While classroom instruction and school clubs are important, we recognize the unique benefits of traveling abroad. Studies show that high school is the best time to study abroad. Students who study abroad in high school have the opportunity to better understand world politics, to speak another language, to grasp pressing socioeconomic concepts, and to become informed and seasoned citizens of the world.
Studying abroad produces exceptional high school students who are mature, informed, disciplined, and well-adjusted to functioning away from the comforts of home … a true character-building experience that will yield benefits for a lifetime.
School Year Abroad (SYA)
Founded in 1964, School Year Abroad (SYA) is a cultural immersion program that allows high school students the opportunity to study in Europe or Asia for an entire academic year. Saint Mary’s Hall is one of 40 independent schools across the United States and parts of Europe that are part of the SYA consortium. There are currently five schools in four countries to which students can apply: China, France, Italy, and Spain.
Funding Your School Year Abroad
Saint Mary's Hall and SYA both offer financial aid and scholarships to students wanting to participate in this wonderful opportunity. SYA offers financial aid and merit-based scholarships, including the Halsey Fund Scholarship. Many of the scholarships are highly competitive, and are given to academically exceptional and globally-minded high school students. For more information, visit SYA's admission page or take a look below for more details ...
Other Study Abroad Programs
SMH students and families also have the opportunity to support and participate in other Study Abroad programs.
Hosting international students has been a tradition at Saint Mary’s Hall since its days as a boarding school. International students must meet the same admission requirements as other prospective students and follow the standard admissions process.
In the past, students have attended Saint Mary’s Hall from countries such as Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Host families are assigned upon the student's acceptance to Saint Mary’s Hall. Please contact the Office of Admission at (210) 483-9234 for more information about becoming a host family.
We also offer a variety of opportunities for students to experience the cultural and linguistic aspects of a foreign country without the long-term commitment associated with year-long programs.
Summer programs provide a richer cultural experience than those associated with basic travel. Most are 4-6 week group programs. Stays are generally in hostel accommodations and are rarely home stays with host families.
Take a look below at the list of Summer Programs that are available:
Since 2005, Saint Mary's Hall has partnered with Keimei Gakuen in Japan to offer students the opportunity to study in Asia.
As the hallmark of our relationship with Keimei Gakuen, SMH also receives Japanese students as part of the individual student exchange program. The exchange provides SMH students with a unique opportunity to learn about the Japanese cultures.
During these special visits, Keimei Gakuen students attend Upper School classes, eat lunch, and roam the SMH halls with International Club members, along with several other energetic volunteers.
They also participate in activities such as a Houston Astros baseball game, a visit to the NASA Space Center, along with day trips to local San Antonio attractions such as La Fogata, Dixie Dude Ranch, Mi Tierra, Natural Bridge Caverns Wildlife Ranch, Schlitterbahn, the Barbecue Station, the Alamo, and the River Walk.