Q: What countries host SST units?
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: 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 such as major and athletic requirements. Students must have at least 30 credit hours. This is equivalent to finishing your first year of college.
Q: How large is an SST group?
A: 12-23 students, led by a faculty member and spouse or assistant
Q: What is a typical service assignment?
A: Assignments vary, but common assignments include:
- Teaching English
- Working in a school with children
- Helping at a health clinic
- Assisting in a community development project with an organization such as Habitat for Humanity.
Q: Is SST affordable?
A: Goshen College believes study abroad is important and works hard to make it affordable. Student tuition and room and board costs are the same as for a semester on campus. There is an extra travel cost of $500-$1000 for international units. 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, be sure to meet with the Financial Aid Office. Summer terms have different financial arrangements because scholarships are limited to eight semesters. Other costs include a passport and immunizations.
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 several ways to meet the intercultural study requirement, including participating in SST.
Q: Are there alternative programs that I can choose?
A: Students may fulfill their requirement through another college’s program. You will need the approval of the director of international education. Learn more about those options.
For current students
Q: What are my options in the next two years?
A: Units visit Ecuador every year. The other countries are offered in a three-year cycle. Here are the options for 2021 to 2022.
Q: How do I sign up for an SST unit?
A: Go to myGC and sign in. Look for the box labeled forms in the lower right corner. Select SST Enrollment Form. Openings for SST units are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. So, the sooner you sign up for SST, the more likely you are to go to the country that interests you most.
Q: But what about COVID-19?
A: Like all international education programs, we needed to cancel a number of units in 2020 and 2021. This was disappointing for all, but safety is our highest priority. Students transferred to later units or signed up for SST alternatives. We were able to send a domestic SST unit to Arizona in the summer of 2021. In the fall of 21-22, a group left for Ecuador. We remain in close contact with our partners within each country and rely on their advice about local conditions, as well as State Department travel advisories. We are careful to observe the protocols of the locations that host us.
For History Buffs
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 8,000 since 1968
Q: What other countries have hosted SST?
A: Over the years, we have sent students to Belize, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Mali, Morocco, Nicaragua, Poland and South Korea. Goshen College also offered a domestic Latino Studies program in which students studied and served the local Latino community for a semester in Northern Indiana.
Q: How is GC adapting SST to meet the needs of the 21st century?
During the 2018-2019 school year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of SST and did extensive work on this question:
“How can we strengthen Goshen College’s international education core, including SST, to make it more effective, engaging and possible for our students in the current global context?”
See the SST goals 2019 that came out of that conversation.
See the update on progress in our summer 2020 newsletter.