Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
Keep up-to-date on events, news and tips by talking with your student about our Worldwide Wednesdays Newsletters, which prepare students (and parents) in the months leading up to departure. We also recommend that you attend a Parent Pre-Departure Orientation. The schedule for these sessions can be found here.
There are many convenient and inexpensive ways to communicate with your child, while he/she is abroad. It will make the distance seem shorter and the time pass faster. Skype, Whatsapp and Facetime are all popular ways to keep in touch with each other, anywhere in the world, for free! Make sure to arrange times to communicate with your student in advance. And don't forget the time difference!
Although we take every precaution to prepare students for studying abroad, it is always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. Even if you do not intend to visit your student while abroad, you should make sure that your passport is current and that it will not expire within six months of your child's scheduled return date. You should also keep copies of all of your child's important information, such as passport photo page, insurance policies, flight itinerary, etc. We encourage your students to make extra copies for themselves as well.
Feel free to Visit
We encourage you to visit during a break, long weekend, or at the end of term so you can take a family vacation together when your student does not have any academic commitments. Please look at our Academic Calendars for program dates and semester breaks. Though we are unable to offer you accommodations in our student housing, all of our cities have hotel accommodations that meets a wide range of budgets.
You and your son or daughter may have many of the same questions. For that reason, we also encourage you to visit the General Frequently Asked Questions page. We provide answers to additional questions below, but also welcome you to contact our office at any time throughout your student's process.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the benefits to my child studying abroad?
Studying abroad is a huge benefit for students in so many ways - it gives them independence to study away from home, introducing them to new cultures, and broadening their knowledge of the world, their field of study and themselves. Studying abroad is like the A, B, Cs -
A. Academics – Studying abroad enhances your child’s intellectual and personal journey at St. John's, in order to expand their mind, broaden their horizons and gain new perspectives on their own world and the world around them. The coursework abroad allows students to take a step out of the classroom and apply their education to the cities abroad that serve as their living academic laboratories.
B. Building a better world – To change the world you have to get out see it and come in contact with communities. The unique aspect of St. John’s Global Studies programs is our commitment to service learning, in keeping with our Vincentian heritage and university mission. Each semester-long program offers service-learning components. Your child will be reaching out to the poor and fighting for social change. Students will have the opportunity to work in feeding programs, urban clean-up, refugee centers and more.
C. Career advantage – Studying abroad is an investment in your child’s personal and professional future to help distinguish them from the crowd. Employers look for well-rounded candidates who show adaptability, drive and independent thinking; students can demonstrate their leadership skills, independence and flexibility by going abroad and opening themselves up to other ways of living, thinking and doing.
Why would I want to send my child away from home? What can my child get abroad that they can’t get in New York City?
By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to transfer what they have learned in class directly into the environment around them. After reading about Monet’s paintings, students have the chance to see the beauty of the Giverny gardens in person, or, as they study various world religions, they can see for themselves what makes Rome one of the most important religious centers in the world. Your child will be able to bring to life what they’ve previously only read about in books, gaining valuable experiences that they’ll bring to bear on their future personal—and professional—lives.
What support is available overseas?
We provide full support through on-site faculty, administrators, coordinators and staff who are able to provide assistance and guidance to students as they live and study abroad.
What resources do you provide for parents through the application process?
Though federal laws prevent us from sharing the specifics of your student’s application and educational goals, we encourage parents of admitted students to fully research our programs and be part of the entire process. As a starting point, please read our Parent Letter for additional ideas on how best to stay involved. The letter discusses preparing students for life abroad, working with them once they are abroad, and making the most of the study abroad experience upon return from the program. You'll also find that all our materials—from visa guidelines to required forms—are available exclusively online under the Accepted Students section of this site, so you have full access to the same materials as your student. Finally, we encourage you to keep in close contact with your student throughout the experience, so please talk about applying for and attending study abroad programs—make it a joint project. If you have questions about the programs, or anything else, you are always welcome to contact us at 718-990-6105 or via email.
When will I know if my son/daughter has been admitted?
We accept students on a rolling admissions process until classes are filled. Students are generally notified via email if they have been accepted within two weeks of submitting their application to the program.
Is this something my son/daughter should put on his/her resume?
Definitely! The world continues to become more “globalized” with each passing year. Through an employer's eyes, students who have studied abroad are self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges and able to cope with diverse situations. Experience living and studying in a foreign country, will give your son/daughter a competitive advantage over other professional and academic applicants.
May I visit my child while he/she is studying abroad?
Absolutely! We encourage you to visit during a break, long weekend or at the end of term so you can take a family vacation together when your student does not have academic commitments. Though we are unable to offer you accommodations in our student housing, all of our cities have hotel accommodations that meet a wide range of budgets.
What are the requirements for studying abroad?
Applicants must also have a minimum G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in order to participate, and must have completed one full year of undergraduate study in order to qualify for a semester program abroad.
Will my child be safe? What happens if a location becomes unsafe, does St. John’s University have a contingency plan in place?
Yes, we are committed to operating safe study abroad programs and therefore security is our priority. The Office of International and our on-site resident directors and liaisons make every reasonable effort to monitor the safety of the programs and their students. One of the resources used is the U.S. State Department's website (http://travel.state.gov), which we would encourage you to visit. If a situation arises, our Emergency Response Team would decide what action should be taken in coordination with St. John's Public Safety.
What is expected from my son/daughter while traveling with St. John’s?
Students are held to the same standards abroad as on the New York Campus. Students must follow the same guidelines regarding behavior, academic standing and good student citizenship. Though these incidents are very rare, if students fail to live up to the program expectations, they may be asked to leave the program and return to the US at their own expense and without refund for the program.
Will my son/daughter still be able to stay on track towards graduation?
Yes! Students will earn credits towards their undergraduate degree requirements. Most times, students can cover their general core requirements and, depending on the program chosen, can even take classes to count towards their major or minor.
St. John’s offers a wide variety of options to make a study abroad experience academically feasible for all students. Our courses are selected from the most popular classes we offer in New York, and we offer language and culture classes to ensure that their time abroad is focused on the places where you’ll be studying.
A full semester abroad may not fit into every student's schedule, so we also offer shorter programs to allow for maximum flexibility. We’re constantly expanding the number — and academic breadth — of our programs, making it increasingly likely that study abroad will fit somewhere into their schedule. However, advanced planning is key. We encourage students to sit down with their academic advisors to chart out the remainder of their academic career as soon as possible and find out where a study abroad semester, summer or intersession fits best.
New Work Study Opportunities available in Rome and Paris!
St. John's students can take advantage of an incredible opportunity to receive Federal Work Study experience while attending a study abroad program! For more information, visit our Work Opportunities Abroad page.