Q & A

Q:  When did SST begin?
A:  
Experimental units were run in 1967, but the first official units were in 1968.

Q:  How many students have gone on SST?
A:  
Over 7,500

Q:  What international countries currently host SST?
A:  
CambodiaChina, NicaraguaPeruSenegalTanzania.

Q:  How long does SST last?
A:  
One semester (13 weeks total, half of the time in group study and learning, and half at a service assignment)

Q:  How large is an SST group?
A:  
15-23 students, led by a faculty member and spouse or assistant

Q:  What is a typical service assignment?
A:  
Assignments vary from SST to SST, but common assignments include:

  • Teaching English
  • Working in a school with children
  • Helping at a health clinic
  • Assisting in a community development project
  • Volunteering at Habitat for Humanity

Q:  Is SST affordable?
A:  
Yes! Student fees for SST in Nicaragua, including travel costs, are the same as for a semester’s tuition, room and board on campus. Units in other locations involve extra cost. Your financial aid package (including your grants and scholarships) will apply to SST just like it would if you were studying on campus. If you plan to do SST during the summer though, be sure to meet with the Financial Aid Office since summer terms have different financial arrangements.

Q:  What other countries have hosted SST?
A:  
Over the years, we have sent students to Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Repulic, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Mali, Morocco, Poland and South Korea. Goshen College has also offered a domestic Latino Studies program in which students study about, serve in and be immersed in the local Latino culture for a semester in Northern Indiana

Q:  Is everyone required to go on SST?
A:  
No, but one of the five core values at the foundation of Goshen College is global citizenship, so intercultural study is an important component of the Goshen Core. There are four basic ways to meet the intercultural study requirement, including participating in SST, which over 80% of the student body does.

Q:  Are there alternative programs that I can choose?
A:  
With the approval of the director of international education, students may fulfill their requirement through another program. Learn more about those options.

Q:  How do I sign up for SST?
A:  
You sign up through the international education office, located in the Center for Intercultural and International Education (inside the Union). Students may also sign up at the Registrar’s Office in the Administration Building. Openings for SST units are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. So, the sooner you sign up for an SST the likelier you are to go to the country in which you have the most interest. Some SST units reach capacity, so having an alternative choice is suggested.

Q:  When do most students go on SST?
A:  
Most students go during their sophomore or junior year, but the decision depends on a range of factors, including class and athletic requirements. Students must have at least 30 credit hours (equivalent to finishing your first year of college).