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Resources for Underrepresented Students


Saint Mary's College offers 31 study abroad programs in 17 countries. About 50% of all the students had opportunities to study abroad and had life-changing experiences. We are proud of the achievements, but hope more students, especially underrepresented students, will be able to study abroad. Here is some helpful information about study abroad opportunities and resources. We hope every student can study abroad. No one should be left behind!

Click HERE for Saint Mary's Study Abroad Handbook for Students with Diverse Backgrounds. 

Significance of Study Abroad

  • Networking
  • Employability
  • Heritage Seeking
  • Broadened International Experience
  • Language Acquisition and Academic Opportunity
  • Life-long Skills

Institutional Resources

The Global Education Office (GEO) of CWIL is located on the first floor of Spes Unica Hall on campus. It strives to prepare all Saint Mary's students to be gloablly competent women by extending global learning and interaction with diverse cultures beyond campus borders.

  • Technology support - provide StudioAbroad, a study abroad application software and management system.
  • Study Abroad program advising through GEO, program coordinators, academic advisors, and the Academic Affairs Office.
  • Institutional study abroad scholarship advising https://cwil.saintmarys.edu/student-travel-grants
    • Independent Student Travel Grant
    • Student Travel Grant for a Saint Mary's Summer Program
    • Grants for Study Abroad on the England (Oxford) Program
    • Humanistic Studies Department Study Abroad scholarship
  • Faculty support - Each program has a faculty coordinator or director.
  • Study Abroad Peer Advisor Program https://cwil.saintmarys.edu/study-abroad-peer-advisors
  • Global Education Programs brochure and individual program brochures
  • Pre-departure orientation provides students with information on health, safety, insurance, and cultural learning strategies
  • Crisis Management Team
  • While abroad services
  • Re-entry event - reflection and career development strategies
  • Study abroad events - intercultural learning showcase, study abroad fairs and information sessions, photo/video/essay contests, Passport Photo Day (FREE photo shoot for students and parents).
  • Study abroad and intercultural leadership library
  • Institutional administrative support:
    • Academic Affairs Office (course advising and approval, Academic Guide)
    • Admissions Office (prospective student advising, Academic Open House, GEO study abroad invitation letter to accepted students)
    • Business Office (budget and agreements)
    • Disabilities Resource Office (support)
    • Financial Aid Office (scholarships and financial aid)
    • Global Education Office, CWIL (study abroad management)
    • Health Clinic (health form and orientation on health issues)
    • Marketing and Communications Office (program promotional materials)
    • Registrar's Office (transcript, Bulletin)
    • ResLife Office (housing and educational records)
    • Security Office (crisis management)
    • Student Account Office (payments and food stipend)
    • Student Affairs Office (crisis management)

External Scholarships and Resources

The Global Education Office offers information on external resources and helps students apply for external study abroad scholarships. Information sessions on the following study abroad scholarships and resources are offered at the beginning of each semester. Many scholarships give preference to students with diverse backgrounds. It is one of the selection factors that most scholarship programs would consider, for example, the Gilman Scholarship, Fund for Education Abroad, and Diversity Network scholarships.  

The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to support a diverse range of students who have been traditionally underrepresented in education abroad, including but not limited to:

  • Students with high financial need;
  • Students from diverse ethnic backgrounds;
  • Students going to non-traditional countries, especially those outside Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand;
  • Students with disabilities;
  • First generation college students; and
  • Students in underrepresented fields of study, especially the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The Fund for Education Abroad was established in 2010 to expand access to study abroad. Applicants from groups underrepresented in study abroad and those destined for non-traditional locations are given preference in an effort to make the demographics of U.S. undergraduates studying abroad reflect the rich diversity of the U.S. population. Funding amount: up to $10,000 (Academic Year); $5000 (fall/spring semester), $1250 minimum (summer). Preferences:

  • Non-traditional destination
  • Student demonstrates financial need
  • FEA strongly encourages students to apply who represent a group that is traditionally underrepresented in education abroad. Those groups include, but are not limited to:

-        Minority students

-        First-generation college students

-        Community college students

-        Students with disabilities

-        Veterans

-        Returning learners

Diversity Network Summer Scholarship offers summer scholarships in the amount of $1000 for full-time students attending a member institution. Applicants must be full-time undergraduate or graduate students at a university or college that is a member of the Diversity Abroad Network. Economically disadvantaged students, African-American/Black, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, multiracial/ethnic or Indigenous/Native-American, students with disabilities and first generation college undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to apply. Saint Mary’s College is now a member of the Diversity Abroad Network, therefore students with diverse backgrounds may apply for its scholarships. 

References for Diversity Abroad


            Diversity Abroad | Study Abroad and Identity.  Video by Diversity Abroad.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_6c04iG2Y4)


     Breaking the barriers to overseas study for students of color and minorities. Jackson, M. J. (2005). IIE Networker(Fall), 16-18. https://nafsa.org/uploadedFiles/2005_december_underrepresentation.pdf?n=8146

            Finding Ourselves Abroad: How African American Women Successfully Navigate The Study Abroad Process by Sonya S. Henry. Available on Google Scholar http://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1126&context=eps_diss

            Students of Color and Study Abroad by Gayle Woodruff, Thuy Doan, Joe Hoff, Ricky Hall, Patrick Troup, & and Ruby Hernandes. (http://umabroad.umn.edu/assets/files/PDFs/ci/MSAG/studentsOfColorStudyAbroad.pdf)

            Top 10 Reasons for African American Students to Go Abroad by Scarlett Craig. Available on Transitionsabroad.com (http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/study/articles/studyjul1.shtml/)

            You Too! Can Study Abroad: Guide for Ethnically and Racially Underrepresented Students by Leah Newell, Kenya Case, and Maria D. Flores, NAFSA. Available at the Global Education Office, CWIL.


            Diversity Abroad (www.diversityabroad.com) A website which offers a portal to find resources such as articles, destination guides, personal testimonies, and scholarships for students and parents.

            Diversity Network (www.diversitynetwork.org/) Check out their blog “International Education Diversity & Inclusion Blog"

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