very own faculty members. Whether you are a first-time leader or a seasoned veteran of our short-term programs, we are glad to see that you are considering leading a group of Hawks abroad.
To encourage student participation, Saint Joseph's study tours and summer programs bridge many academic disciplines across campus and many countries across the world. The courses are led by SJU faculty with logistical coordination provided by the CIP and a tour provider.
A coordinator plays an important role in the success of Saint Joseph's short-term abroad programs. The coordinator helps the CIP and faculty with trip planning and acts as the key logistics manager, working full-time to support students during the group's time abroad. A candidate's prime motivation for helping with the program should be to help the students with their learning experience. The study tours and summer programs are offered to students as learning experiences and not vacations, so the coordinator must expect to be working for the group and not pursuing his/her own interests in the country(ies) visited.
Interested in being a coordinator? Learn more about the qualifications, benefits and application process. If you have any questions, you may also contact us.
All students must submit at least two (2) electronic recommendations from faculty who have taught them in class to be considered for University approval to study abroad for a semester or year. We appreciate your support in this process, as the reference is a vital part of our application review.
We encourage students to discuss their intent to request a recommendation from you before using the online request system. We've also notified students that it's best to give two weeks' notice for faculty recommendations, as their study abroad application will not be considered complete until the faculty recommendations have been received.
A limited number of completed and eligible applications will be approved on a first-come, first-serve basis. Therefore, early applications are being encouraged.
Submitting a Recommendation
If a student has requested a recommendation from you, you will receive an automated email prompting you to complete an electronic recommendation (this method is preferred), or they may bring you a paper form to complete and submit to the CIP. The email requests will always list the student's name, study abroad program and term abroad, as well as a link to complete the recommendation.
If you DO NOT have an active "application" (i.e., program proposal, coordinator application or travel registration) in the CIP's online portal, please use the "Recommenders" link provided in the email. This will prompt you to enter a Recommendation ID and the student's last name, both of which will be in the email. You will then be taken to an electronic form to complete and submit. Please note that the credentials provided will only be valid for seven days after you receive the email. If you do not complete the recommendation within seven days, you will need to contact us so that we can resend the request.
If you DO have an active "application" (i.e., program proposal, coordinator application or travel registration) in the CIP's online portal, follow the "SJU" instructions to log in to the portal with your SJU username and password. To see a list of all of your recommendations (pending and completed), click “Recommender Home” in the upper right corner. To complete a recommendation, select the student under "Pending Recommendations" and complete the brief questionnaire provided to you.
Paper recommendation forms can be hand-delivered to the CIP office in LaFarge Residence Hall, Suite 10 or sent through campus mail. If sending through campus mail, please keep a copy for yourself in case it is lost.
Group Travel with Students
Request and Approval Process
SJU employees who plan to travel internationally with students — for *non-academic purposes — must first make their request through The Nest (it is recommended that this occur at least 6 months prior to the planned travel):
- After logging into The Nest, go to the Employee tab
- Under “Business Expense and Travel," click on "Travel Booking"
- Next, click on “Group Block Air Space Request Form"
- Complete the form with all required information
Your request will be sent to Procurement Services, the Center for International Programs and the University’s designated travel agency, Direct Travel. The role of the CIP is to ensure that the group will not be traveling to a prohibited location (per the Interim SJU International Travel Policy).
If the location is approved, a representative from Direct Travel will reach out to you to begin planning travel. In addition, the CIP will contact you regarding the next steps required by the University. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Registration of all participants, including the trip leaders
- Attendance at a mandatory health and safety meeting for students and a risk management training for trip leaders
- Purchase of international insurance coverage for the group
*If you are a faculty member proposing a Study Tour or Summer Program, you do not need to complete a Group Travel Request. Your proposal is sufficient.
Trip Leader Registration
For health and safety purposes, all faculty/staff/adult facilitators accompanying students on a University-sponsored, non-academic, international program must register such travel with the Center for International Programs and participate in a mandatory risk management training session.
As you are advising students during the course of their academic careers, many will express interest in studying overseas for part of that career. The frequently asked questions below should help you to answer many of those questions. For a comprehensive list of program options and detailed information, please visit the CIP's program portal. If you have a question that wasn't addressed on this page, please contact us.
As a teacher and mentor, you are in a position to best help them frame the answer to the question, “What do you want to accomplish abroad?” This can be academic, personal or professionally focused. Personal development and the ability to travel will be options wherever they go. Get the students to think of what they want to do upon arrival, beyond just tourist experiences. Encourage students to think past study abroad as a geographical exercise (for example, not WHERE in Ireland do you want to go, but WHY go to Ireland?). Remind students that they have to be active participants in their education, most importantly when they arrive at their host country.
The all-important first step is to encourage the student to make an appointment with an advisor at the CIP. We encourage all students to have individual meetings with our study abroad advisors where they can talk in more detail about their goals, get detailed information about programs and eligibility requirements and complete the application process. Students are also encouraged to meet with their academic adviser to discuss course planning.
Students who are planning on studying overseas can take any number of courses while abroad. In general, we advise students to save some of their GEP variable courses, such as art, literature, religious difference, etc., as many of our approved programs offer similar courses. Students may need to take a language course while abroad and should save one elective (or their language requirement, if not completed yet) to do so. Many students have had success in taking upper-level elective courses that count towards their major while abroad. Students can find the lists of pre-approved courses for each of our 29 approved/affiliated programs on our program portal (under each program's "Brochure Page") and in our office.
Students who apply to any study abroad program must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with Saint Joseph’s University. For semester/year abroad, they must also have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and be at least a second-semester sophomore (though most of our approved/affiliated programs have a higher GPA requirement).
There is no GPA requirement for the SJU faculty-led study tours and summer programs, but students do need to make sure that they’ve met any course pre-requisites.
If the credits are not appearing on the student’s transcript, then it is likely that one of three things has happened:
- The host university has not issued the transcript yet (we typically receive transcripts from abroad 8-10 weeks after the program ends).
- The student did not request that their transcript be sent to the CIP.
- The student owes the program provider money and the transcript will not be issued until the bill has been settled.
Please have the student contact the CIP office immediately if they have questions or concerns about their credits from study abroad.
During the 2017-2018 academic year, 329 students studied abroad. Of those, 86 students participated in a Study Tour, 42 in an SJU summer program, 189 students spent a semester abroad and 2 stayed for a full academic year.
The CIP provides the avenue for faculty in all academic areas to teach a study abroad course. Faculty may submit proposals to lead an SJU study tour or summer program.
The Center for International Programs is located in LaFarge Residence Hall, Suite 10. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.