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Study abroad overview

As you breathe a sigh of relief that your college student is settled and thriving here, this is probably the best time to be looking at all the options students will have during the Bona journey. The University is rich in areas of service, volunteering, and academic experiences both here and abroad.

Study abroad porgram highlights.The office of International Studies maintains a Web site that lays out experiential opportunities abroad. Included in that Web site is information about academic opportunities that fall into two categories: The first category consists of those programs that have a faculty leader and a population primarily of SBU students traveling to an overseas destination to take classes from SBU instructors. The second category includes programs where SBU has an overseas affiliation. Those partner institutions serve as host institutions to our students. Students are not accompanied by SBU personnel, nor are they traveling with a group of SBU students. Those programs cover the span of six continents and offer programs suitable for students from all majors.

As markets and economies evolve, we view study abroad as a crucial piece of a student’s résumé. The skill set a student develops during an overseas academic experience speaks to the creativity, initiative, motivation, maturity, and independence that it takes to pursue study abroad — all the qualities a potential employer may be looking for. The Office of International Studies personnel work closely with the Career Center during the pre-departure advisement period and post-program follow-up, guiding students through the process of taking their academic experiences and weaving them into professional assets.

The study abroad programs offered are compatible with all the foreign languages taught on campus —Spanish, French, Italian, German and Arabic. Other non-English speaking sites include India, Czech Republic, Greece, Japan, Portugal, and China. Additionally, the program offers many destinations in English-speaking countries, such as Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and England.

In the study abroad advisement process, two factors need to be solidified. One very important factor to you, as parents, is the financial cost. The financial aid audit forms the basis for this discussion. The aid package is evaluated using the same parameters applied by the Financial Aid Office. Students are allowed to use federal aid on all semester programs, TAP (NYS) for some programs. Institutional monies cannot travel with students, but to offset the loss of SBU funds, our office works closely with students to identify endowed, partner, outside and local community sources of additional funding. Many of the programs are affordable and some are about half the cost of a semester at SBU.

The academic portion of the study abroad advisement process involves the academic audit that lays out the course plan for the degree. It is conveniently divided to look at courses for the major, Clare College courses, peripheral requirements related to the major, and electives. Our office strives to find programs suited to those elements of the degree, and also work to build a schedule that would closely resemble the student’s campus schedule for the semester he/she would study abroad.

Most program requirements include a 2.5 overall GPA; some, more competitive universities require a 3.0 GPA for consideration. Students are expected to maintain a full course load and grades earned abroad are posted to their SBU transcripts and calculated as part of the overall GPA. This conveys the message that study abroad is a complement to their on-campus course work and is recorded as such.

If you have specific questions about our programs, you can check our Study Abroad site, contact me via e-mail at, or call me at (716) 375-2574. If you plan to be on campus any time, I am happy to have a cup of LaVerna coffee with you and chat about our students’ experiences.

-Alice Farris Sayegh
Director, International Studies


Pizza with the President


Popular Study Spots
No matter where you are on campus, you’ll see students studying just about everywhere at St. Bonaventure. Most of them have favorite study spaces, where the atmosphere helps concentration and the ambiance is just right.

For many students, that favorite spot is Friedsam Memorial Library. Sophomore Allie Monahan, a biology major, goes to ”a cubby on the quiet floor. I need a private space to spread out and I need to not look at anybody. It gets distracting.”

Like Monahan, senior Thomas Liston, an accounting major, also heads for the library’s quiet floor.

Kiersten Sanzone, a sophomore education major, used to study on the library’s quiet floor, but found that wasn’t her best choice.

“I used to go on the quiet floor,” she said, “but I realized I needed noise. I like the basement of the library – it’s quiet, but not too quiet.”
Fellow sophomore Lauren Picone, a political science major, has other reasons to go to the library.

“I like to people watch and when I am here, it feels like I’m getting stuff done. I also like to go deep in the stacks,” she added. “It’s quiet and you accomplish a lot.”

Senior Ashley Edwards and freshman Kyla Kulczyk both favor their residence rooms.

“The environment is more soothing and relaxing, and I’m able to concentrate more,” said Kulczyk.
Edwards, a senior accounting major, said she will also go to the library “when I know I have a lot to do.”

In addition, Edwards, a member of the women’s basketball team, takes advantage of the study hall for athletes “Late at night, no one is there so I can get a lot done.”

Dylan Ebert, a junior history major who is in the ROTC program, uses a study area available to ROTC students. He often studies in the cadet lounge in the Reilly Center.             
Freshman journalism/mass communication major Whitney Emke has found the basement of Shay Hall is an ideal study spot for her.
The space is equipped with tables and chairs and, noted Emke, “it’s almost always completely empty.”

Junior accounting major Sandra Wendela noted she likes to study at the University’s coffee house, Café LaVerna. Other common study spots include the Thomas J. Merton Ministry Center, the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, laundry rooms, the study lounge in Falconio Hall and empty classrooms.

The University offers study spots that will work for a variety of study habits. If your student finds the spot she’s using doesn’t work, talking with friends and floor mates might help her find other options that will provide the atmosphere she needs.  

-Kaitlin Lindahl
Class of '12
and Lauren Guerreri and Elizabeth Witter
Class of '11

Summer School

Summer vacation: beaches, lounging, hanging out with friends and ... school?

For some St. Bonaventure students, summer vacation can mean lots of summer and perhaps a bit less of vacation. Summer classes can fit into student schedules in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons.

Students can take courses either on campus at Bonaventure or online. It is also possible to take classes at another college and have those credits (but not the grades earned) transferred to Bona’s.

That’s the approach planned by Erica Mungall, a freshman undecided science major who will be taking a course at a community college near her home in Cleveland.

“I’m taking physics 104 and a lab because it will benefit me if I have it under my belt for next semester,” Mungall said.

Students planning to take courses at other colleges should see their advisers before the end of this semester to arrange required paperwork and obtain approval.

Two elementary education majors found the online courses offered by St. Bonaventure were the best option for them.

Brittany Kentos, a sophomore education major, said she took Clare 108, World Views, the summer before her sophomore year to pick up three additional credits and remain on schedule.

Sophomore education major Jeffrey Baker will be taking Clare 108, World Views and Clare 104, The Good Life, this summer to “free up” his schedule.

“I’m looking forward to taking the online courses because I’m going to be in the comfort of my own home and not in a classroom,” Baker said.

"An online course is counted the same as a regular course,” said registrar Ann Lehman. “If a student has done poorly in a class they have the chance to catch up or if they are looking to double major or minor, they can do that, too."

But Clare College Dean David DiMattio warned online courses are not necessarily “the easy way out.” He said students taking online courses should be prepared to meet the requirements of the course as if they were taking a course in a classroom.

"Students need to be aware how much time is involved. A five-week period can be intense," added Mike Hoffman, executive director of Technology Services.

SBU offers three summer sessions, with a mixture of online and on-campus courses. Those sessions run May 15 to June 15, June 29 to July 30 and Aug. 3 to 21. Students can obtain schedules of classes for each session through

Many of the online courses offered this summer are Clare College courses, although the schools of Business and Journalism and Mass Communication also have summer offerings.

“The online courses give students flexibility,” DiMattio said. “They can still have a summer job and consider taking a course during the summer.”

During the summer, he added, “you have more time to concentrate on the course.”

Summer offerings are determined in part by availability of faculty. Those interested in teaching online courses are asked to make that interest known at the beginning of the fall semester for the following summer.

Currently, faculty members use WebCT to develop online courses. Students can access course material through and the WebCT home page.

Faculty post assignments and bulletin board discussions on the Web, and students take part from home.

“I would go on to WebCT every day and do a discussion board. We had to write a paper that was due once a week," Kentos said.

If your student is interested in summer school, for any reason, he should talk with his adviser about the options and the requirements.

-Shana Hurley
Class of '11


Upcoming events on campus include:
Ongoing - Math Lab for help with math classes
Wednesday, 4/22 - SBU Jazz Concert
Wednesday, 4/22
- Hip-Hop: Beyond beats and rhymes
Thursday, 4/23
- Pickleball Tournament
Thursday, 4/23
- The Norman Magic Experience
Thursday, 4/23
- Funky Fresh Family Feud
Friday, 4/24
- Baseball vs. Richmond
Friday, 4/24 -
"Rap, Race and Reality" lecture by Chuck D
Sunday, 4/26
- SBU Band and Choir Concert
Monday, 4/27
- Open Mic Night
Tuesday, 4/28
- Billiards Tournament
Wednesday, 4/29-Sunday, 5/3
- Spring Weekend
Friday, 5/1
- Softball vs. St. Joseph's
Friday, 5/1
- SBU Step Show
Sunday, 5/3
- SBU Chamber Concert
Sunday, 5/3 -
Softball vs. Temple
Tuesday, 5/5
- Darts Tournament
Wednesday, 5/6
- Last Day of Classes
Thursday, 5/7
- Reading Day
Friday-Wednesday, 5/8-13
- Final Exams
Thursday, 5/14 - Residence Halls close at 10 a.m. *Reminder - Students must be moved and checked out of their residence hall with 24 hours of their last final exam or by 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 14, whichever is earlier.

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