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Deadlines and Tips for Applying to the Study Abroad Program

We interviewed Sara Branley, the Director of Study Abroad about the SCU Study Abroad Program.

We interviewed Sara Branley, the Director of Study Abroad, about the SCU Study Abroad Program.  Sara served as Assistant Director of Study Abroad at SCU starting in 2016 until she took over the Director role in 2019 and has worked in higher education for over twelve years, spending time at UC Santa Cruz and USC as well.  She is committed to building administrative and advising structures that result in increased access and participation in study abroad. She is originally from Southern California and graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Sociology and from USC with a Masters in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs. While attending UC Santa Barbara, she studied abroad in Ireland and after graduation, she lived and worked in Dublin. 

We asked Sara to share with us some insights into applying to the Study Abroad Program. Read her answers below.

  1. What are some of the important points for students to be aware of?
  2. What are the tips to navigate the course database? 

Applications are open!

Do your Academic Planning Form EARLY! Advisors and professors will NOT be available over the winter break. Leaving the form to the last minute may result in having to submit it without a signature. While you may submit an incomplete application, your score will be affected. We will be scoring applications using the 2020-21 rubric to select students for programs. 

Remember the deadlines! 

The applications for students interested in studying abroad during the next academic year are now open. The deadline for Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022 & Spring 2022 programs is January 4, 2021 11:59pm PST.

We are recommending that students submit their applications by noon on January 4, 2021  to ensure that all materials are received and completed on time as our business hours end at 5 p.m. We will not be available after 5pm, so if there are any technical glitches, we will not be able to help.

Next Steps

After submitting their applications, students should receive a notice that says: “Thank you for submitting an application to SCU Study Abroad. If further information is needed, the application committee will reach out to you. If you have any questions about your application, please contact” It will then list the date and time the application is submitted. Students will be notified by February 5th if they have been nominated to the program.

Program Caps

Cap for each program is 30 students. Programs in Western Europe have been the most competitive programs over the last few years. The overall study abroad process is very competitive. Applications are reviewed and scored by an application review committee made up of SCU faculty and staff. 

If you have questions, we encourage you to start by visiting our Getting Started webpage and then emailing Students can connect with us for advising by visiting our Advising webpage for more information and availability. 

Double check class offerings 

The course equivalency database is not a listing of available courses on a program. The course equivalency database contains all courses that have previously been requested for evaluation at SCU. Listed courses may be from either Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer terms, so ensure the courses you plan to take are being offered during your program-specific term. Students should verify course offerings on the program's website or with the program staff.

Our searchable database (click here) 

Provides a quick snapshot on what the program requirements are (minimum GPA, language requirements, etc.) and links to the actual program pages that include information on academics, housing options, etc. Through the program specific pages students should be able to figure out the academic structure of the program (i.e. required program classes, # of classes required by the program, when the courses are being offered and what language are the classes in).

Choosing Courses Abroad

Find out how to search for approved courses and request an approval for major, minor, or core requirements. A step-by-step guide and links to the database are available in our Choosing Courses Abroad section. Normally, the responses take 2 to 3 days but as more requests come in, it can take the departments longer to respond.  

You can find information on the application criteria on our website (click here)

The application process can seem overwhelming at first. We help break it down on our Application Process and Deadline section. You can watch a quick video overview as well as review application criteria and download the Academic Planning Form and Rubric. 

We are not able to provide feedback nor edit application essays. Instead, we refer students to the Hub Writing Center and/or suggest that the students ask their family and friends to read the essays (and provide them with the rubric to refer to).

  1. What do business students need to know?
  2. Are there programs that offer internships for business students?

We look for the number of classes students can apply for their major or minor. If they have a minor, the courses could apply towards both or just their minor. 

Generally speaking the program will require students to take 5 classes; most are semester programs. For non-English speaking programs, the language counts as one out of five courses. A strong academically aligned program would have 2-3 courses towards major, minor and/or business core and one towards general SCU core requirements. 

There are over 25 programs that offer internships including our two new Summer programs: Global Internships and Virtual Internships. Students can use the Program Database to search for internships using the search filter.

What support is offered through the Global Engagement Office for the applicants?

In addition to our website and advising appointments, we can assist students in connecting with returned students through our Returnee Database (found at the bottom of the Advising page). Use your SCU log-in to access name and contact info for returnees from various programs.   


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