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Santa Clara University

Policies & Procedures

 Study Abroad Policies & Procedures



Students must be admitted to degree status at the University. Students from all majors are eligible to apply to study off-campus and students from the sciences and other underrepresented disciplines, in particular, are encouraged to apply. All students are eligible to study abroad for the summer term only after completing their first year; students must have completed a minimum of 88 quarter units by the start of the academic program abroad for quarter/semester-length programs abroad. Sophomores with extenuating academic circumstances may request an exception to the eligibility policy.

Students must declare their major with the Office of the Registrar prior to submitting their application to Study Abroad. There is a Santa Clara GPA requirement of 2.75 to apply for off-campus study; the GPA requirement for individual programs may be higher. Students are expected to meet or exceed Santa Clara's requirements and that of their proposed program. 

The selection process may be competitive and minimally qualified students may not be approved. Priority admission may be given to applicants for Santa Clara's own programs. As stated in the Santa Clara University Student Handbook "if the student is on disciplinary probation, interim suspension, deferred suspension, suspended, or expelled, the student is not eligible to apply to study abroad or participate in the program."

The study abroad application process is a two-step process and participation is contingent upon approval by the individual program, as well as the Santa Clara’s Study Abroad Office. In addition, participation is contingent upon satisfactory completion of all program prerequisites and related courses, as well as satisfactory academic progress toward the student's major. 

Students who earn a grade of D or F in any course in the term preceding their program may become ineligible for off-campus study. Students must clear any outstanding balances with the Bursar’s Office in accordance with the Bursar’s Office payment schedule to remain eligible for participation. The University does not approve study in countries/areas for which the US Department of State (DOS) maintains a travel advisory Level 3 or 4. 

Matriculated students who study abroad while withdrawn from the University may be eligible to receive a maximum of ten units of transfer credit toward the graduation requirement and no credit toward Major/Minor/Core; students must receive approval through the on-campus application process to receive Major/Minor/Core credit for study abroad. See Approved and Non-approved Programs, below.

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Standards of Conduct

Study abroad students are held to the same standards of conduct found in the Office of Student Life Student Handbook and in the Policies and Procedures section of the Study Abroad. In addition, students abroad are held to standards of conduct set by the host institution, program provider and host country. Students are expected to follow-up guidelines about culturally appropriate conduct and should confer with on-site staff about local practices.

The host institution or program provider program may, at their discretion, impose disciplinary measures or dismissal from the program if a student’s behavior is found to be damaging to the program, institution, student him/herself or other students. In the case of dismissal, determinations on credits, grades and finances will be made by Study Abroad in consultation with the overseas program. 

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Voluntary Withdrawals

A student who wishes to voluntarily withdraw from off-campus study after confirming participation in the program with SCU  should contact the Study Abroad Office as soon as possible. The student account will be charged a $500 withdrawal fee, as well as all unrecoverable costs incurred on the student’s behalf.  Students will not be able to register for classes on campus during their assigned registration appointment until their withdrawal is fully recorded by the Registrar’s Office.  

Involuntary Withdrawals

Students who are involuntarily withdrawn or dismissed from a program are responsible for all program costs and may receive no credit. Students will not be able to register for classes on campus during their assigned registration appointment until their withdrawal is fully recorded by the Registrar’s Office 

Study Abroad Programs Withdrawal Process

Complete the SCU Study Abroad - Request to Withdrawal Form.

The Study Abroad Office will notify the Registrar’s Office, Bursar’s Office and Financial Aid Office that the student has withdrawn, normally within three business days.  In addition, the Study Abroad Office will work with the program provider to determine the implications for grades, credits, and finances.

Deferring Program Participation

Students who withdraw may not defer their application to a subsequent term, but they may re-apply. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their intent to withdraw with a staff member in the Study Abroad Office to be certain they fully comprehend the academic and financial implications prior to making their decision. 

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Summer Programs

Students studying on approved summer programs pay the $500 Summer Study Abroad fee to SCU and other tuition and fees are billed directly by the program.

Program Fees

Program fees include a combination of the program fees charged by program providers as well as costs associated with study abroad services at Santa Clara. Individual program costs will vary.  

Santa Clara services include:

  • Transcript analysis and credit transfer
  • Major/Minor/Credit allocation
  • Health and safety evaluation
  • Critical incident response support
  • International program consortium/membership/partnership fees
  • Enrollment management services
  • Ecampus maintenance
  • Peer advising services
  • Study abroad workshops
  • Study abroad advising
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • On-site student support
  • SCU insurance

 Services offered directly by programs abroad may include:

  • In-country orientation fees
  • Transportation fees
  • Student services
  • Supplemental health insurance
  • Airport shuttle
  • On-site student support services

How Are Study Abroad Fees Established?

All University fees including the standard study abroad fees are set by the Board of Trustees. Prices are based on the basic standard double occupancy room on the Santa Clara campus. In keeping with Santa Clara’s academic immersion goals, the pricing structure also encourages maximum interaction with local residents. Study abroad students are billed via ecampus the normal Santa Clara tuition for the quarter plus a "Housing & Program Fees." The Trustee’s pricing policy requires that only minimum housing and required meal plans (when available) are included in the SCU price. Any alternative housing or meal plan as well as any optional non-curricular travel, is not included in the SCU price and is the responsibility of the student to pay directly to the program provider. Please review this page to avoid any confusion between the cost of the program as advertised by the providers and the actual fees billed to your ecampus account as set by the SCU Board of Trustees. 

Housing Fees

Santa Clara University requires SCU Study Abroad students to reside in housing provided by partners and host institutions as detailed in the Costs section of the Programs database listing for each program.  If a student selects non-standard accommodation, or fails to submit the application by the deadline and therefore fails to procure standard accommodation, the student is responsible for the difference in cost from the regular, standard room. Normally, this consists of a standard single room with a shared bathroom and kitchen, though doubles or triples may exist. 

See also:

Housing, Meals and Student Life FAQs 

Global Explorations Programs

SCU’s faculty-led program for short-term study abroad is called Global Explorations.  The specific programs offered through Global Explorations changes annually. Program prices are established program by program.  

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Grades, Transcripts, Pass/No Pass, Appeals


All grades and units assigned to a student in an approved study abroad program become part of the student's academic history at Santa Clara University. 


At the conclusion of a study abroad program, the program provider will send the student's Official Grade Report or transcript to the Registrar's Office. It is the student's responsibility to designate the Registrar's Office as the place to send their transcript from off campus study. Students should note that the time frame in which transcripts are received from abroad does not follow the on-campus academic calendar. Typically, transcripts are received from abroad between one and four months following the completion of the academic program abroad. Students who intend to apply for scholarships, or graduate programs, should keep this time frame in mind at the time of application for off-campus study. Once the SCU Office of the Registrar receives your transcript from abroad it will also take them several weeks to process.

Grade Appeals

The presumption at Santa Clara University is that the instructor alone is qualified to evaluate the academic work of students in his or her courses and to assign grades to that work. Students will be graded within the context of local circumstances abroad and SCU respects the integrity of different academic systems internationally; therefore, most grades are not subject to appeal.  If a student believes that a grade has been assigned in error, or in the case of extraordinary circumstances, s/he may appeal the assigned grade as follows:

  1. The final grade must be appealed by the end of the fourth week following the posting of the overseas grades to the SCU transcript by the Registrar.
  2. The student should communicate with the Director of Study Abroad to initiate the appeal process within the appropriate time frame.
  3. The student should contact the instructor of the course to discuss his/her concerns and verify the accuracy of the grade, as well as the basis for it.  Students should include the Director of Study Abroad on this correspondence with the instructor.
  4. Following communication with the instructor abroad, if the student believes that the grade issue has not been resolved, the student should contact the overseas program administrator so that the grade may be appealed within the context of local circumstances and administrative processes.   The student should include the Director of Study abroad on this correspondence with the program. Santa Clara University respects the differing academic processes of other cultures and therefore supports these processes as part of the academic experience abroad. However, if after participating in the local process abroad the student believes that the error or assigned grade issue has not been resolved, s/he may submit an appeal to the Director of Study Abroad to review.  
  5. In the grade appeal the student should include a written explanation of the concern about the grade and copies of all communication with the overseas instructor and program.   The Director of Study Abroad may consult with the Global Engagement Committee regarding the appeal but will be responsible for the decision. 
  6. The student may request that the Study Abroad Director present his/her appeal to the Associate Provost who is responsible for International Programs to review.  The Associate Provost will review the appeal, and determine a final resolution. The decision of the Associate Provost is final.
  7. A grade appeal based on a disability will be referred to the 504 office and resolved in the disability grievance procedure.

Pass/No Pass (P/NP)

  • Students may choose to take a course offered for a grade as Pass/No Pass (P/NP) if this option is available through the program.  Some programs abroad do not offer P/NP grading and therefore not all courses are eligible for P/NP. 
  • The transcript received by SCU must provide a grade for the course and SCU will convert the grade to P/NP upon receipt of the transcript. Students must request authorization from SCU Study Abroad by the end of the fourth week after the first date of class of their study abroad program.
  • Students may not request P/NP grading for major, minor or Core courses
  • Students may elect to take only one course per academic term for a P/NP.
  • Once a P/NP request is approved, it is irreversible.

Pass/No Pass (P/NP) Request Process

Email a request to with the subject line: “Request for P/NP: Program, Term, Year, First Name, Last Name” and include:

I am writing to request that a course be considered for pass/no pass while participating in SCU Study Abroad in (TERM and YEAR).  I have confirmed with my study abroad program that pass/no pass is an option. I am providing the following information to facilitate your evaluation.

  • Program Name (Country: City - Program Name / Provider)
  • Course number and title (enter the full course name and number)
  • Name of the professor (enter the professor's name)
  • Term and year of the course (enter the term (fall, winter, spring, etc.) and year of your program)
  • Start date of study abroad courses (enter the month, day and year your study abroad classes began 
  • Name and email of the person at study abroad program responsible for credit and grading (enter the name and email contact for the person responsible for managing grades and credit - *this is who SCU Study Abroad will contact regarding your request)

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Academics Abroad

Academic Integration Abroad

Santa Clara University seeks to provide its students with integrative study abroad experiences and significant interaction with the host culture. This approach involves relying on the resources available to students within the educational institution or system in the host country. Most often, teachers in the host country will be professors educated within the foreign system themselves. Students should be prepared for differences both in the academic structure of the institution overseas, and also in teaching styles compared to Santa Clara. Within overseas institutions, students may find differences in administrative procedures such as course and housing registration. In addition, students should expect academic differences in: classroom pedagogy, student/teacher relationships, syllabi and reading lists, class assignments, and grading. Students who anticipate these differences and approach their academic program with a high degree of flexibility are often able to adjust to the foreign system more readily. 

The Classroom Abroad 

In most countries, “ liberal arts” does not exist; students pursue higher education at large research-oriented universities, more similar to large, public research-oriented universities in the United States. At most overseas institutions, a high degree of independence is granted to undergraduate students with the expectation that they will pace their studies individually throughout the academic term. The benefit of this approach is the freedom to pursue learning independently, directing one’s own reading and progress in the subject. The American liberal arts college notion of “continuous assessment” is absent from most institutions overseas. This translates into a classroom approach that is much less interactive than at Santa Clara. Large lecture classes are common and attention to individual students is unusual. Professors may expect to lecture without interruptions, including questions and comments from students. In addition, students may find that faculty may not hold office hours nor make themselves accessible to students outside of class. Grades for individual courses are usually determined by one final examination or paper. Students should not expect homework, quizzes, and midterms. Naturally, students will be graded by foreign standards which may differ from American grading norms. Many programs abroad offer courses taught either in English, or the language of the host country, specifically for American students on their program. Despite this, professors from the host country may employ their teaching philosophy and style, and bring host country grading standards to the classroom. 

Academic Calendars Abroad 

Universities overseas historically offered courses on a yearlong basis with one comprehensive examination for the course at the end of the year. These days, some universities overseas still offer full-year courses, though many institutions offer courses culminating in an exam at the end of the academic term. Still, the academic calendars of foreign universities may differ substantially from Santa Clara’s calendar. For example, university classes in Germany typically begin in October with the first semester examination taking place in late-January, and continue through July. In Japan, the academic year runs from April to March. Universities in countries in the southern hemisphere such as South Africa, Chile and Australia usually begin in July and end in November. Currently, many academic calendars within European universities are slowly shifting to a calendar that more closely resembles an American calendar with fall term examinations concluding prior to winter holidays in December. Students should observe the differing academic calendars carefully in their consideration of study abroad programs. Students may not arrive at an academic program late or depart early. 

Majors and Course Enrollment Abroad 

In most countries overseas, broad “liberal arts” education occurs at the high school level and students at university focus their study on a single subject for the duration of their degree. Often, this means that by the conclusion of their first or second year, students from the host country have completed coursework equivalent to an American “major.” Santa Clara students may find that first-year courses in their major are too elementary while second-year courses may prove too advanced. The academic advisor onsite can usually provide guidance on appropriate course selection. Since students overseas study within a single department for the duration of their degree, there is not a high degree of cooperation or synchronization between different academic departments at a university. Foreign universities are decentralized in structure, often with little administration. University catalogs may not exist and on-line course listings may not accurately reflect courses offered. There is no “pre-registration” abroad. To register for courses, students may physically walk from department to department, or from faculty member to faculty member in order to enroll. American students may find this experience time-consuming, confusing and frustrating. 

Program Models 

A variety of study abroad program models or structures exist. There is no single, perfect model for all students. Rather, different program models will allow students to accomplish different goals during their term abroad. Understanding program models will help students determine which Santa Clara programs may best meet their needs. The three program models are: Direct Enrollment, Island Programs, and Hybrid Programs. 

Direct Enrollment

Direct Enrollment programs offer integrated university studies alongside host country students. Students are taught by host country faculty and may participate in all aspects of foreign university life. Students must possess language proficiency to participate in direct enrollment programs. Direct enrollment programs may offer students the greatest array of choice when selecting courses, still, students should be aware that universities overseas may, or may not, permit cross-enrolling in more than one or two academic departments. Independent students with clear goals for their study abroad experience may find that they are well served by this model. While direct enrollment programs provide the greatest access to an integrated university student experience, there is often little opportunity for formal reflection on the cross-cultural experience. Direct enrollment programs may offer a variety of housing situations from homestay to university residence hall to apartments.

Island Programs

Island Programs offer a set curriculum of courses for students on the program only. Courses may be taught by host country nationals or on-site program staff, and may be taught in English or the language of the host country. Island programs allow students to study in non-English speaking countries, such as the Czech Republic or Greece where integrated university study would be impossible for most Santa Clara students. Typically, if students pursue coursework in English, a host-country language course will be taught and required of all students to afford basic cultural interactions. Students on Island Programs may find that they improve their language proficiency, but less dramatically than on Direct Enrollment or Hybrid model programs. Island programs may be thematic and focus on such areas as Social Justice, Economic Development or Sustainability. Island programs may have ten to twenty-five other American students participating in the same curriculum together. While the Island Program model provides great fodder for personal reflection, it may, or may not, be ideal for students who desire a great degree of independence from the group. Students on Island Programs typically live in homestays or apartments. On Island Programs, students may find that they gain the greatest exposure to a broad cross-section of the host culture through their field-based coursework, homestays, excursions, as well as volunteering or independent project work. Frequently, there is a great deal of formal reflection on the host culture and cross-cultural experience, as well as coursework in field research methodology.

Hybrid Programs

Hybrid Programs combine the characteristics of Direct Enrollment and Island Program models. Hybrid programs offer students an opportunity to create a program of study combining one or more integrated university courses alongside host country students, and courses taught for students on the program, only. As with Direct Enrollment programs, language proficiency is required, but students who are less confident with their language abilities may find that the Hybrid model allows the opportunity to explore regular courses overseas in an environment with a great deal of American-style support. Students eager to improve their language skills may find that the Hybrid model will serve them well.. Hybrid programs which provide “all the comforts of home” may require students to make greater efforts toward cultural integration and experiencing the host country like a local. Programs can range from ten to 100 students or more. Students on Hybrid Programs may be accommodated in homestays, university residence halls or apartments.

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Approved & Non-Approved Programs

Approved Programs

Santa Clara takes great care to offer programs of high academic standards and reputation that align with the University's curriculum as well as goals for cultural integration. Study abroad programs that are approved by Santa Clara University have gone through a vetting process and have been approved by the Study Abroad Office and Global Engagement. To ensure continued academic quality and effectively manage the health and safety issues inherent in study abroad, the Study Abroad Office monitors programs through returned student evaluations and close communication with programs. In addition, the Study Abroad Office maintains information on all approved programs including details regarding credit and transcripts, and course descriptions and syllabi.  The Study Abroad Office monitors programs on an on-going basis and is obliged to alter or eliminate programs in the portfolio at any time.

Non-Approved Programs and Study Abroad While Independent from SCU

Students who wish to study abroad in a non-approved program or whose applications are not approved for study abroad through SCU but who still want to pursue study abroad must withdraw from the University for the term abroad. Students who take a leave of absence from SCU to study abroad will receive transfer units for the coursework taken abroad in keeping with the University’s regular policy on transfer credit. The University’s transfer credit policy allows for a lifetime maximum of ten units to be transferred to Santa Clara from all outside institutions and these units may not count toward Major/Minor/Core requirements. Students are also ineligible to use Santa Clara financial aid while on leave from the University. Students who choose to withdraw from the University for study abroad must complete the leave of absence paperwork and exit interviews with the Drahmann Center and the Office of the Registrar. Students should refer to the Undergraduate Bulletin for complete information on the University withdrawal process. 

If a non-approved program requires a home school authorization form, please be aware that SCU Study Abroad, along with other SCU staff and faculty, cannot complete this form as student's participation in an independent program is independent of Santa Clara University. Students will need to communicate directly with their program to see if they are able to complete this requirement without Santa Clara University's authorization.

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Disabilities Abroad

Academic Accommodations

The University is committed to offering equal access to the Study Abroad for students with disabilities. Physical accessibility and learning support systems may differ dramatically abroad and therefore it is essential that students with special needs communicate with the Study Abroad Office early in the process of pursuing off-campus study in order to identify a specific program capable of accommodating the student’s special needs. 


After being admitted and confirming participation, students currently receiving academic accommodations through the Office of Disabilities Resources should obtain a letter from Disabilities Resources which: 1) verifies that the student has been documented to receive academic accommodations through Santa Clara University and, 2) describes the accommodations currently received and, 3) the accommodations desired abroad. 

Medical Needs 

Students currently under treatment for an eating disorder, depression or other physical or mental health issue, as well as students requiring medication should check with your therapist or doctor during the participation process for study abroad program to discuss how to manage the additional stress of living in another culture and what provisions should be made for on-going health management. Students should communicate with the program onsite about any medical assistance needed overseas.

Study Abroad Accommodations Process

The following is an overview of the steps that students must take throughout the study abroad process:

1) During the advising process, as soon as possible, any student with a disability should meet with Study Abroad staff, to discuss special needs and academic goals. Study Abroad staff will work with the student to identify a program which can accommodate the student’s needs. 

2) All students must sign the Consent form related to disability in the Study Abroad application which reads: 

I understand that many off-campus study programs will accommodate students with disabilities or special needs when provided proper documentation. I understand that it is my responsibility to inform the Study Abroad Office of any disability or special need during the advising and application process. I understand, also, that I may be required to work with the Director of Disabilities Resources and with my program provider to provide the appropriate documentation pertaining to any special needs prior to the start of the program. 

3) During the participation process, the University Health Report is required of all students for participation. Students must complete this form fully and accurately, and submit it by the deadline. Students are asked: “Are you receiving Individualized Academic Accommodations? Explain.”. The Study Abroad Office will communicate with the Director of Disabilities Resources to verify documentation has been provided. 

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Domestic Off-Campus Study Programs

Students interested in studying in Washington DC should contact the Political Science department for advising.

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Participation Process

Notification Letters and Waiver

Students are required to return their signed acceptance letter and waiver in order to secure their place in the study abroad program approximately five days after notification. Once the signed letter and waiver have been submitted to the Study Abroad Office, students become Participants. Participants who withdraw after returning their signed notification letter and waiver are responsible for fees associated with withdrawal, see the Withdrawal Policy section of this website. 

Acceptance & Confirmation Deposit

In addition to having study abroad proposals approved by SCU, students must submit their program specific application directly to their program provider and that application must be approved to participate in study abroad.  Most program providers require a confirmation deposit. Students should refer to complete information on Finances. 


In order to study abroad students must have a passport that is valid for six months beyond the date of return to the US following their study abroad program. If a student does not have a passport, or needs to renew it, s/he should do so  immediately following notification of acceptance from Santa Clara in order to allow ample time for a possibly lengthy visa process. Passports are issued by the US Department of State. 


Santa Clara provides mandatory orientation for all students studying off-campus. Attendance is a requirement for participation and students are expected to make arrangements in their schedules to attend.  Failure to participate in orientation will result in withdrawal from study abroad.

Travel Expenses 

The University does not pay travel costs to/from the academic program. Travel during breaks is not subsidized by the University. Students should plan their personal budget accordingly. For a complete description of the costs paid by the University as well as possible additional expenses see Fees and Expenses. 

Travel Arrangements 

Students must arrive by the designated start date and time for their program, including orientation. Students should remember to allow for time changes, connecting flights, possible inclement weather and in-country transportation from the airport to the program site. Be aware that in many cases travel may take one or two days to reach one's destination. Before making travel arrangements, verify program dates and arrival instructions with the program sponsor. Some study abroad programs offer an optional group flight which a student may elect to purchase him or herself. These flights leave from a designated city, so keep in mind that utilizing the group flight may require re-routing a ticket from one's hometown to the city of departure. Be aware that this can be a more expensive option than flying directly from one's hometown to one's destination. If a student chooses his/her program's group flight, s/he will be billed for this directly by the program. Because airfares fluctuate and reservations fill quickly, it is essential to make travel arrangements early. This is especially true for discount student airfares. In addition, the consulates of some countries require proof that students have purchased a round-trip ticket in the application for a visa. When booking a ticket, it may help to consider the following: 

  • Round-trip airfares are usually less expensive than one-way fares.
  • Change/cancellation fees, taxes and restrictions vary considerably between different types of ticket, such as student tickets and regular-fare tickets.
  • Make sure to include all the same taxes and fees when comparing fares.
  • Tickets involving a stopover are usually more expensive. 

While preparing to travel overseas, students should plan for high security at airports and lengthy waiting times. Most airlines advise arriving at the airport two to three hours prior to an international flight. Pack carefully. Airlines do not permit items such as utility knives and razors in carry-on bags. Students should contact airlines directly about other recommendations related to packing items like computers, cameras and electronic equipment, as well as weight restrictions for luggage. Students should confirm their reservations before departure. Airline schedules fluctuate frequently and it is important to stay in touch with travel agents or airlines about any changes that may occur.

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 Housing, Meals and Student Life

 Life Will Be Different

Overseas living conditions vary widely from those in the United States and students should be prepared to adapt to host country's standards and environments. Private rooms, private telephones and computers, access to gyms, cars, as well as varied diets and hot water are considered luxuries in some countries. Computer facilities and access to email may be limited or unavailable. Utilizing public transportation may be a daily experience. To gain the most from encountering these types of cultural differences abroad students should be flexible, adaptable, considerate and sensitive to different situations. Students may encounter much curiosity about the United States. The policies of the United States are known around the world and students are often stunned at passionate discussions about the US. Additionally, stereotypes about the US abound, based in part on movies, TV shows and other media around the world. Students report that patience and calm discussion about the difference between you and your government can be beneficial.

Housing & Meals Overseas 

The Study Abroad Office seeks out programs which offer students living arrangements in keeping with Santa Clara’s goals of cultural integration. The local situation determines, ultimately, what housing options are available and situations can vary widely among program sites. Housing overseas generally falls into three categories: homestays, university residence halls, and apartments.   Santa Clara University requires SCU Study Abroad students to reside in housing provided by partners and host institutions as detailed in the costs section of the program database.


To many, the moniker “homestay” conjures the image of living in a “traditional” family with two parents and children, who welcome students as their foreign son or daughter for a time. While such homestay families may exist abroad, they are not the norm. Many host families are older, single individuals, or a couple with no children at home. Students living with a family in a private home may be treated as a family member, or as a boarder. In large, urban centers, the latter situation is most common. Living as a boarder with a family offers greater independence than as a temporary family member. In a homestay, meals may or may not be taken with the family. Each program determines the nature of homestays based on local circumstances. 

On programs which offer a homestay, students should communicate their hopes and expectations for their living situation clearly to the program sponsor during the participation process. Often programs are able to select host family types -- the “boarder homestay” or the "family homestay” -- in keeping with a student's expressed preference. Upon moving into a homestay abroad students should discuss their own expectations with the family, as well as such details as use of appliances, telephones, kitchen privileges, meal times, curfew and other household rules.

University Residence Halls

On some programs, accommodation in university residence halls may be available. If available, Santa Clara provides students with the standard university accommodation as part of the study abroad program. 

Most student accommodation abroad is “self-catering”, meaning that students prepare their own meals, however, some residences have dining halls. In the case of self-catering accommodation, students should observe program specific budget recommendations for meals. Students living in university residence halls may be mainly first-year students and international students. It is frequently the case overseas that students live in university residence halls during their first year at college and then move into apartments with friends. Residence halls overseas may be operated by the university, but are seldom physically on-campus in the same way as residence halls at Santa Clara, and students often times commute to their classes.


Some programs offer an option for students to live in apartments. Apartments may be university-operated, or independently arranged through a program. In apartments, students may find they are living with other American students from the program. Occasionally, students may live in apartments with students from the host country. In apartments, students prepare their own meals. There is the greatest degree of freedom and independence with apartment-living, but some students may find the experience isolating. In apartments, students generally commute to their classes.

See also:

Housing Fees FAQ 

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 Ethics and Programs Abroad


Santa Clara University actively promotes respect for the cultures and values of communities in which we send students by following local practices, whenever possible.  We seek partnerships with institutions that are of mutual benefit to both institutions.

SCU’s Membership in The Forum on Education Abroad

Santa Clara University is a member of The Forum on Education Abroad, the federally designated Standards Organization for Education Abroad and subscribes to best practices in keeping with the The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad.

Transparency Statement on Partner Programs

Santa Clara University operates overseas educational programs in partnership with international institutions of higher learning and education providers.  Santa Clara receives no payment for providing students to these universities or organizations. Programs are selected based on curricular alignment, academic excellence, and congruence with Santa Clara’s mission and goals.  Some travel or other costs may be shared with the overseas partner when Santa Clara faculty and staff conduct site visits for assessment, risk management, and other professional activities. Santa Clara faculty and staff serving on partner institutions advisory boards or taking part in other professional governance or assessment activities may be partially or fully compensated for travel and other relevant expenses.  Santa Clara faculty or staff receive no other compensation from partner educational institutions.

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Study Abroad Events

View the full Calendar