Resident Assistantship/ Scholarship for International Students

Description of the Casa Hispánica Resident Assistantship/Scholarship for International Students

The purpose of this award is to bring to St. Olaf College for one year a native speaker of Spanish who can successfully pursue a program of undergraduate studies while serving as a representative of Hispanic culture on campus. The recipient will spend three-fourths of her/his time pursuing her/his own program of studies, and one-fourth carrying out duties related to the assistantship.

You are eligible to apply for this assistantship/scholarship if you meet all of the following criteria:

o You are a native speaker of Spanish;

o You are between 20 and 24 years of age;

o You have successfully completed two years of university studies (with a strong record of academic achievement) or will have attained an equivalent level of educational achievement during the summer preceding the starting date of the Assistantship/Scholarship;

o You can furnish proof of having scored 550 or above on the TOEFL examination (paper-based version) or 213 or above on the computer-based version of the TOEFL ;

o You are willing to organize activities in the Casa Hispánica which will acquaint the residents of the house and other students of Spanish with the culture and civilization of your country.

THIS IS A REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS, NOT AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN AWARD! Neither your receipt of this announcement nor your submission of an application guarantees that you will be awarded this Assistantship/Scholarship. Each year several aspirants apply, but only one is selected. All applicants will be notified of our decision after March 1.


Terms of the Assistantship/Scholarship Award

o The Resident Assistant must agree to be in residence at the Casa Hispánica of St. Olaf College from the end of August to the end of May, including the January Interim. The only exceptions to this rule are the vacations formally scheduled in the College catalog.

o The Resident Assistant is responsible for paying for her/his international travel from her/his home country to Minnesota and must arrange her/his travel schedule so that she/he can arrive in time for an orientation program which begins approximately a week prior to the beginning of the school year, normally September 1. (She/he will be informed by International Student Services of the date residence halls will open.) The most practical arrangement for traveling to Northfield is to arrive at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. If the Resident Assistant informs the Office of International Student Services of her/his flight number and the day and hour of her/his arrival [approximately two weeks in advance of the travel date], she/he will be met at the airport and brought to campus.

o The Resident Assistant will receive full room and board (board at the College cafeteria and room at the Casa Hispánica), fees, and tuition, plus a monthly cash stipend of $150.00 for the nine months of the academic year. This stipend is considered to be taxable income in the United States; unless your home country has signed a tax treaty with the United States, taxes will be deducted monthly from this stipend. (You will be eligible to apply for a refund of taxes paid, and the Office of International Student Services can assist with applying for tax refunds.)

Room and board are not provided during periods of vacation, such as those at Christmas and Easter. Also, the College will not furnish textbooks. The cost of purchasing textbooks and other study materials, and of paying for such things as private music lessons, will be borne by the Resident Assistant. All travel, both to and from the United States and within the United States, is at the expense of the Resident Assistant.

o The Resident Assistant must register for three full-credit courses during each regular semester and one course (on campus) during the January Interim, and must earn grades of C- or better in at least two of them each semester. The Resident Assistant may not take courses in her/his own language or national literature for credit.

o The Resident Assistant must be covered by medical insurance while in the United States. Insurance may be purchased in the Resident Assistant’s home country or through the International Studies office at St. Olaf at a cost of approximately $40-45 per month, but the policy must be in force when the student arrives in the U.S. The Immigration Department of the U.S. Government requires that international students purchase medical insurance that carries a repatriation clause, one that assures transport home in the event of serious illness or death.

o The Resident Assistant will likely wish to attend cultural events and to travel while in the United States. Therefore, she/he should plan to bring personal funds for recreational, incidental, and traveling expenses. The monthly stipend of $150.00 will not be enough to meet these expenses.

o Aside from successfully pursuing her/his own studies, the Resident Assistant’s principal duty is to speak Spanish at all times when in the Casa Hispánica and to encourage the other residents of the house to do the same. In addition, she/he is to help plan, organize, and carry out (with the faculty member who is the adviser to the Casa Hispánica and the other students in the House) a minimum of five activities per year, the purpose of which is to acquaint the house residents and other students of Spanish with elements of Hispanic culture and civilization, particularly those of the Resident Assistant’s own country. She/he is expected to host the Spanish Conversation Table, which meets once a week and, in addition, to work up to 10 hours per week performing such tasks as will be assigned her/him by the Department of Romance Languages. These may include correcting Spanish exercises or papers, preparing Spanish language tapes, preparing bulletin board material, participating in classes, speaking to groups of students, and directing informal conversation sessions. The Resident Assistant will have no formal teaching duties, not will she/he have any supervisory duties in the Casa Hispánica regarding discipline and the like. However, as a paid representative of the College, she/he is expected to behave in a manner befitting the position and to uphold all college regulations.

o The Resident Assistant should recognize the special character of St. Olaf College as a Christian liberal arts college and should be in general sympathy with its objectives.

o The Assistantship/Scholarship is not renewable.


General Information about St. Olaf College

St. Olaf College, a Christian liberal arts college owned and operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, is located in Northfield, a town of 14,000 people situated 40 miles south of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in the state of Minnesota. Co-educational and open to all qualified applicants, it enrolls approximately 2,900 students. The faculty and administration of St. Olaf College are firmly committed to international education. Not only do international students compose an important part of the student body, but a great many of St. Olaf’s American students spend a regular academic term in any of a number of foreign countries. Consequently, an international academic spirit is present on campus. As a liberal arts college, St. Olaf offers courses in the sciences, the humanities (including foreign languages), the social sciences and the fine arts. It is not a university, with separate schools of medicine, engineering, law, etc., and it does not offer majors in business administration, computer programming or other technical fields, though courses are available in economics and computer science.

The academic year at St. Olaf College is divided into two semesters of four months, one in the fall and one in the spring, separated by a one-month term, called the Interim, in January. Academic life at St. Olaf is demanding, and students work hard to fulfill course requirements. Since examinations, essays and other written work are required on a frequent basis, daily attendance in class and daily preparation for class are essential to achieving success.


How to Apply

If, after reading this announcement, you believe yourself to qualify as a candidate for this assistantship /scholarship and you wish to apply for it, please follow the steps listed below.

1. Write and submit a letter in which you state why you would be a good candidate for this position, describing personal traits, experience, abilities, interests, etc., you have that might help you to contribute to the life of the Casa Hispánica. Address this letter to:

Dr. Gwen Barnes-Karol
Department of Romance Languages
St. Olaf College
1520 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057-1098, USA
Fax: 507 646-3732

2. Complete and submit the St. Olaf College Application for Admission: International Students form and the Certification of Finances form. Enclose a recent photograph of yourself, and enclose or have sent the required official transcript of credits of credits and two letters of recommendation. These materials can also be sent to Dr. Gwen Barnes-Karol, together with your letter of application for the assistantship/ scholarship. Applicants for the assistantship/scholarship do not pay the application fee required of other international students.

3. If you have taken the TOEFL within the last two years, you may send those results with the above-mentioned materials. If you have not yet taken the TOEFL, please arrange to do so at the earliest possible time, and inform us of your test date. Your TOEFL score must be sent directly to St. Olaf by the testing service. Your application will not be complete until your TOEFL score has been received by St. Olaf.