FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

SVS Eligibility and Internships

How do I apply?

What is the minimum GPA to apply?

Do I need to have an internship before I apply?

When should I begin looking for an internship?

Are the internships paid or unpaid?

Where have previous students worked?

What if I don't find an internship?

Does participating in SVS prevent me from participating in traditional study abroad programs?

How many students are in the SVS cohort?

How much does it cost?

Life in the Bay Area

What is the check-in date?

What time is check in?

Is there a meal plan?

Where will I live?

Is it safe?

What is included in the apartment?

Will I have roommates?

Can I do laundry?

Will we do group outings?

Courses

What are the required courses?

What is the course load?

Does my internship count for credit?

Where are classes held?

 

FAQ Answers

How do I apply?

See up-to-date application instructions and details here.

What is the minimum GPA to apply?

Advisors and department faculty prefer that students maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above to be considered for off-campus programs. We evaluate each application thoroughly, regardless of GPA, but prefer students who have demonstrated an ability to do well academically in a setting away from campus.

Do I need to have an internship before I apply?

Previous internship experience is preferred, but not necessary. Each SVS student must apply and interview for Silicon Valley internships with the help of the ND-California staff and the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development.

When should I begin looking for an internship?

SVS students will begin looking for internships after they are admitted to the program and attend a career workshop.

Most internships are paid and the compensation is determined after negotiation between the employer and the student.

A list of previous students and employers can be found here.

What if I don't find an internship?

Each student will receive support and guidance for finding a Silicon Valley Semester internship. ND-CA staff will offer a timeline and contacts for each student and, in the event that a student does not find an internship before the SVS begins, the student will be placed in an internship boot camp for the first two weeks of the semester during which she or he applies for positions and meets in person with potential employers.

Does participating in SVS prevent me from participating in traditional study abroad programs?

Participating in the Silicon Valley Semester does not prevent you from going abroad through a Notre Dame International program.

How many students are in the SVS cohort?

Up to 16 students participate in the fall semester program; up to 30 in the spring semester.

How much does it cost?

The same as a semester on campus. Students will be charged regular ND tuition.

What is the check-in date?

The SVS move-in date typically corresponds with on-campus move-in days.

What time is check in?

SVS students will communicate their check-in times with the ND-CA program staff. The apartment complex is staffed by a property manager who works from 9-5 and we prefer this window, but alternative arrangements can be made to meet arriving students outside these business hours.

Is there a meal plan?

Beginning in spring 2020, we offer meal stipends for each participant. Stipends should be used for groceries and for occasional dining out. ND-CA staff will offer meals for many co-curricular programs throughout the semester.

Where will I live?

SVS students live in apartment style housing affiliated with Menlo College in Menlo Park, CA.

Is it safe?

The towns of Menlo Park and Atherton are safe. It is a safe, residential area located near Stanford University and many Silicon Valley attractions.

What is included in the apartment?

1-bedroom (up to 2 students) and 2-bedroom (up to 5 students), furnished apartments; athletic facility access; 12 minute walk to CalTrain; nearby shopping, restaurants, and local attractions; option to stay over the summer; swimming pool; onsite laundry, and more.

Will I have roommates?

Yes, the apartments are spacious and each one will have up to 4 occupants, but most students will share a bedroom with just one other person.

Can I do laundry?

Yes, there is paid onsite laundry.

Will we do group outings?

Yes, many.

What are the required courses?

Notre Dame-California provides a variety of courses for students participating in the SVS. Courses will be offered when an adequate number of students can benefit from any specific offering. Course prerequisite requirements will apply when applicable. Any major may be considered for inclusion and ND-California will work with groups of students to provide additional course beyond the list above to make this possible.

What is the course load?

Most students  take a 12-credit course load during the Silicon Valley Semester. A student may take 15 credits after consultation with the faculty director.

Does my internship count for credit?

Yes, 3 S/U credits, which includes feedback from your supervisor, self-reporting activities and reports, and an end-of-semester reflection.

Where are classes held?

Courses are held in the Notre-Dame-California facility in downtown Palo Alto, CA