Study Abroad Guide

Why study abroad?

Students choose to study abroad for a variety of different reasons, but they almost always come home noting unquestionable benefits to their personal, academic and career goals.

Choose from more than 150 short-term, semester-long and year-long programs offered by St. Kate’s in more than 50 countries and become one of more than 200 St. Kate’s students who study abroad each year.

  • Prepare yourself for the global economy
  • Enhance your career potential and graduate school opportunities
  • Improve your foreign language skills
  • Gain insight and appreciation for other cultures
  • Learn to treasure a global perspective and form international friendships
  • Better understand U.S. culture
  • Discover your values, gain independence and experience personal growth


With advance planning, students in nearly any major can participate in an approved study abroad program while making normal progress toward graduation.

The Office of Global Studies coordinates program advising and approval in cooperation with academic departments. To be eligible for study abroad, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher at the time of application. Direct enrollment in foreign universities requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Have met appropriate prerequisites which may include language, previous coursework in a specific area, etc.
  • Individual courses or programs may have additional requirements or pre-requisites, such as Global Search for Justice classes, which are for students with 60 or more credits.
  • Students must be enrolled full-time at the university and have completed 2 semesters at St. Kate’s in order to participate in a semester-long study abroad program.
  • Students’ goals for participating in study abroad must be compatible with the goals and objectives of the program selected.
  • Transfer students and first year students may participate in short-term programs in their first year at St. Kate’s.

For additional information, view our policies and procedures for studying abroad.

Policies and procedures


Semester and Year-Long Programs

The deadline for most fall semester and year-long programs is March 1. The deadline for most spring semester programs is October 1. Some programs have earlier deadlines or rolling admission policies; check with the Office of Global Studies.

Short-Term Programs

The deadlines for short-term programs will vary somewhat depending on who is sponsoring the program and when it runs.

Summer Programs

Summer courses run through an outside program provider are subject to the March 1 deadline. Summer courses through UMAIE and St. Kate's faculty-led courses (such as GSJ) are subject to the priority deadline, usually around mid-December. After the priority deadline, applications are accepted until the program fills, or until mid-February, whichever comes first.

January-Term Programs

J-term courses through UMAIE and St. Kate's faculty-led courses (such as GSJ) are subject to the priority deadline, usually in mid-April. After the priority deadline, applications are accepted until the program fills—or until late September/early October—whichever comes first. J-term courses through an affiliate program (HECUA, CC-CS, University of MN) are subject to the October 1 deadline.

Graduate Programs

Deadlines for graduate programs vary from course to course. Please check the course description for deadline information.

Costs and Financial Aid

In the Office of Global Studies, affordability is a priority. While it is difficult to generalize about the costs of studying abroad, most of the semester program options available to St. Kate's students are similar to, or less than, the cost of tuition, room and board for a semester at St. Kate's. Study abroad program costs include a program fee, which you will see published on the program's website. In most cases, the program fee includes tuition, housing, on-site support and insurance. In addition to the program fee, you should also budget for additional costs, such as airfare, books and personal expenses. You do not pay any St. Kate's tuition for the semester or year that you are abroad.

When studying abroad as a St. Kate's student you will pay the program fees, any additional costs not included in the program fee, plus a St. Kate's study abroad administrative fee. Many factors influence costs: local cost of living, length and type of program, and fluctuating exchange rates. Determine your needs and interests, then compare the features and costs of programs to find the best match. The Office of Global Studies can assist you when comparing program costs and an estimate of expenses form can be found within the study abroad application.

For most short-term programs — including January term and summer programs — you will pay a program fee plus a St. Kate's study abroad administrative fee. The program fee typically includes tuition, airfare, accommodation, some meals, land transportation, and excursions. The cost of an embedded program (a regular semester, summer, or January course with a shorter off-campus component "embedded" into the term) varies by location. Students pay on-campus tuition plus a program fee.

You are eligible to use your St. Kate's financial aid — grants, loans, and scholarships — to pay for study abroad program costs. Some exceptions apply, including work study and tuition remission. Students not currently receiving financial aid may be eligible for student loans.

For a January-term course you may use your Spring semester financial aid package to help cover the cost. For summer programs, you may be eligible for financial aid, but, as the conditions vary depending on the individual, it is best to check in with your Financial Aid advisor early on in the process to determine what you have available.

For financial aid to apply to your study abroad costs, you must be approved to study abroad by the Office of Global Studies and you must be enrolled full-time. Undergraduates must enroll in at least 12 credits abroad to be eligible to use financial aid. Some grants, such as the Minnesota State Grant, require you to take at least 15 credits per semester to avoid a decreased grant amount. Graduate students, generally, must enroll for a minimum of six credits to be considered full-time. You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal Application and the St. Catherine University Financial Aid Application as you would each year. Forms are available each January and should be submitted by April 15 for priority consideration for funding for the following school year. View more information on applying for financial aid.

Students should consult with the Office of Global Studies and the Financial Aid office for details on their particular situation.

Many semester and year-long study abroad programs offer merit and need-based scholarships. Unfortunately, there are very few scholarships available for short-term programs.

We can assist you with identifying and applying for study abroad scholarships. Many scholarships require very early application. For example, some scholarship application deadlines occur each spring whether you will be abroad the following fall or the following spring. Advance planning is important when applying for scholarships.

The Office of Global Studies has compiled a preliminary list of lucrative scholarships, we encourage you to search for additional funds independently.

Study Abroad Scholarships

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Boren Scholarships

Bridging Scholarship for Study Abroad in Japan

Butex Scholarship (UK)

Critical Language Scholarship

Diversity Abroad Diversity Scholarship

FEA Study Abroad Scholarship

Freeman Asia Scholarship

Go Abroad

Horton Scholarship

Mondale Scholarship-Japan

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad

Credits and Requirements

We maintain a list of study abroad programs approved for credit. These programs are academically sound and provide strong support services as well as opportunities for integration into the host culture.

Choosing from the list of St. Kate's approved affiliate programs assures credit transfer.

Once you are approved to study abroad, you are guaranteed elective credit for all university-level courses you take.

Courses taken abroad are recorded as if they were St. Kate's courses, i.e., they are considered in-residence credit—not transfer credit. The name of the course and the grade received are recorded on your transcript and the GPA is calculated using that information.

Students may take courses for credit towards their major, minor, liberal arts requirements, or general electives. Students cannot fulfill GSJ credit through an affiliate program.

Study abroad courses will transfer to your St. Kate's transcript on a credit-specific basis. This means that if a course is reported on the study abroad program transcript as 3 credits, it will be entered on your St. Kate's transcript as 3 credits. However, it IS possible to meet a course requirement without earning 4 credits for the course.

Course Equivalency 

Students participating in a semester or year-long program who wish to fulfill requirements through courses taken in that program will need to complete a Course Equivalency Form. Contact us for the form and to begin the course equivalency approval process.

Pre-Approved Courses 

The office of Global Studies has worked closely with academic departments to identify study abroad programs that work well for specific majors and many courses have been pre-approved to meet course requirements at St. Kate’s. Make an appointment with a study abroad advisor to discuss your options.

Email us for an appointment

Travel Documents

Travel documents serve to prove identification while abroad and are a necessary part of the study abroad process.

Domestic Travel

Students traveling within the United States will need to upload a copy of an official photo identification (driver’s license or passport, etc.) to their application for it to be considered complete.

International Travel

Students traveling internationally will need to have a current passport to go abroad. Students are solely responsible for verifying their travel document information is up to date and accurately reflected in my online application prior to the booking of tickets for my course. They should verify that their travel document scan meets the below requirements using the following checklist:

  • My passport expires more than 6 months after my expected return date (international only).
  • My first name, middle name and last name are all spelled correctly, and are reflective of any name changes that may take place prior to departure.
  • I have signed my passport before it was scanned (international only).
  • My birthdate is accurate.
  • My scan is of good quality and is not blurry, pixelated or too small to see.

If the travel document information and ticket information do not match, the student will be responsible for any fees or ticket changes at the airport.

If the student does not have a passport at the time of application, they may upload a scan of their passport application until they have received their actual passport. Once the passport has been received, the student must contact the Office of Global Studies so that it can be added to the application.


Some students may also need to purchase a travel visa. Students studying abroad through an affiliate program should receive information about Visas from their program provider after acceptance. Students participating in a St. Kate’s faculty led or UMAIE course to a country where a visa is required, will have assistance from the Office of Global Studies in the visa process.

After Acceptance

After Acceptance

Once students have been accepted into a study abroad program they should:

  • Verify that your travel documents are valid and up-to-date.
  • Complete follow-up paperwork by logging back into the application to view new information.
  • Read the corresponding policies and procedures.
  • Attend an orientation session that corresponds to your program. Students studying abroad in the spring as well as students studying abroad in J-term will have an orientation in fall semester and students studying abroad in the fall and summer will have an orientation in spring semester.
  • Review the health insurance policy for your corresponding program.
  • Review the health and safety information regarding your respective program.

Study abroad policies and procedures

Health and safety abroad