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Special Student Services

Office of International Programs

The Office of International Programs (OIP) serves as a clearinghouse and facilitator for international activities and exchanges at SFA. The OIP serves students, faculty and administrators in disseminating information about study abroad, in encouraging and facilitating organization of faculty-led study abroad programs, and in administering the SFA Study Abroad Scholarship Fund. Simultaneously, the OIP assists other campus offices in the recruitment of international students as matriculated students and as ESL students in the English Language Institute.

The OIP also assists faculty members with teaching and research exchanges. The unit oversees the negotiation of cooperative agreements between SFA and foreign universities for the exchanges of students and faculty members and for the development of joint research projects.

The OIP contributes to the campus further by raising awareness of international issues and studies so that the students are better prepared for lives in an increasingly globalized society.

Study Abroad – Independent

The OIP coordinates and facilitates opportunities for SFA students to experience independent study abroad. Students need to work with the study abroad office; select from many opportunities and experiences which best meet their academic goals; meet with the admissions office to determine transferability of such courses to SFA; participate in a pre- departure orientation; and, upon return, provide an opportunity for debriefing on experiences, accomplishments and perception of the study abroad activity.

Students may opt for a single semester or more depending on the number of credits desired and the availability of appropriate courses through affiliations between SFA and universities abroad or via programs offered by other academic institutions.

Study Abroad – Faculty-led Courses

The OIP coordinates and facilitates opportunities for faculty members to lead a group of SFA students using one or more of their courses (as included in approved inventory of courses).
The OIP will assist in developing logistical arrangements, programmatic support and travel arrangements. The office also will assist in budget development of the activity and collect and disburse funds for programmatic costs.

In the year prior to the proposed study abroad program, faculty leaders should submit to the OIP the Planning Proposal due on May 1 and the Final Proposal due on Sept. 1. The Planning Proposal is not meant to be a comprehensive document, but rather an outline of the program that you will present in more detail (budget, detailed itinerary, etc.) in the Final Proposal. Faculty leaders of new and existing faculty-led programs must submit both of these proposals. Forms are available on the OIP website. OIP will estimate the number and dollar amount of study abroad scholarships based on information from the Planning Proposals received by May 1.

Faculty salaries are paid by departmental teaching allocation. Generally three or six hours credit is provided during Summer I or Summer II semesters. Travel cost of the instructor is prorated over the pool of registrants.
Students will pay SFA tuition and fees and their share of the programmatic and travel expenses.

English Language Institute (ELI)

The ELI is an intensive English language program for international students. The Institute provides international students with the necessary English skills to succeed in undergraduate and graduate university programs in the United States. (See information about the ELI described under International Student Admission elsewhere in this bulletin.)

Fees, Expenses and Financial Aid for International Students

Insurance Requirement: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services requires all international students to carry health and accident insurance. The university has such a policy that meets all required coverage; applications are available in the Office of International Programs.

Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: If an out-of-state student (including international students) receives a competitive scholarship valued at $1,000 or more for a 12-month period, he/she becomes eligible for tuition and fees of an in-state student. Students who receive a graduate assistantship also are eligible to pay resident tuition.

OIP/SFA International Scholarship

The OIP/SFA International Scholarship is to be awarded to any student who contributes to increased diversity at Stephen F. Austin State University and meets academic criteria. The amount of the scholarship is $1,000 per year. Graduate students who are awarded $1,000 OIP/SFA scholarships and are subsequently awarded graduate assistantships will forfeit their scholarship.

Criteria for consideration of scholarship award (satisfy at least two of the following):

  1. To a student whose mother tongue language is other than English.
  2. To a student who has lived in a country other than the United States for a period of five years of more.
  3. To a student who has foreign or dual citizenship: recognized by a foreign country and not by the United States.

Additional requirements:

Undergraduate and graduate students with this scholarship (pending availability of funds): must be a student in good standing with a GPA of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale. All awardees must show financial need in order to be awarded the scholarship.

Applications are available on the OIP website:, and should be turned in to the Office of International Programs. Evaluation and award of this scholarship will be determined by the OIP Scholarship Committee.

Pilot 19

As a result of NAFTA, two students from Mexico per 1,000 students enrolled at SFA are eligible to pay in-state tuition and fees. Students accepted into this financial aid program must sign a financial need statement. (For example, of 12,000 students at SFA, 24 students from Mexico would be entitled to receive this tuition waiver.)

Good Neighbor Scholarship

The Texas Legislature enacted a law, which awards 10 scholarships to students from every country south of the United States (except Cuba) and Canada. In addition, 30 scholarships are awarded to students from Peru and Mexico. Students must have been accepted into a Texas university by March 1. Then, the university submits names to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which awards the scholarships. Recipients are provided free tuition for fall, spring and summer following the award made in May. Other scholarships or financial aid may be available. Contact the OIP office or website for more information.