Study Abroad

Study Abroad

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 upper 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. At Saint Mary’s Hall, we not only partner with School Year Abroad but also offer unique programs during the summer and school year to provide opportunities for students to engage with the global community through service, language immersion, cultural exploration, and more.

Saint Mary's Shield

For more information about the Study Abroad Program, contact Assistant Head of Upper School & Director of International Students Jeff Hebert at (210) 483-9211 or by email at jhebert@smhall.org.

Saint Mary's Shield

I am so lucky that Saint Mary’s Hall provided me with the experience of studying abroad in high-school through the SYA program. Going to Italy my junior year helped me prepare more for college and to become a more mature and confident person.

  • Sofia Prestigiacomo
  • Class of 2020

From learning a new language to being immersed in a completely foreign culture, SYA Italy taught me so much about myself and the world. One of my favorite parts about SYA was that every Wednesday, we got to go to a different location around Italy and explore for our various class assignments. Another special part of SYA for me was my host family. They took me to so many amazing cities and events, and I became so close to them that they feel like a part of my real family. SYA helped me make memories with friends and my host family that will last forever, and it gave me my new love for travel, language, and independence. 

  • Emma Gunnin
  • Class of 2020

My time in Rennes, France challenged my character in the sense that I was constantly adapting to my new environment. I quickly learned and adopted societal norms, such as simply greeting people when I walk into a room, and I learned to be more aware of myself while navigating the world.  There were many transformative moments that I could not have possibly imagined them playing out in the way that they did, and I am eternally grateful for having been exposed to a program such as SYA before continuing on my academic journey.

  • Isabel Tonone Sala
  • Class of 2020

For most of my life I had only really been in the San Antonio bubble, which is not a bad thing, but I felt that if I wanted to grow as a person I needed to immerse myself in a drastically different setting… I wanted to gain experience/knowledge for my future career as an international business man. Thinking beyond my current standing in high school, I knew where I wanted my career to go, but I felt I lacked the necessary knowledge to effectively pursue that field.

  • Joseph Roth
  • Class of 2017

For my senior year, I decided to go abroad to Italy with SYA. My year was filled with cultural immersion, learning an entirely new language right from the environment, living with Italian locals, and making some of the best memories I have ever had. From exploring new cities to learning Italian dialect, I cannot express how much this experience taught me. It taught me how to be even more independent, to live in the moment, and I met so many incredible people.

  • Samantha Smith
  • Class of 2020