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SFC International

Our Mission

At St. Francis College, international students are destined for success; each international student is provided with an opportunity to participate in impactful global engagement through transformational college experiences and a diverse environment for intellectual excellence, thus developing them into the leaders who will make a difference in today's globalized world.

We Realize Our Mission By

  1. Increasing our international student population through strategic and multifaceted recruitment approaches in various international markets, and expanding institutional capacity to effectively meet international student needs and support them through their college journey
  2. Building and promoting study and internships abroad and academic exchange programs with foreign institutions through integrated institutional strategy for education abroad and at SFC
  3. Infusing global perspectives/competencies into the SFC curriculum to better prepare all students for the 21st Century workforce
  4. Preparing students as responsible, globally-minded citizens through civic and global engagement co-curricular programs and activities (often led by faculty)
  5. Expanding the “SFC International” brand to effectively develop comprehensive relationships in different parts of the world, setting a standard for quality, engaged, and affordable education at the global crossroads of Brooklyn/NYC


Statement from Divisional Vice President, Dr. Reza Fakhari

Faithful to our progressive Franciscan tradition, we have created SFC International as a hub of everything international, staffed with a talented and diverse team, to warmly welcome international students and to serve their varied needs with creative and effective programming, initiatives, and services.

Our Comprehensive Internationalization Strategy, inaugurated in 2019, has taken St. Francis global by building and deepening numerous international linkages and partnerships across the world for study abroad (often faculty-led), international exchanges, and study at SFC through various creative models of collaboration. We are also focused on Internationalization at Home by infusing global perspectives and competencies into curriculum and co-curriculum to better prepare all students for the 21st Century workforce and by preparing students as responsible, globally minded citizens.

SFC International has supported faculty to establish Institute for Global Engagement and Forum on Migration. It is also supporting faculty in developing a signature interdisciplinary Human Rights Program and inaugurated the SFC Human Rights Lecture Series in Spring 2021, bringing external experts to speak on global citizenship, corporate responsibility, sustainability, extreme power and wealth inequality, and racial and social justice.

Our globally interconnected world requires a new paradigm of enriched and engaged education to develop knowledge, skills and capacities in our students to thrive as global citizens and professionals. SFC International is humbled to play its collaborative role in this important mission.

We welcome you to explore us, visit us, study with us, collaborate with us, and join us in envisioning a better global future for all.

Institute for Global Engagement

Studying abroad can enrich your academic career, further your professional goals, and enhance your understanding of yourself! Explore your many opportunities to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience – including faculty-led programs, semester or year abroad, and short-term programs. Although in-person Study Abroad programs are not available this semester, you can still explore potential scholarship opportunities!

Meet the Students

International Partner Newsletter

March-May'21 Newsletter

Welcome to our St. Francis College International newsletter, we have some very exciting updates to share with you – read on to learn more!

SFC Continues to Successfully Recruit Worldwide

In all of the relationships we build our goal remains constant, to continue to contribute to the internationalization of our campus and to further diversify our student body. Our team pursues this goal by actively nurturing the relationships we’ve built with our global partners, meeting them and the students they serve as often as can be. This shared virtual world has allowed to us to be more interconnected and interdependent than we have been in decades; allowing us to travel from continent to continent and from country to country in a matter of seconds. From the month of February and until now we have entered an aggressive recruitment cycle - we have had the opportunity to engage with agents from different parts of the globe from South America to Asia, and from there to Central America and the Caribbean. Each week and with each meeting we have learned about students and the excitement with which they are envisioning their futures abroad.

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​​Students Returning to the USA

December marked the beginning of what has now become a trend – students are looking forward to coming back to the U.S! As the world is coming together to combat the Coronavirus we have seen more and more students interested in coming to our shores once again. We are proud to say that thanks to our efforts and the efforts of our agent partners we have now sent acceptance letters for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 terms to students from Serbia, China, Botswana, and India just to name a few!

Partners across the globe have let us know that they’ve seen an increase of students in their pipelines who are thrilled to once again apply to schools in the Big Apple. Since the beginning of the global pandemic we have been preparing our campus and revamping our programming to enhance the academic experience of new international students and we gladly welcome them to our global SFC community!

Important SFC Health Updates

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Francis College is requiring insurance for all international students. Students must be covered by their own Personal Medical Insurance (PMI) plan if they are coming to New York for the Fall 2021 Semester. For those international students coming to New York in the Fall who will not have health insurance, it is strongly recommended that they apply for a PMI plan with an insurance company we have partnered with called Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) . CISI offers a quality insurance policy with broad and affordable coverage for international students. Students planning on coming to New York and remaining on the insurance plan from their home country are allowed to do so, but proof of insurance coverage will be required in order to allow students to participate in classes.

St. Francis College also strongly encourages all incoming students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible in preparation for the Fall 2021 Semester. Our goal for the Fall 2021 semester will be to have as many members of the campus community vaccinated as possible, enabling the return of in-person campus activity and reducing the risk of COVID-19 within our community. With the recent increase in vaccine production and eligibility in New York, students who are unable to access the COVID-19 vaccine prior to arrival in the U.S. should be able to get vaccinated in New York without any problem. To the extent possible, the College will assist international students who could not be vaccinated in their home countries through our partnership with Brooklyn Hospital Center .

Enriching Programming

We are confident that we are seeing this uptick in the number of applicants via our global partners because we have continued to develop thought-provoking programming at SFC International. In our last newsletter, we introduced you to our “SFC Human Rights Lecture Series”, where industry leaders join members of our College in conversations surrounding human rights and the ways in which our students can have an impact no matter which programs they are a part of. In the month of March, Aniket Shah , Senior Fellow at Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Investment & Adjunct Professor of Sustainability, Finance, and International Development brought us an engaging presentation where he showed us how global finance, sustainability, and human rights are interrelated as well as why these will need to converge for a brighter, fairer, future. We rounded out our lectures last month as we welcomed Paul O’Brien , Executive Director of Amnesty International USA and author of the new book “Power Switch: How we Reverse Extreme Inequality”. This lecture was moderated by none other than our school president, Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz, and together they guided our students through the critical questions of power, what it means, and how our students can learn ways they can tip the scales of equality and equity.

​​Looking Ahead

St. Francis College continues to actively create an environment to welcome a diverse, culturally aware, inclusive, and internationalized student population while thoughtfully engaging our current students. After seeing the positive impacts of our lecture series this past semester, we have decided to add a fellowship program to expand our human rights initiative. Our distinguished fellows are a diverse group of thought leaders who will extend these conversations into our classrooms covering the following topics:

  • Human Rights in New York City: Fighting for Human Justice
  • Challenges to Human Rights and Democracy in Latin America
  • Human Rights, Sustainability and Global Finance
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Human Trafficking, Gender and Social Impact
  • Human Rights Activism, Advocacy, and Change

To learn more about how this meaningful program will encourage our students to see themselves as active agents of social change read our press release here.

A Time for Celebration

Just days ago, members of the St. Francis College Class of 2020 and their counterparts from 2021 participated in consecutive graduation ceremonies at the Ford Amphitheater at Brooklyn’s very own Coney Island Boardwalk. On May 20, 2021, we held the first in-person commencement exercises since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were thrilled to join other institutions nation-wide who both recognized and honored the hard work of their students in thoughtful graduation ceremonies.


A New State of the Art Campus Building for SFC

Looking further ahead to 2022, I am excited share with you that St. Francis College will soon have a new home! Our enriching new academic curriculum will soon exist within the walls of the historic Wheeler Building , where all members of our College community will be able to collaborate and share ideas in a facility tailored specifically for these ever-important needs. In our official announcement President Miguel Martinez-Saenz wrote, "This is a historic moment to completely re-envision our campus and meet the needs of our community, and we are thrilled to continue offering a first-rate, affordable education in a modern, flexible and welcoming learning space." We invite you, your team members, peers, and the students and families in your pipeline to read through our announcement and take a virtual tour of our space as I am sure they will be just as thrilled as we are about "SFC Forward" , our bold vision for SFC’s future


January-February'21 Newsletter

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Welcome back to our bi-monthly newsletter where we bring you up to speed on all of the wonderful programs and initiatives SFC has in place to serve our international student population. In our last edition we gave you a retrospective look at the initiatives the St. Francis College International department worked on to create a supportive and welcoming environment for the students we serve. In this edition we will take a look at some of the projects we are working on at present within our College community and will also share some of the goals we have for the future.

Navigating Turbulent Times, Together

​Early in the year, on January 6th, 2021, the U.S. experienced a breach to its democratic system which had never been seen before. Though the events of that day were designed to sow division, they instead brought us much closer together. Our college President quickly addressed the matter in a memorandum to all faculty, staff and students as a way to help us navigate that moment, which we all knew would mark history. We came together once again just days later, on January 20th, to watch the inauguration of our dully-elected new President, Joe Biden, and another history-making moment, the swearing in of the first ever woman Vice President, Kamala Harris. To create more depth on the day of our event we invited guest speakers from Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) to expand on this administrations goals with regards to diversity, inclusion, and advocacy in a way our students could digest and engage with. We created a space for students to decompress after both historic events this past January 29th at what we chose to call a debrief event titled "Understanding the Importance of Human Rights in a Polarized America" hosted by our SFC chapter of AIUSA.

Human Rights Takes Center Stage at SFC

​As you may remember from our previous newsletter, we began to tell you of our accomplishments as we introduced human rights to the culture at SFC. We started last fall by creating a vibrant chapter of AIUSA within our campus and are happy to now add that this semester saw the opening on our College’s first-ever course focused solely on human rights. On January 29th, our debrief event was led by two of our faculty members, one of them was Dr. Reza Fakhari, our VP for Internationalization and Strategic Initiatives, and the other, Dr. Ken Mayers, one of our new faculty members who teaches our wonderful course titled "Understanding Human Rights.” In its first run, a great deal of students enrolled for the course, a total of 50 students in the class are international students who are on their way to becoming great global citizens!

We are also very proud to announce that just this week we had the first successful iteration of a special monthly event we’ve named the “SFC Human Rights Lecture Series” where each month we will invite a leading expert from corporate, non-profit, or non-governmental sector to join members of our faculty to bring about discussions on relevant matters in a thought-provoking way. This month, our guest speaker was Luna Corbetta, a Principal in the Advisory Organization and Workforce Transformation team at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), a renowned multinational firm. Next month we will host Dr. Aniket Shah who will talk about the need for convergence of human rights, sustainability, and global finance. In April, we will have Paul O’Brien, the new Executive Director of Amnesty International who will discuss his book, “Power Switch.”

Looking to the Future Abroad

Though we are still not able to travel in the way we were once accustomed to, we are excited about the upcoming virtual fairs we will take part in! We look forward to seeing you again and reconnecting at ICEF Virtual Americas in May and ICEF Virtual Asia in June and at various BMI Partnership Workshop Global Series events in March, April and May. One event we are greatly looking forward to is the Zimbabwe Study Abroad Road Show in collaboration with one of our partners. On the Study Abroad Roadshow representatives will work as ambassadors for U.S. universities and travel across 4 major cities in Zimbabwe at special recruitment fairs. We are truly looking forward to presenting SFC to the wonderful students in Zimbabwe!

Looking to the Future at SFC

Our visionary leader and President, Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz, has announced various strategic initiatives for our College which highlight our College’s core values regarding our future and diversity. We started by joining together in an initiative to intentionally celebrate diversity each month this semester. In his opening, Dr. Martinez-Saenz expressed that “we will be doing our part to cultivate the sympathetic awareness of our history and of the continuously changing global and local landscape to emphasize that St. Francis College is devoted to fostering a campus climate that encourages the deepest respect for all human beings and that aspires to create a community where everyone feels like they belong.” We kicked of the celebrations by participating in various events which acknowledged the many advancements and contributions made by African Americans in the U.S. In the month of March, we will feature the various women who have helped shape the world we live in today during Women’s History Month, while later in the spring we will join one another in solidarity in observance of different holidays. In May, as we round off the semester, we will participate in Asian-Pacific, Jewish, and Haitian-American heritage month and end with World Day for Cultural Diversity!

Higher and Higher

The SFC Accounting Society is pleased to announce that St. Francis College's Accounting Program was ranked in the Top 50 of the Best Bachelor's Degree in Accounting in the US for a second year in a row! This year, SFC's Accounting Program is ranked #33 (we were #47 last year) in the US by Study.com. Together we have overcome all odds and have no doubt that we will continue to rise, the only way is up!

Going Social

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We have polled our students as well as our agents and the vote is in – future SFC Terriers want to hear more about SFC through the lens of our current students. As soon as we learned this, we got to work and thought up fun and exciting social media campaigns where our own international students show you what it means to live a day in their lives! The first student to guide us through his day was Ridwan Hannan who joins us from Australia and is part of our men’s soccer team. He featured some of his SFC friends, who also hail from various parts of the world, and walked us through his adventures before, during, and after his soccer practice. Our first feature was a great success and we will soon unveil our next so please be sure to share our social media handles with your students so that they too can enjoy this campaign! Our students are also answering commonly asked questions about what it feels like to be part of the SFC community in our "Terriers Guide to Living in NYC" blogs which can be found on our Facebook page – follow there to read more and share with the students in your region!

October-December'20 Newsletter

Reflections: A Fall 2020 Recap

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Our mission at St. Francis College is to ensure every international student is destined for success and each SFC student has a chance for meaningful global engagement through transformational college experiences at home and abroad. These experiences are set in place to prepare them for the 21st Century global society and workplace. It is because we have the privilege of working with these brave, intelligent, resilient young people that we create programs and opportunities that are customized to their needs. This year has undoubtedly presented challenges for all members of educational institutions worldwide. Below you will find reflections on some of the ways in which our community joined together before and during the Fall 2020 semester on behalf of the international students we serve.

In early spring, as we learned more about the novel Coronavirus and as countries began to shutter, we knew our incoming freshmen students faced unique concerns about starting their education at St. Francis College (SFC) in Fall 2020. That was the reason why SFC created the Summer Jumpstart Program just for them. Summer Jumpstart was designed to introduce our incoming students to life at St. Francis College, get them trained on the technology needed for learning and communication, allowed them to earn college credits that "jumpstarted” their academic career, and informed them about our plans for education in the fall. In addition, the Jumpstart program offered a wide range of online academic, student, and learning support services to ensure they were as prepared as possible for their first semester when it began in September.

During the summer we also organized “Learning Communities” in which our international students had a number of their classes integrated with other first-year internationals. To ensure our program was as comprehensive as possible, these classes were taught by some of our most experienced faculty, many who had international backgrounds themselves. As soon as the fall semester began, the Terrier to Terrier Emergency Fund was set into motion to help those students who expressed financial need including a grant St. Francis College was awarded by the Petrie Foundation which further helped us aid our international students in this uncertain time.

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@sfcnyinternational

Before the semester began, our social media channels were created to effectively develop comprehensive relationships in different parts of the world and to serve as interactive tools to communicate our strategic initiatives with both incoming and international students. We decided that these channels would not only be a way to keep them informed in real time as policies changed, but functioned as a way to highlight our current student achievements and listened to their concerns, as well as a way to showcase the student experience for our partners and the families they serve. We have an ever-evolving approach to how we connect with all who visit our page yet our focus remains the same, to feature our international student offerings in action.

From the spring months and until now, SFC International has met with students either virtually or via phone at every step of the way, ensuring that both they and their families have the peace of mind that comes with clear, confident communication. During these past months we have held several 60 - 90 minute informational sessions for both our incoming and current international students where we continuously updated students on school policies, on their options for continuing their SFC journeys, and have guided them on all-things immigration, as needed. We have also effectively completed one-on-one call campaigns where we have called students individually to field their questions and listen to their concerns -- this is just one more example of our famous “SFC personal touch”; our aim is to always invest in, and meet our, students wherever they may be.

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September marked the beginning of a new chapter for many at our College. While many of our Freshmen were starting with us virtually from their home countries as part of our First Year Together Learning Communities initiative, Amnesty International USA's (AIUSA) 15-member Board of Directors elected Reza Fakhari, Ph.D., St. Francis College's Vice President for Internationalization and Strategic Initiatives, as its Chair. In that capacity, he leads strategy and oversight of the nation's largest grassroots human rights group. Relatedly, we are very excited to announce the creation of a new student club at SFC, the Amnesty International Chapter. Our chapter will focus on building a strong team of student leaders that will develop their skills to mobilize our diverse SFC community into a strong and respectful environment. Across the globe we have seen that young people have been key agents of social change; students are at the heart of that activism. We decided to start this AIUSA Chapter at SFC because we believe that first and foremost it aligns with our Franciscan mission of serving our global communities and are happy to announce that this first cohort of student-leaders are all international students from different parts of the globe.

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Despite hardship, our faculty and administrators have remained resilient, resourceful and creative; our students have as well. After only two years of being a member of the SFC community, Brenda Awuor, an international student from Kenya, has much to be proud of. From the onset she was a highly engaged student involved in student activities, such as the International Student Advisory Council, working as a student assistant with the Office of Special Events and participating in our Wall Street Bound program, to successfully pursuing two degrees at the same time. Despite the demands of her academic engagements, Brenda was also able to take on a high profile internship and, today, we are proud to share that she has just been offered a full time position at IHS Market Company, as a part of the Application Support Team for the Cross-Assets Services. She will start in January, right after her graduation this winter and there are no words that can describe the excitement of her most recent achievement.

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Yes, this fall semester has looked different than it has in years past, on that we can all agree. It is because we at St. Francis College believe that we are stronger together that we wanted to instill a sense of community within our first-year students. Together, we can excel through innovation and successfully cultivating academic relationships that cross borders and are strong enough to give our students the confidence they need to make it past the challenges that come their way. Today, we are proud to say that approximately 10% of our student population is comprised of international students hailing from over 72 countries across the globe. We remain true to our goal -- to celebrate international experiences and cross-cultural exchanges worldwide and highlight the importance of global learning, exchange of perspectives, while enhancing the educational experience for each of our students.