Office of International Education

The mission of the St. Mary’s College Office of International Education is to provide support for students, faculty, administrators, staff, and institutional partners as they collaborate in opportunities for educational and cultural exchange to achieve global awareness and engagement within the framework of the College’s commitment to academic excellence. In its daily work, the Office of International Education advises and assists St. Mary’s College students who wish to study abroad for academic credit. The office also administers the National Student Exchange program and provides programming and services. For each of these programs, see the Office of International Education in Glendening Hall, Suite 230.


Studying abroad is one way that students may satisfy the Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World element of the Core Curriculum. Students are also encouraged to integrate their study-abroad experience with a St. Mary’s Project. (See a description of St. Mary’s Projects.)

The values that are the foundation of international education are the following: building knowledge, skills, and attitudes in St. Mary’s graduates to deepen their understanding of interconnections among local, international, and global communities; understanding fundamental issues or characteristics of life in the 21st century that require understanding other cultural perspectives on these issues; creating a campus community climate that is inquisitive and dedicated to appreciating global diversity; supporting students, faculty, and staff in study, work, and extracurricular activities beyond the campus in international communities and environments; and fostering self reflection, personally and culturally, through international education experiences.

Students can participate in one of the St. Mary’s College-sponsored study-abroad programs described below, or they can apply to attend another program with the approval of the College and apply to have the credits transferred back to St. Mary’s. A student who chooses to participate in a non-St. Mary’s program has the option to remain a full-time student at St. Mary’s and receive applicable benefits for an administrative fee. Students interested in finding a program that is right for them should consult the Office of International Education and their academic adviser at least a year in advance of the time they wish to go abroad.

Regular information meetings are held throughout each semester. Application deadlines are October 15th for spring semester or winter-break study abroad, and March 1st for summer or fall semester study abroad. Students who wish to study abroad also should become familiar with the “Study Abroad” section that appears in the “Academic Policies” section of this catalog. Students receiving financial aid should consult the director of financial aid for details about the possibility of applying their aid toward program fees.



St. Mary's has designated St. Mary’s in Programs in Argentina, The Gambia, Italy, and Thailand to offer students long-term opportunities abroad for the same cost as tuition, room, and board at St. Mary's. Participants make progress toward their degrees by earning Core Curriculum or upper- division credits for courses taught abroad by St. Mary's faculty or hand-selected, qualified English-speaking international faculty.


St. Mary’s Semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina

St. Mary’s in Argentina combine coursework designed for St. Mary’s students with local and regional excursions as well as meaningful contact with Argentines through home-stays with local families and volunteer or internship experiences. The program is designed for both advanced-level Spanish learners and students with only one year of Spanish who successfully fulfill the minimum requirement of ILCS102 or ILCS110 by the end of the semester prior to their participation in the program.


James Cook University (JCU)

James Cook University offers St. Mary’s students access to a broad curriculum at a comprehensive research institution. SMCM students may take courses within their majors or on topics that are uniquely Australian. The locations of the Townsville and Cairns campuses near both the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforest (the Daintree Rainforest north of Cairns) make JCU a popular destination for students interested in tropical ecology.


Faculty/Student Exchange Program with Fudan University

St. Mary's College and Fudan University (Shanghai, China) sponsor a faculty-student exchange program. Fudan University faculty teach and conduct research at St. Mary's College, and students from St. Mary's study Chinese language and culture at Fudan University for a semester or a full academic year.


Institute for Central American Development Studies (ICADS)

Students who have completed at least ILCS102 have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Central American region through study with ICADS for a semester or full academic year. ICADS focuses on women’s issues, economic development, environmental studies, public health, education, human rights, and wildlife conservation. ICADS is therefore well suited not just for students of Spanish and Latin American Studies, but also other disciplines. For more information, visit the ICADS web site: To apply for the program contact the Office of International Education or a Spanish professor in the Department of International Languages and Cultures.


Semester at Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

This program in Oxford provides an opportunity for students to take courses in anthropology, art, art history, economics, history, language, law, literature, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, sociology, and women studies at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (affiliated with Keble College of Oxford University) for one or two semesters, or a summer term.


Exchange Program with Institut D'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)

This exchange program provides an opportunity for students to study at “Sciences Po,” one of Europe’s premier institutions for the social sciences. Students may take content courses in French or English or a combination of the two. St. Mary’s students take classes alongside Sciences Po peers. Concentrations are offered in economics and business, European studies, French studies, history, international relations, law, political science, and sustainable development. In addition to study in Paris, students may opt to enroll in regional campuses with their own distinct academic themes: Dijon focuses on Eastern European studies; Nancy on French-German; Poitiers on Latin America, Spain, and Portugal; Menton on Middle East and Mediterranean; and Le Havre on Asia. Full-year participants may work toward an international certificate.

Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux III.

Students with advanced French language skills may enroll directly in a large variety of courses within the arts and humanities at Bordeaux III. Students with a lesser degree of proficiency may enroll in French as foreign language courses.


St. Mary’s in The Gambia – at the University of The Gambia (UTG)

Students have the opportunity to participate in St. Mary's College's PEACE (Promoting Educational and Cultural Exchange) program in The Gambia, West Africa. Fall and spring semester programs each have their own focus, but have in common an in-country orientation, language and culture course, elective courses with Gambian students taught by professors from St. Mary's or the University of the Gambia, and opportunities for community work and engagement.


University of Heidelberg Exchange Program

Students with an adequate knowledge of German may study in a variety of disciplines for a semester or an academic year in Heidelberg. Students can attend Heidelberg after graduation if they do so in the semester immediately following their semester abroad.


Lingnan University Exchange Program

Students of all majors may study in Hong Kong, one of Asia's most dynamic cities, for a semester or year at Lingnan University. Lingnan is Hong Kong's premier liberal arts university on its own residential campus. The university offers a broad selection of classes in the humanities, social sciences, and business. Courses are offered in English and Cantonese.


Semester in Pondicherry, India

In partnership with IISAC, students experience India through short-term travel as part of the South India Study Tour and long-term study in Pondicherry. Students enroll in 15 credits made up of a combination of core, elective, or individualized courses. The required core courses are taught by hand-selected program faculty. Electives may be selected from those offered at the University of Pondicherry where students will take classes alongside their Indian peers.


St. Mary's in Alba, Italy

St. Mary’s and Italian faculty offer the opportunity for St. Mary’s students to complete courses that fulfill Core Curriculum or major requirements while experiencing northern Italy’s Piedmonte region – site of the St. Mary’s and City of Alba Summer Music Festival. Students take Italian language throughout the semester as well as elective courses in one of two tracks: music or rotating disciplines.


St. Mary’s in Thailand – Payap University

Payap University offers St. Mary’s students the opportunity to explore and appreciate the languages, cultures, and peoples of Southeast Asia. Students are required to take Thai language and Thai history and culture courses, and may select remaining courses from offerings in such disciplines as fine arts, history, political science, religious studies, and sociology/anthropology.


Belize: Marine Biology Study Tour

This course introduces students to the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics and processes of coastal tropical marine environments. The course uses the Caribbean as a primary example to instruct students on the application of the scientific method for ecological/environmental research problems. Students conduct self-designed projects in the field while in the Caribbean. Offered every other year during the spring semester.

The Gambia: West Africa Field Study Program

This program aims to increase participants' understanding about and appreciation for the contributions of African civilizations to global society and culture. Offered every other year during the summer.

Greece: The Greece Study Tour

This program will explore the history and culture of Greece through historical, philosophical, literary, and religious readings, through evening seminars, and through visiting archaeological and cultural sites related to the readings and seminars. Offered every other year during the summer.

India: Religions of India Study Tour

Past offerings of this study tour have focused on an intensive immersion experience of culture and society in the Indian Himalayas and the Ganges plain. The tour provides direct experience of the practices, life-styles, worldviews, and philosophies of five major religious traditions in India: Hinduism, Islamism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. The tour exposes students to the nature and history of inter-religious relations in India, focusing on Hindu-Muslim relations but including study of the history and circumstances of Tibetan Buddhists in India.

Italy: Spring Festival Music Tour

Students work side by side with St. Mary’s music faculty and Italian musicians to study music performance by attending master classes and performing concerts. The study tour is offered every year, May to June.

Thailand: Engaged Buddhism in Thailand

The focus of this program is to explore traditional and contemporary Buddhist views on the relationships between Buddhist wisdom and social justice. Students will have the opportunity to meet with a number of leaders of the Engaged Buddhist movement in Thailand and learn first-hand how they apply traditional Buddhist principles to contemporary problems.  Offered every other year during the summer.


Student Teaching Internships
MAT students in good standing have the opportunity to complete a portion of their internship abroad in either Slovenia, Costa Rica, or The Gambia.. Please see the chair of the Department of Educational Studies during the first summer of the MAT program for details.


The Office of International Education provides assistance to international exchange students on campus. St. Mary’s College students volunteer to be “international ambassadors” to help visiting students acquaint themselves with St. Mary’s College, to help them adjust to college life in the United States, and to introduce them to American culture.


St. Mary's is a member of National Student Exchange (NSE), a consortium of more than 160 colleges in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. St. Mary's students can attend one of these institutions for a semester or academic year while paying tuition and fees at St. Mary's and room and board at the host school. Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 to participate. Applications are due at the beginning of February, and placements are made in early March for the following year.