Travel and Travel Documents
Why should I study abroad?
To enhance your education: A study abroad experience adds a new perspective to your studies. You will see things from another point of view, which will help you to develop your analytical and critical thinking skills.
To build your resume: Study in another country adds a new dimension to your career planning. In an age of global economies and technology, experience abroad distinguishes your background from the rest.
To develop your self-awareness: We sometimes impose limitations on ourselves that hinder our progress toward our goals. By leaving the familiar behind and encountering different people and places you gain a better understanding of yourself, and the world around you.
To understand another culture: Living and learning in an unfamiliar environment adds to your understanding of world cultures and contributes to your personal growth and development.
What is the difference between study abroad through the College of Extended Studies (CES) and study abroad through other campus departments?
College of Extended Studies programs are just one of many study abroad options available through SDSU. Offered during the summer, winter, and spring break, they are typically short-term, and are led by SDSU faculty.
Where can I get more information about other study abroad programs available to SDSU students?
SDSU offers many other types of programs including semester and year-long exchanges. Please visit the International Student Center for additional information.
My friend is not a student at SDSU; can they participate in the program?
Absolutely! CES study abroad programs are open to SDSU students as well as the general public.
What should I know about my host country?
It is critical that you learn as much as possible about your host country before you arrive. Keeping yourself informed will facilitate a smooth transition into your new surroundings. Below are some resources to get you started.
Be sure to also visit your host county's consulate website. This is where you will find specific entry requirements for the country where you will be studying.
Will the courses I take as part of the Extended Studies study abroad program transfer?
Unless otherwise indicated, you will earn SDSU resident credit for the course(s) that you complete as part of your study abroad program. This means you do not need to worry about transferring credit to SDSU, the course will appear on your transcript just like any other course taken on campus.
I'm not an SDSU student. Can I transfer these courses to my school? How?
It is entirely possible that your university will allow you to transfer your study abroad course(s). This decision, however, must be made by your university. Please contact the registration office at your home campus for instructions.
What is the refund policy?
The refund policy applies to two types of fees: program costs and course tuition. Refunds are based on the withdrawal date, which is the date that the College of Extended Studies (CES) Faculty-Led Program staff receive written notification of withdrawal from the student. Email notification is acceptable.
1. Program Costs: These include the program deposit that you pay with your application and other payments to CES toward your program costs. Refund amounts vary by program and are based on your withdrawal date and the total recoverable funds spent on your behalf. Refunds of any amount cannot be guaranteed. Please refer to the refund policy located on your specific program's profile by visiting the CES Study Abroad website and selecting your program.
If the program is canceled, CES does not accept responsibility for any airfare and/or non-program cancellation fees which may be incurred.
2. Course Tuition: This is the tuition paid at the time of registering for your course(s) with CES. Refunds for study abroad courses are subject to the College of Extended Studies' standard refund policy.
Can I use financial aid to study abroad through CES?
State and federal financial aid may be available to qualified students. Even if you are not currently receiving financial aid, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in SS-3605 or by phone at (619) 594-6323 to check eligibility. The CES staff does not have access to student financial records and is unable to advise on financial aid eligibility, award, or disbursement. If you are not an SDSU student, please contact your institution's financial aid office for more information.
Can I defer payment(s)?
No. Payment is due on or before advertised deadlines, regardless of disbursement dates.
I pay out-of-state tuition at SDSU, will tuition for my CES program also be higher?
No. All participants pay the same tuition and fees regardless of their residency status.
Which scholarships should I apply for?
Scholarships are available to students participating in international programs. The International Student Center (ISC) has compiled a list of frequently utilized sources of funding. Competition is high so you must act quickly. Your academic department may also provide funding to support study abroad. Please check with your department for availability and application instructions.
When should I apply?
Unless otherwise noted on a program's Aztecs Abroad profile, application deadlines are as follows:
Summer: March 15
Fall Semester: March 15
Winter Break: Oct. 15
Spring Semester: Oct. 15
Spring Break: Feb. 1
Applications are no longer accepted after the application deadline or once the maximum enrollment capacity is reached for a program, whichever comes first. Applications are processed when received, after the deposit payment (if required) is verified. So, apply as early as possible!
The application for my program is not available yet, what should I do?
Look for a link to an Inquiry or Interest List in the “Application Instructions” section of a program's Aztecs Abroad profile. Select the link and complete the form and you will receive an email once the program application period opens. Otherwise, see the “General Information” section of the profile and contact the appropriate Faculty-Led Office staff member listed. Make sure to reference the specific program name and country that you are interested in. If no contact name is provided, email email@example.com for more information.
What is the GPA requirement?
Unless otherwise stated on a particular program's Aztecs Abroad profile, the minimum GPA requirement is 2.0. You must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the time of application and when the program starts. If your transcript states that you are on probation, you should raise your GPA and satisfy any requirements for the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities before applying.
Are there age requirements?
Unless otherwise stated in a program's Aztecs Abroad profile, the minimum age to participate is 18. There is no maximum age limit.
Can I switch from one program to another?
Once you complete the application process for one faculty-led program, you cannot choose to switch to a different program without first officially withdrawing from the original program and then completing a new application for a different faculty-led program. You need to follow the same standard procedures for withdrawing from your program and you are subject to same refund policy on the amount that you paid for your first program.
What if I need to withdraw from my program?
If at any point after submitting an application you wish to withdraw from your program, then you must complete the following steps:
- Review the refund policy. All withdraws are subject to the same refund policy.
- Send an email directly to your Faculty-Led Study Abroad advisor listed in the program's Aztecs Abroad profile, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This email is required in order to process your withdrawal and must come directly from you, the participant. Withdrawals are effective on the date of email notification. The email notification must include the following information:
- Your full name
- Your SDSU RedID
- The name of the program you are withdrawing from
- A brief reason why you are withdrawing
- Complete and submit an online Withdrawal Form
- Wait to receive email confirmation from the Faculty-Led Study Abroad Office of your withdrawal.
Travel and Travel Documents
Do I need a passport to study abroad? How do I apply for one?
Yes. Although you do not have to have your passport to apply for a program, you WILL need a valid passport in time to study abroad. Many countries require students to have passports that are valid for six months after the end of their study abroad program. If you have a passport, please make sure that its expiration date is at least six months after you plan to return home.
There are now two types of U.S. passports: the passport card and the passport book. The passport card is only valid when entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. It is NOT valid for international travel by air. The passport book is the only document approved for international travel by air, sea, or land.
You can find all the information you need to apply for, or renew, your passport on the U.S. Department of State website. Passport processing can take up to a few months so apply as early as possible!
Will I need a visa? How do I get one?
Depending on which country you are planning to visit, you may also need to a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country, formally allowing you to visit. Visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.
Look through the State Department's Country Specific Information to find information about your destination. You can research the entry and exit requirements, get more details about necessary documentation, and find out how to apply. You may be able to apply online, at that country's U.S. embassy or even at the airport in the country itself once you get there (Studentsabroad.state.gov).
Who will arrange my travel to/from the host country?
You are responsible for making your own flight/travel arrangements as this is not included in the program fee.
When should I plan my travel?
You can make your travel arrangements when you are accepted into the program. We highly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance in the event that your program is cancelled.
Who should I contact at SDSU if I experience an emergency outside of business hours?
Contact the SDSU Office of Public Safety at (619) 594-1991.
Who do I contact if my question is not answered here?
Please contact the faculty member leading your study abroad program if you have questions about:
- In-country activities
Please contact the College of Extended Studies at email@example.com or (619) 594-9400 if you have questions about:
- Application process
- Insurance requirements
Where is the Faculty-Led Study Abroad Office located and what are the hours of operation?
See Contact, Walk-in Hours & Staff.