Thanks to the Student Exchange Program created by the Association of Colleges of the Sisters of St. Joseph (ACSSJ), three students from affiliated colleges across the country are getting the chance to immerse themselves in New York City and all it has to offer while spending a semester studying at St. Joseph’s University, New York’s Brooklyn Campus this fall.
“The program allows opportunities for students to expand their experiences by studying on another campus — exploring another campus, studying with new faculty members, making new friends, and accomplishing their personal and professional goals,” said Martha Malinski, executive director of the ACSSJ.
Malinski believes the program started in the 1970s or 1980s, predating the ACSSJ itself. She shared that two years ago, a student even got to follow in the footsteps of her mom, who participated in the program during the 1980s.
“My favorite thing about the program is hearing about the ways in which (students) find new academic, social and professional opportunities to grow,” Malinski said. “Many of the students continue relationships with other students, faculty members and staff after their semester on another campus.”
A Semester in a New City
Students spending a semester at the Brooklyn Campus this fall are from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri (two), and Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, California (one).
“I must admit I initially chose St. Joseph’s University because of the location,” said Damion Tripp, 20, a psychology major from Kansas City who attends Fontbonne University. “New York City has a lot of opportunities and very distinct cultures within the city,” Tripp added. “The last time I visited, I really enjoyed my experience and I wanted to revisit it.
“After looking at the school though, I knew for sure that this would be my ideal choice and that I’d get a very good experience out of it,” he continued.
Tripp learned about the program while searching his university’s website for information about study abroad opportunities.
“I was interested because I wanted to experience something new again,” said Tripp, who expects to graduate in 2024. “I studied abroad in Japan for a month in high school, and I really wanted to just step out of my comfort zone again. Studying abroad can be very expensive, so this program was the next best option when it came to being affordable while still offering the experience of living somewhere else.”
Tripp, who plans to arrive at the Brooklyn Campus on Sept. 3 and will live in the St. George Towers, looks forward to being a part of the St. Joseph’s community.
“I do plan on joining some clubs on campus, and I’d love to join any Black or POC organizations,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to making new friends and learning in a new environment.
Students from the Long Island and Brooklyn Campuses of St. Joseph’s University can also take part in the Student Exchange Program, attending another institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Each of the institutions show a commitment to the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph — the same commitment students see demonstrated through the five pillars at St. Joseph’s University — leading students to feel right at home no matter where they choose to attend. Affiliated institutions include:
1. Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri
2. Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3. College of our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Massachusetts
4. Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri
5. Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, California
6. Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts
7. St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota
9. The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York
*Students who attend the Long Island Campus have the opportunity to study at the Brooklyn Campus and vice versa.
How It Works
Those interested in participating in the Student Exchange Program must have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Participants can study at an affiliated college for one or two semesters. The two semesters can be spent either at the same campus or two different campuses. During this time, students work with their academic adviser and one of the program’s coordinators to enroll in relevant classes.
While in the program, St. Joseph’s students still only pay their tuition, and most of their financial aid package remains intact. If they decide to live on campus, room and board fees are billed at St. Joseph’s according to the rates of the host campus. Additional course fees may apply.
Students with questions should contact the ACSSJ at email@example.com, acssj.org or 317.721.1153.