About the Office of Study Abroad
What We Do
We offer one-on-one and group advising sessions to support you applying for a program just right for you. Think of us as your study abroad admissions counselors!
We assess and vet all programs for academic rigor, cultural integration and safety standards. Only high-quality programs and trusted providers make the cut.
We partner with faculty, departments and on-campus offices to continually offer new opportunities for studying abroad, make credit transfer go smoothly and make sure you have access to services and support whether you're far away or making the transition back to campus.
In 1975, Dr. Paul Schons, Chair of the Foreign Languages Department, established the Foreign Studies Office as part the University of St. Thomas. Internationalization has been an important part of the academic life of the University of St. Thomas for nearly half a century, with about 100 students from Osaka, Japan coming to St. Thomas every summer from the late 1960s through the 1980s.
Dr. Schons convinced the university that it needed to give priority to international experiences and make student study abroad and exchanges full-time endeavors. Dr. Schons’ vision came into being in 1983 with the establishment of the International Education Center (IEC) and the hiring of Dr. Sarah Stevenson as its full-time director. Dr. Stevenson would continue on as the Director of International Programs and the International Education Center for 28 years.
From its inception, the IEC encouraged students to include study abroad in their academic program by promoting opportunities and advising students. To meet a growing need for specialized programs to fulfill St. Thomas degree requirements, the International Education Center began developing and administering semester-long study abroad programs in 1995 as well as short-term programs. Joined by the International Admissions office, the IEC had many years of stability as they continued to increase the number of students enrolling at St. Thomas as international students and studying abroad. In 2014, after the center moved to the Murray Herrick building, International Admissions was transferred to Enrollment Services and a new Center for Global and Local Engagement was created. The Office of Study Abroad was housed here until 2017 when the Center for Global Learning and Strategies was formed and brought together the Office of Study Abroad, International Admission and the Office of International Students & Scholars.