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Family Resources

As you consider the many options available for your student’s education, study abroad—with its deep engagement with other cultures—has the potential to be among the most personally rewarding and eye-opening experience of their academic career, setting them apart for their careers beyond their days at St. John's. All of our programs are dedicated to providing excellent academics and cultural integration in an environment that prioritizes student safety and success.

We are here to help your students decide which program is best for their curriculum, and to help prepare them as they get ready to go. But as we work with them before departure, we emphasize one value in particular: personal responsibility. It’s our firmest belief that students who engage fully in the process, attending pre-departure sessions and meeting requirements by deadline, will have an easier time with the transition to another country. We are dedicated to helping them throughout and look forward to our time with your students—both in New York and abroad—and we also encourage you to support your students by learning about our requirements by visiting our Accepted Student page (under For Students). You can be an effective advocate and offer a gentle “nudge” from time to time to help keep them on track for their successful experience living in a different country. We promise that their experience will be all the better for it!

One special note: when your student returns, she/he/they will join an elite group—currently, only about 10% of college graduates have studied abroad. By taking advantage of an OIE program, St. John's students acquire a truly competitive advantage in today’s increasingly global marketplace.

We strongly encourage you to read through our Tips and FAQs below, which provide additional advice aimed specifically at preparing for your student’s time abroad. For example, did you know that you, too, should have a valid passport in advance of your student’s travel? 

We look forward to welcoming you and your student to our OIE family and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions.

More information

Studying abroad is an incredible learning experience for your student; however, we realize that saying bon voyage! to a child can be stressful for parents and families. Familiarizing yourself with the basic facts of your student's program before s/he departs makes for a smoother transition once the program begins. It can also help foster a productive way for you to support your student through their process.  Students should be responsible for their own preparations, as part of the study abroad experience, but we do encourage families to check in, keep their students on task, and support them through this incredible adventure.

What does the program fee cover?

Home Away From Home

Comfortable and safe housing accommodations are provided during all study abroad programs. Students traveling on our programs to Rome, Italy, and Paris, France stay in shared St. John's University's accommodations. Students participating in one of our Western Europe programs will travel to both Rome and Paris, in addition to our partner school, Mary Immaculate College, in Limerick, Ireland. The facilities at all three of these locations allow for students to have a safe and centrally-located home away from home. The Office of International Education, along with our teams in Europe, arranges safe accommodations for students participating in short-term programs and exchange programs as well. These accommodations may include hotels, hostels, apartments or dormitories. Please see individual programs for more details about your student's accommodations, or learn more about our locations abroad.

Accommodations in Europe

Students in Rome and Paris live in dorm-style housing during our semester programs with double, triple or quad occupancy. Some dormitories have private bathrooms in each room, while others have gender-specific communal bathrooms on each floor.  In Limerick, students stay at a centrally located hotel in walking distance to campus. Students can access free wireless internet throughout the buildings. Learn more about housing at each of our locations abroad.


The safety of our students is a top priority to St. John's University. All destinations are considered travel-safe by the Department of State. Just like on our New York campuses, our campuses abroad have 24-hour security to ensure that students can live and learn in a safe environment. To learn more, please visit our Health and Safety page


St. John's University provides sheets, blankets, pillows and towels for students participating in one of our semester programs in Europe. We realize that it is difficult to travel light when packing for months at a time, so we help to "lighten the load" with these provisions. We also provide cleaning services for the linens every two and a half weeks. Students are welcome to clean their linens more often or to bring extras if they choose.  


Foreign outlets are usually different than American outlets, so students may need adapters while they are abroad. The voltage can also be different, so certain appliances will need converters as well. However, it is sometimes safer and more convenient to purchase appliances, like hair dryers which produce heat, once the students arrive in their destination.

Meal Plans

For our semester programs in Europe, St. John's provides a meal plan covering two meals per day, four days per week since classes only meet Monday to Thursday. This allows students to be flexible with their weekend travel plans without feeling tied down to a dining schedule. Meals are not provided during the fall and spring breaks. For details on the meal plan for each location, please visit our locations abroad. Students should set aside spending money for meals on non-class days. Students participating in short-term programs or exchange programs can review their individual program pages or contact us to find out about meal plan options specific to their program. 

Onsite Administration

St. John's University provides a team of bilingual, on-site staff for our semester programs in Rome, Paris and Limerick. These administrators are important resources for students studying abroad, guiding them in their transition, facilitating cultural experiences and assisting with day-to-day activities on campus and around local cities. These administrators are also available to help students who are struggling with homesickness and/or other issues that may arise during their program.

Stay Informed

Keep up-to-date on events, news and tips by talking with your student about our Worldwide Wednesdays Newsletters, which prepare students (and families) in the months leading up to departure. We also recommend that you attend a Family Pre-Departure OrientationThe schedule for these sessions can be found here.

Communicate Regularly

There are many convenient and inexpensive ways to communicate with your student, while s/he is abroad. It will make the distance seem shorter and the time pass faster. SkypeWhatsApp 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! 

Be Prepared

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. We recommend visiting at the end of the program, when your student will be the most relaxed and most confident in showing YOU around their new international home!  Please review 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 student may have many of the same questions.  For that reason, we also encourage you to see Frequently Asked Questions section of our Go Global! page. We provide answers to additional questions below, but also welcome you to contact our office at any time throughout your student's process. 

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?

Study abroad can be a formative academic and personal experience, but equally important, global experience can provide that competitive advantage on the job market and for graduate school. Nationally, only about 10% of college undergraduates have studied abroad, while over 40% of St. John's students study abroad at some point during their academic career! 

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. Click here for tips on how your student can market their overseas experiences to potential employers. 

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, 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 Finances for Study Abroad page

The Office of International Education invites all parents of students who have confirmed for a semester or short-term program to review OIE's Family Pre-Departure Orientation (updated as of Spring 2022).

Please call OIE at (718) 990-6105 or email [email protected] if you have any questions.