- Moving to the US -
In general, how do international students adapt to SCU and living in the US?
As fellow students, we understand that going to university comes with a lot of changes in your life and the transition can be intimidating. When you add moving to a new country on top of it all the task can seem even more daunting. Of course, the transition depends on the person but with SCU's community to support you the transition will seem like a breeze! There are always people there to help, whether it be professors, advisors, your peers, or the staff in the International Student & Scholars Office. Check out Ahuti's blog on culture shock!
Is it difficult to find cultural food in Santa Clara?
No! You can find cultural food all over the Bay Area. By talking with other students and exploring the area it is easy to find the best restaurants. And sometimes you don't even have to leave campus to have authentic cultural food! There are various international student clubs on campus and they often sell homemade goods for fundraisers or host culture show events where there is always plenty of food to try!
Are international students allowed to work while in school? Are there job opportunities available to international students on or off-campus?
Yes! International students are allowed to work while in school. You can find more information about working as an international student here.
What do I do with my belongings during the summer?
During the summer the dorms close unless you are attending summer school or another summer program (if you are than you need to apply for summer housing). If you are going home for the summer we suggest using Bronco Storage or finding a local storage unit with some friends. Bronco Storage is a service provided solely for SCU students. You can reserve and schedule a pick-up time here and they will deliver your storage pod to campus in September! There are also plenty in the area and are not too expensive when shared with friends. For example, there is a Public Storage only 5 minutes from campus (1955 Lafayette St, Santa Clara, CA 95050) and is easy and reliable.
- Student Life -
Can I have a car on campus?
First years are not permitted to have cars on campus. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors may purchase a parking permit for a nominal fee. Public transportation options are readily accessible and Zipcar is available for student use. Check out Reese's blog post about transportation in the Bay Area!
Is housing guaranteed all four years?
Living on campus is not required. Although housing is not guaranteed, campus housing is always available if the housing deposit is submitted on time. SCU's housing is made up of 8 Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) and several halls reserved for upperclassmen. Housing is available for all four years. All students are able to participate in RLC programming. Numerous off campus housing opportunities are also available in the immediate area. Check out the SCU Housing webpage for more information.
Is there a general feeling of safety on and around campus?
SCU is a very safe campus! SCU takes student safety very seriously. All residence halls require your student ID card (ACCESS card) for entry and you may only access the building if you live in that building. Blue emergency lights are situated at various locations around campus. Students can use these to call directly to Campus Safety if they feel unsafe at anytime. At orientation, the Head of Campus Safety and the Chief of the Police Department often make presentations to both parents and students regarding the safety measures taken on and around campus. SCU's Campus Safety department works very closely with the Santa Clara Police Department (which is located just across the street from the campus front entrance) to ensure the students are safe and protected at all times.
What are your on-campus dining options?
Campus has various dining options. Our cafeteria is located in the Benson Memorial Centre (our student centre). Here you can find a range of options including sandwiches, burgers, salads, pastas, burritos, and much much more! There are also 3 cafés on campus and a seasonal food truck (The Pony Express). The system runs on dining points, which are included in your room & board. Your student ID card (ACCESS card) is your lifeline on campus and is what you use to pay for meals whether in the cafeteria or an on-campus cafe or The Pony Express.
Can I stay in the dorms during breaks?
It depends on the break. During Thanksgiving Break and Spring Break the dorms do not close and you are welcome to stay. During Christmas Break the dorms close and you must either go home or find another living arrangement. It is common for international students, especially if you are from overseas, to stay during breaks because their flight home is just too long. These breaks are a great chance to plan a weekend getaway or road trip with other international friends who aren't going home.
- What's Special about SCU? -
How diverse is SCU?
SCU is a community where people of various cultures, religiouns, sexual orientation, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds are able to share their ideas freely, be appreciated, feel safe, and are able to thrive. You can check out the class profile for the numbers!
What is the Silicon Valley?
The Silicon Valley is a region that runs from Southern San Francisco to San Jose that is known as the world center for innovation and technology. It is home to many start-ups and unicorns. Some of the most well known companies with HQ's in the Silicon Valley include Apple, Google, and Facebook. The Silicon Valley provides opportunities to students at SCU that you can't find anywhere else, like company tours, mock interviews, access to successful entrepreneurs, and possible internship experiences.
As a jesuit institution, does SCU require students to participate into religion life?
No, SCU does not mandate any religious events or activities. SCU strives to create a society of students who are compassionate, competent, and conscience (the 3 C's). The Jesuit tradition falls closely in line with this goal and welcomes all faiths and religions.
- Admissions -
Aside from the Common Application and SCU's application, do international students need to complete anything else?
Yes, as an international student the Admissions office asks that you also submit information regarding your English Proficiency test and financial status. Check out the Admissions Office website for more info regarding application requirements for international students. Don't mail your application or documents ot the school, SCU asks that all documents be submitted online through your guidance counsellor.
Do I need a visa to study at SCU?
Yes, you need a visa to study anywhere in the U.S. Once you have been admitted the International Student and Scholars Office can assist you in getting a student visa. More information can be found here.
- Academics -
Can I receive credit for transfer credits from high school in another country?
SCU accepts high school credits from most Advanced Placement (AP) tests, International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs, and University of Cambridge International Examinations. Credit for these courses is determined by the school based on review of the student's test scores. You must submit any scores prior to orientation and you will be notified if you receive credit on eCampus.
Does SCU offer scholarships to international students?
Scholarship options for international students are limited because Federal and state aid is available only to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. This said SCU offers a handful of scholarships that international students may apply for, you can see details about each here.
Do international students study abroad often?
Yes! International students often study abroad and it is greatly encouraged. The more of the world you can see the better! SCU offers more than 150 approved study abroad programs in more than 50 countries, so you can study somewhere completely different from both your home country and Santa Clara. Roughly 1/3 of SCU students study abroad. Check out the SCU study abroad website for more information and Onno's blog post about his study abroad experiences.
Can I change majors?
Yes! Students usually declare majors within their first two years at SCU. After declaring a major, students are still able to change majors within the same school or college. Switching majors within the same school or college (Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Business) is a simple process. In addition, switching into the College of Arts and Sciences from Engineering or Business is also a relatively simple process. Switching into the School of Engineering or the Leavey School of Business, though, requires an internal transfer process that is more complex and competitive because of the limited number of spots in these schools. We recommend that applicants who are leaning towards business or engineering should apply directly into the respective school.
What is the course registration process like? Can I choose courses that are unrelated to my majors?
Course registration at SCU happens a few weeks before every new quarter (or at the end of Spring for the following Fall quarter) on your eCampus. For first year students you will register for classes during your orientation session over the summer. During orientation there will be plenty of advisors and student leaders to assist you in this process. In general the seniors register first followed in order by juniors, sophomores, and then first years. The registration process is quite simple and there are plenty of resources to assist you. If you are unable to get into a class because there are no more seats available than you can sit-in on the first class and get on the waitlist.