1. Why should I study abroad?
Study abroad is an integral part of a well-rounded liberal arts education in at least four ways. First, study abroad helps to develop a critical awareness and ability to navigate pressing global issues, and fosters the ability to contextualize diverse points of view within historical, political, and cultural contexts. Second, study abroad enhances academic learning, be it through exposure to international academic perspectives within one’s field, an opportunity to reflect upon and apply classroom study to real-world contexts, or rapid progression in foreign language acquisition. Third, study abroad supports personal growth. Study abroad enhances the development of vital life skills such as independence, drive, flexibility, a desire to look at issues from multiple perspectives, and problem solving skills in new and challenging situations. Finally, study abroad supports career development. This fact has been borne out in the research: many prospective employers view the study abroad experience as a highly desirable asset.
2. Where can I study abroad?
Marist offers semester and academic-year programs across the globe. A list of approved semester programs is available here.
A range of short-term study abroad programs (1-3 weeks) are also available; many students who for whatever reason cannot study abroad for a semester or academic year choose to participate on one of our faculty-led, short term programs. A number of students will also participate in a short-term program as “warm-up” to the semester or academic year abroad endeavor. More information on our short-term programs can be found here.
3. What program should I choose?
This is a central question and one that individual students must take time to consider. Do you want to complete an internship alongside your classroom studies? Do you wish to complete major, minor, elective, or core coursework abroad, or a combination of these? Would you benefit from a homestay? Want to engage in community service or volunteer work?
Students interested in short-term study abroad should review the tentative list of upcoming short-term programs, and speak with the individual Program Director as to academic content and objectives of particular programs. The MIP office can assist in this discussion as well.
In terms of semester and academic year abroad, MIP looks forward to working with you to find the study abroad experience that best fits your educational goals. A good place to start is our website, to think through what options make the most sense for you. A list of our semester and academic year study abroad programs can be found here. You may wish to speak with study abroad alumni who can offer an insider's perspective on the study abroad experience. MIP regularly hosts Study Abroad Ambassador Information Tables as well as other information sessions on campus.
Once you have an idea of your educational objectives in study abroad, schedule a time to meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss how study abroad fits in with your academic plan, and to determine which program is right for you. Students in need of further advice are encouraged to come to the MIP office during one of our Open Study Abroad Advising Periods.
4. How do I apply for study abroad?
Application information for both short-term, semester, and academic year programs can be found here. Apply early to secure your spot on the program!
5. What are the requirements for study abroad?
Marist requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 at the time of application for semester study abroad. Most programs have higher requirements, however, and these requirements are noted on the programs page. Short-term programs require a minimum cumulative of 2.0 to be considered for admission. All study abroad students are required to be in good disciplinary standing with the Office of Student Conduct. Short-term program applicants can be of any year at Marist, while semester abroad students (with the exception of the Freshman Florence Experience) must be sophomores, juniors, or seniors. There are also a number of study abroad opportunities open to graduate students.
The application for study abroad comprises basic application information, transcripts, a letter of recommendation, an entrance essay, and other supporting documentation. Information on the application process can be found here.
6. How much does study abroad cost?
Short-term study abroad program fees vary by program; cost information can be found on the short-term program information page, as it becomes available.
Costs for semester and academic-year study abroad are roughly equivalent to the cost of study at Marist in Poughkeepsie. Students pay the published MIP program fee, which is roughly equivalent to Marist tuition and housing, and in most cases, financial aid received at home, including grants, scholarships, and loans, can be used to support study on a Marist-approved program overseas. The extra expense is therefore airfare to the study abroad site and any increase in personal expenditure. A program "Cost Sheet" will be provided with fixed and estimated costs.
7. Will my decision to study abroad impact my ability to live on-campus when I return?
All housing decisions at the College are made based on the priority point system, which assigns points to students based on their academic average, involvement with extra-curricular activities, disciplinary history, and condition of their residence area. The system is used by the Office of Housing and Residential Life to place students in housing after their entering first year at Marist (housing is only guaranteed to current resident students for their first and second years).
Housing decisions for students choosing to study abroad are also made within the framework of the priority points system. However, because the College has a fixed number of beds available on campus, a large number of students choosing to study abroad in one semester may limit the number of beds available on campus in the semester they return. In that case, campus housing is offered to study abroad participants with the highest priority points. A certain number of campus beds are reserved, however, for participants returning from specific programs currently prioritized by the College. For spring 2015 study abroad, this list includes Marist’s programs in Italy, Marist in Madrid, Marist-Mod’Spe Paris Fashion, the Asia Study Abroad Program (ASAP), and Marist’s program at the University of Havana. While participation in one of these programs does not guarantee campus housing upon return from study abroad, it does increase the likelihood of securing such housing.
Following acceptance to the study abroad program, some students otherwise eligible for Marist housing will be notified that they cannot be guaranteed campus housing in the semester they return from abroad. Marist International Programs and the Office of Housing and Residential Life will work with these students to determine whether they would like to defer their acceptance to another semester (in order to retain campus housing) or whether they wish to study abroad in their preferred semester and live off-campus or at the Residence Inn upon their return.
8. Any other advice?
In addition to identifying the right program for you, discussing matters with your Advisor, and completing your application as noted above, we also recommend checking out our Facebook page ("Marist International Programs") and following us on Twitter (MIPStudyAbroad). We look forward to working with you!