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Information for Student Athletes

A common misconception is that student athletes do not have the time to participate in a meaningful study abroad experience. The reality is that, with a little extra planning, it is possible. An increasing number of collegiate athletes are studying abroad and there are ways to make it happen for you. Here are a few things that athletes should consider in order to make study abroad a reality:
  • Timing - Saint Joseph’s University has excellent study abroad options for summer, fall, spring and winter. We have programs from 10 days up to 1 year.  You should consider various factors such as your season schedule, team commitments, and off-season activities. Speaking with your coach, academic advisor, and the CIP will help in determining the most appropriate program and time for you.
  • Training - It is crucial that you continue to maintain your physical fitness while you are abroad. Speak with your coach about developing a plan for while you are away.
  • Eligibility - In addition to meeting study abroad eligibility requirements, you should speak with a staff member in the Office of Educational Support Services for Student-Athlete, with regards to any specific eligibility issues. The NCAA has strict requirements regarding participating in outside competition so be sure to obtain all the necessary information prior to going abroad.
  • Cost/financial aid - SJU Financial Aid can be used towards all approved semester abroad programs, petitions that are approved and all SJU faculty-led study tours that are part of a student's regular course load.  In addition, SJU Study Abroad Grants are available for all study abroad programs. There are also many external scholarships and funding based on need, merit, language study, and study abroad location.  

What are the benefits of going abroad for a student athlete?

1. Join a university or local team or a training facility, which provides a unique opportunity to engage in a local community.
2. Experience a new environment, which can enhance your training as well as improve your ability to react and adapt on and off the field.
3. Return with valuable experiences and skills that not only benefit you, but will also benefit your teammates.
4. Gain some perspective on planning for life after college.
Still not convinced? Check out this YouTube Video from a Division I Athlete at the University of Pittsburgh who studied abroad in South Africa!  And here is a testimonial from one of our own SJU student athletes:

“As a member of the Women's Rowing team at SJU I am so glad that I made the decision to study in Ireland during the fall of my Junior year. Although nervous about missing the fall rowing season, I was able to train while abroad, and work hard over winter break to come back in the spring ready to rejoin my team for our main season.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I'm so glad I gathered up the courage and pursued something I had always wanted to do.”

Elizabeth Parker, SJU Women’s Rowing, University College of Cork in Cork, Ireland, Fall 2013
Steps for Planning
  • Attend a Study Abroad 101 meeting
  • Research programs 
  • Meet with your head coach to discuss the best time for you to study abroad
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss courses
  • Meet with an advisor in the CIP office
Questions for Your Academic Advisor
  • What degree requirements do I have left to complete?
  • What major/minor requirements do I have left to complete?
  • When can I fit a study abroad program into my schedule?
  • Do the courses I plan to take meet any of my requirements for GEP courses?
  • Are there particular requirements I should/should not try to complete abroad?

Questions for the CIP
  • How do I select courses abroad?
  • While abroad, may I email you for guidance in making alternative choices?
  • How can I complete an internship or conduct research abroad?
  • Is it possible to receive credit for an internship abroad?
  • What do I need to do to follow up with you when I return?