Study Abroad

Qualified students wishing to extend their academic pursuits beyond the College may attend a select foreign university through the Study Abroad Program. Holy Cross strongly advocates year-long programs and currently offers 42 programs in 26 countries throughout the world:

  • Argentina, Australia, Cameroon, China, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Greece,  Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Perú, Scotland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Vietnam

In addition, a number of semester-long programs serve students with particular curricular needs:

  • Environmental Studies programs in Australia and New Zealand, Bhutan, Chile, Costa Rica, Kenya, Panama, Perú, Tanzania, and Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Organization for Tropical Studies program in South Africa
  • Classics majors in Italy and Greece
  • Intensive language and culture programs in China, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan

During the summer, the College also offers faculty-led Maymester programs in locations such as Jerusalem, London, Madrid, Paris, Poland and Rome. Maymester Study Abroad is intended to augment the academic-year and semester-long study abroad programs, and students can participate in both. All of these programs provide students with an exciting and fully credited complement to the courses available at Holy Cross, and serve as international extensions of the College’s curriculum and facilities.

Holy Cross integrates its students into the intellectual and cultural fabric of their host countries and host institutions. For its core programs, Study Abroad establishes ongoing partnerships with premier universities worldwide, where it contracts with local staff to serve as academic mentors, cultural and housing advisors, and foreign language tutors. Students enroll directly in these institutions and enjoy the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as local students. Holy Cross students have the same access to professors as their local peers and, in most cases, take the same number of courses. They can also engage fully in campus life, including membership in student societies and participation in either varsity or intramural athletics.

Second-year students apply for one of the academic-year or semester programs in the fall before Thanksgiving. Study abroad ordinarily begins in the fall semester of the third year and lasts for a full academic year; some programs also offer semester options. Students planning to study in the southern hemisphere (Argentina, Australia, Ecuador, Perú), where the academic calendar is different, can study second semester of their sophomore (or junior) year and first semester of their junior (or senior) year. Students normally have a minimum B average (3.00 cumulative GPA) or equivalent qualifications.

Students who intend to study in a non-English speaking country are expected to achieve intermediate level competency in that language before going abroad. Beginning language learners entering Holy Cross who are considering study abroad in a foreign-language country should, therefore, pursue foreign language study in their first year and continue in their second. Students should expect to demonstrate competence in understanding and speaking that language. Also, a background of courses that includes the selected country’s history, literature, fine arts, and philosophy will be viewed favorably in evaluating a student’s candidacy for study abroad. Depending on their study abroad location, students may receive a minimum of three weeks of intensive language training before matriculating in the host university. Students continue to receive language-training throughout the year, as well as tutorial support in their courses. Students studying in Romance-language countries are placed, in most cases, in home-stays with local families.

Students accepted into the academic-year Study Abroad Program participate in an orientation program in the host country. They also complete an Independent Cultural Immersion Project (ICIP) during their time abroad. Often involving fieldwork, the ICIP can take many forms: an internship; a community service project; or a hobby such as music, dance or sports.

For Maymester Study Abroad, there is no minimum GPA requirement. Any first-year, sophomore, junior, or senior student in good academic and disciplinary standing is eligible to participate, but space may be limited. Maymester programs usually run for four weeks (end of May to the end of June) and are the equivalent of one Holy Cross course. Applications for Maymester Study Abroad close mid-November.  

With the exception of athletic scholarships, all financial aid (including Holy Cross financial aid) may be applied to Holy Cross Study Abroad Programs during the academic year. Financial aid for summer programs may be available but is not guaranteed.  Graduating seniors are not eligible to participate in Maymester programs.