Five students in Assisi

Academic and Cultural Advantages

OIE has selected a range of core, social science, business and major-specific courses to help a wide range of students experience their academics and professional path... with an international "twist". By combining our European course offerings with online coursework through the New York campus, most students can find a way to make a semester, short-term or summer program work for their degree!

And studying abroad can be an easy way to add a minor to your degree!

For example, students can satisfy an Art requirement with one of our sections of “The City of Rome”, meeting out in the city and exploring firsthand historical landmarks such as the Pantheon and St. Peter’s with their professor. Courses abroad may satisfy a core or major requirement for your degree with an added focus on experiential learning, whether through site visits, academic service-learning, and city-based projects. It’s just another way to help immerse you in your global environment to make the most of your experience.

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 I to IV on the Paris or Rome Campus also participate in weekly 30-minute practice and conversation sessions in small groups, under the guidance of a tutor. In addition to the language practice requirement, tutors may engage students in optional cultural activities, in order to help foster a local cross-cultural learning community. These sessions 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.

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.” 

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, focusing on intercultural sensitivity.
  • Cultivate a more informed consciousness of cultural diversity & different communication styles.
  • Minimize and manage culture shock.
  • Avoid unnecessary risks by learning to identify and handle challenging situations abroad.
  • Foster a greater empathy for migrants within the Catholic and Vincentian tradition 

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.

Add a minor to your degree through study abroad

Studying abroad will help you stand out on the job market, and adding a minor can help show that you've further focused your time and energy around a specific theme or discipline.

The minors below can easily be added to your degree in coordination with the courses you take abroad and in New York. Speak to your advising dean about what steps you need to take to add one of the following minors: