Five students in Assisi

Academic and Cultural Advantages

In choosing which courses to offer abroad, we select from the most popular classes and the most flexible major courses offered in New York—but with an international “twist.”  And studying abroad can be an easy way to add a minor to your degree!

For example, you can satisfy an Art requirement with one of our sections of “Survey of Art and Architecture in Italy”, often meeting out in the city of Rome where you’ll learn about historical landmarks such as the Pantheon and St. Peter’s by exploring them firsthand with your professor. Courses abroad satisfy a core or major requirement for your degree with an added focus on experiential learning, whether through site visits, Academic Service-Learning, or city-based projects. It’s just another way to help immerse you in your global environment to make the most of your experience, focusing your time on the amazing places where you’ll live and study.

Dynamic and Interactive Classes

Imagine sitting outside the Coliseum under the sunny Italian sky, drawing a piece of history as part of your “Italian Sketchbook” class. Or maybe you’re more interested in our Limerick course on “The Impact of Migration on the European Economy”, through which you’ll tackle complex social issues before heading out into the streets to feed the hungry? No matter the subject, our courses offer you local context — firmly embedded in the host city — for understanding the global framework of each discipline.  

Outstanding International Faculty

Our New York City departments, chairs, and faculty select their local colleagues based on their area of expertise, teaching excellence, and education — the majority of our professors have terminal degrees. Best of all, we ensure small class size to foster great in-class discussions and strong academic quality.  

A Broad Range of Classes in English to Meet (Nearly!) Every Student’s Needs

Though we encourage you to learn some of the local language, there’s no need to be fluent in your host city’s language.  After all, the majority of our classes (except language classes, of course) are taught in English. We offer a broad range of disciplines—from International Business and Hospitality Management, to Economics and Philosophy—to make the semester work for you. Most courses meet core requirements to make study abroad an option for nearly all St. John’s students. And many students supplement their study abroad semester with online courses through their home department to stay on track for graduation.

We also offer several major-specific semester programs each year, including programs specially designed for students in Pharmacy, Business, Biology and Chemistry, Government and Politics, Literature, Education, and Psychology, both in our single-country and three-country programs.

The GLCC Component of our Campuses Abroad

In order to ensure the highest level of language acquisition, students registered for language class levels 1010C, 1020C, 2030C and 2040C on the Paris or Rome Campus are required to participate in weekly 30-minute practice and conversation sessions in small groups, under the guidance of a tutor. Students enrolled in a 1000-level course are required to partake in 1 hour of practice each week. In addition to the language practice requirement, tutors may engage students in optional cultural activities (paid for by the students), fostering a local cross-cultural learning community. These sessions are meant to mirror the language resources offered by the Global Language and Culture Center (GLCC) on the Queens campus. 

Academic Internship Opportunities in Europe

St. John's international internship program offers students with advanced French or Italian language skills the opportunity to earn academic credit while gaining invaluable overseas work experience, immersed in an unrivaled environment for honing their foreign language skills.  Set yourself apart in your field during your semester or summer program in Rome or Paris with hands-on work experience in your area of interest.  OIE in New York and Europe, along with the faculty coordinators and the Office of Career Services, will help prepare and place candidates in a wide range of disciplines: from Hospitality Management and Biology, to Psychology, Education, Environmental Studies and more.  For more information on the internship process and student resources, please visit our page on internships in Europe.

Earn a Minor in Italian Studies

The minor in Italian Studies consists of 18 credits including:

  • One Italian language course
  • Five courses from among the following:  ART 1095, ART 1250, ART 1790, ENG 2500, HMT 2025, ITA 3910, ITA 3980 and ITA 4000, or other courses related to Italian art, history, culture or economics. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Annalisa Sacca at [email protected]

Earn a Minor in International Studies

The International Studies Minor is awarded through the College of Professional studies, but approved by your academic dean in your home college.  The minor is comprised of 18 credit hours to be satisfied through any combination of the following. The minor may not be completed in one semester, but is comprised of 18 credit hours to be satisfied through any combination of the following.

  • Courses offered by St. John’s that are based outside the U.S., including core courses taken as part of the Global Passport & Dean’s International Opportunities Program
  • Courses with an international and/or comparative focus as their primary area of study, whether in New York or abroad 
  • A maximum of six credits in a foreign language
  • A maximum of 3 credits may overlap between major and minor, or minor and minor 
  • A maximum of 3 credits of general core courses taken in-person abroad may be applied to the minor

New York Coursework: Foreign Language (6 credits maximum), LAC 1000C, Global/Cultural courses (Except ENG 1100C & HIS 1000C), Core Courses taken through the Global Passport Program

Abroad Coursework: ART 1095, ART 1250, ART 1775, ART 1790, ART 1795, ECO 1320, ENG 2500, Foreign Language (6 credits maximum), GOV 3320, IB 3341, HMT 2025/ITA 3530, ITA 3980, International Internship, PHI 2200C, PHI 3000C, THE 2810, THE 3305

Earn a minor in Global Studies

The Global Studies interdisciplinary minor consists of 18 credits distributed around core requirements, a capstone seminar, and three free electives in the student’s chosen area of specialization.  Students in the Global Studies minor are required to study abroad.  For a complete outline of the Global Studies minor, please see the full list of courses below, or contact Dr. Brian Lockey for more information. 

Building Intercultural Competence While Abroad

The Council of Europe has identified intercultural competence as a critical skill that should be at the core of any international education curriculum, describing intercultural competence as “the specific attitudes, knowledge, understanding, skills and actions which together enable individuals to understand themselves and others in a context of diversity, and to interact and communicate with those who are perceived to have different cultural affiliations from their own.” 

That's why the Office of International Education requires that students participating in our study abroad opportunities also attend The Cultural Mentoring Program before they depart and while they are abroad.  

The Cultural Mentoring Program

A unique element of St. John’s study abroad, the Cultural Mentoring Program (CMP) does more than help students get the most out of their experience abroad. It also trains them to adapt to and understand new perspectives—a  major step in being prepared for a future where they might live and work with people from anywhere in the world, or one where they might work abroad themselves.

Though students may notice differences in the CMP for semester and faculty-directed programs, the program begins for all students during pre-departure activities in New York—or, for visiting students, during activities held online—and serves as a foundation for future sessions while abroad. The initial session will engage the underlying cultural assumptions we bring to bear on our experiences, preparing students to better understand the differences they may notice abroad. Students will also begin to set academic, personal, and career goals for their time away. In particular, the CMP will help students:

  • Learn the basics of intercultural communication.
  • Develop an ethnorelative mindset, with an emphasis on enhanced intercultural sensitivity.
  • Cultivate an informed consciousness of cultural diversity & different communication styles.
  • Minimize and manage culture shock
  • Avoid unnecessary risk taking by learning to identify and handle challenging situations that may happen abroad.
  • Foster a greater empathy for migrants within the Catholic and Vincentian tradition (for students in the Discover the World: Europe program, which focuses on the theme of migration).

For St. John's semester programs in Europe, the first CMP session will take place during orientation. Then in weeks 3, 8 and 13 of the program, students will participate in group meetings, led by a local staff member, which will challenge them to reflect on and synthesize elements of intercultural learning—both at the theoretical level, and in terms of their real, lived experiences in their new home cities and during their independent exploration beyond. Different activities and methodologies will be used in each of these meetings in order to support the cumulative learning taking place at each stage of the semester.