Study Abroad

Don't just step through the world. Fully immerse yourself in it by studying abroad.

Live in a place you've only imagined, study and become a member of the community who shares equally in their joys, challenges, and traditions. Take a profound journey, one you'll never forget.

In the past few years, our students have studied in the United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Italy, Korea, Japan, Germany, Cyprus, Croatia, Belize, Canada, Australia, Peru, Chile, Costa Rica and more.

View Study Abroad Programs and Apply

Frequently Asked Questions

General Info

Here are answers to some of the most frequent questions about Study Abroad. 

Am I eligible to study abroad?

You can apply for a semester-long program if you meet the following:

1. At least sophomore status by the beginning of the study abroad program.
2. Minimum 2.5 GPA (Some of our programs have a higher minimum GPA).
3. No restrictions in Student Accounts or Student Services.

Students are eligible to apply for short-term programs if they meet the following requirements:
1. Good academic standing. (SAU faculty leaders can use their discretion on the GPA requirement).
2. No restrictions in Student Accounts or Student Services.

What types of Study Abroad programs can I choose from?

You can choose from semester-long and short-term study abroad programs.

We offer Exchange programs, Provider programs, and SAU short-term faculty-led programs. We also work with several international education partners to offer a wide variety of study abroad, as well as overseas internship and volunteer opportunities.

Even though she's a self-declared "homebody," Kaitlin McNicholas expanded her worldview beyond the United States. She spent a few weeks in Italy in the towns of Rome, Assisi, Florence, and Milan during a Winterim Study Abroad. Read why Kaitlin is glad she pushed her limits.

While an undergraduate, Sam Jones '16 participated in three study abroad programs. Read more about his experiences.


When is the best time to study abroad?

Any time is a good time to study abroad.

All undergraduate students can participate in a short-term program. Most students who study abroad for a semester do so their junior or senior year. 

Is study abroad worth the money?

Here's the thing: it costs a fraction to travel during college as it would afterward.

During college, you can study in another country while paying the same tuition you would on campus. So yes, studying abroad is a cost-effective way to travel and experience the world while earning college credit.

You grow in so many ways while studying abroad: personally, emotionally, culturally and academically. You'll learn valuable career skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication across cultures. Adding international experience to your résumé makes you more marketable to employers. Study Abroad is a great investment in your future.

Just ask Tony Villasenor 11, '13 MBA. While working on undergraduate degrees in International Business and Spanish, he studied abroad in Barcelona. "It sparked the explorer in me," he says. "I love learning, learning where people come from, about their culture and experiences. Being able to relate to people from all over the world has really propelled my career." Read Tony's story.

Can I use scholarships and financial aid to pay for Study Abroad?

Students participating in a semester exchange program can take their full SAU scholarship package (excluding work-study) for one semester.

Students that choose one of our approved semester provider programs may apply up to $4,000 of your SAU scholarship award plus any state/federal aid (excluding work-study) to their study abroad costs. Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships through their program provider and for nationally competitive awards like the Gilman or Boren scholarship.

Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information on funding study abroad. 

Internationalization Strategies

Opportunities for Faculty

Internationalization opportunities abound at St. Ambrose. All it takes is some initiative and planning.

Integrate International Dimensions Into Your Domestic Courses

  • Integrate readings, films, music, art, assignments, lectures, and/or discussions with an international or intercultural focus.
  • Include an experiential learning or service-learning component that enables the students to encounter intercultural issues relatively close to campus.
  • Engage in distance team-teaching with our international partners in Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Ecuador, England, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Tanzania, and Vietnam or with your own international contacts.
  • Cross-list your course as an IS (International Studies) course by consulting with Dr. Duk Kim.
  • Cross-list your course with Spanish and Latinx Studies by consulting with Dr. Arturo Meijide

Pursue an International Professional Development Opportunity

  • Work with your department and college to host an international visiting scholar for two to three weeks. See the Proposal Form.
  • Apply for a traditional Fulbright Scholar Award. SAU has a Leave Policy for Fulbright semester grantees.
  • If you don't want to be away for an entire semester, apply to join the roster of the Fulbright Specialist Program for two to six weeks.
  • Apply for a CIEE Faculty Development Seminar.
  • Apply for an ISA Faculty Seminar.
  • Organize a team to apply for a UISFL Grant to improve undergraduate education in international studies and foreign languages.
  • Conduct joint research and/or host a workshop, seminar, or conference with one or more of our international partners or with your own international contacts.
  • Apply to the Occasional Lecturer Fund to recruit a Fulbright Visiting scholar to campus to exchange ideas and to share their specific research interests for one to three days.

Teach a Course Abroad

  • Discuss with your Department Chair and Dean how integrating a study-abroad course into your regular teaching load can enhance your professional goals, enrich your students, and improve the curriculum.
  • Teach a winterim UMAIE course. You can enroll students from other UMAIE member schools in your course. You will normally teach the course as an overload.
  • Discuss with your Department Chair and Dean about serving as an international visiting scholar.

Service Opportunities

  • Serve as a Study Abroad Department Representative (SADR) or a Study Abroad Regional Expert (SARE).
  • Assist with the Study Abroad Fair.
  • Promote study abroad in your courses and to your advisees.
  • Help plan International Education Week in the fall and Diversity Fest, My SAU Experience, and the International Poetry Reading in the spring. 
  • Participate in the Bee Families program, in which you mentor an international student.
  • Volunteer to be an academic advisor for an international student.
  • Provide educational programming for the International Themed Community in McCarthy Hall.
  • Join us for our International Coffee Hour.

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.