Skip to content

Program Types


Key notes:
  • Descriptions below are only generalizations and individual programs may have slight differences
  • Programs categories cover a range of experiences from traditional study abroad to international internships and volunteering abroad
  • Read over individual program brochures in Aztecs Abroad for eligibility requirements (class level, GPA, etc) and application deadlines
  • "Exchanges" usually refer to SDSU Exchange, ISEP Exchange and CSU International Programs
  • All participants regardless of program type will be enrolled and billed for the CSU-mandated foreign travel insurance program (FTIP).

SDSU Exchange Programs (View the full list of SDSU Exchanges)​sdsu_exchange
  • Academic Year and Semester programs available
  • Enroll in regular courses with locals and international students; integrate into mainstream university life
  • Applicants must search for courses at host institution and discuss with their SDSU academic advisors
  • High degree of personal independence expected; support provided by international office at host institution
  • Pay full-time SDSU tuition and fees while paying room and board at host institution
  • Earn SDSU resident credit; federal and state financial aid automatically applicable
  • Students must be enrolled at SDSU the semester prior to program start dates

CSU International Programs (CSU-IP) (View all CSU International Programs now)​csuip_logo
  • Academic year only
  • Enroll in regular courses with local and international students; integrate into mainstream university life
  • Applicants must search for courses at host institution and discuss with their SDSU academic advisors
  • Program structure varies by location; some include intensive pre-session language courses
  • Pay full-time SDSU (CSU) tuition and fees while paying room and board at host institution
  • Earn SDSU resident credit; federal and state financial aid automatically applicable
  • California community college transfer students may participate in this program type their first year as an SDSU student and should therefore plan a year ahead.

International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) (View all ISEP programs now)​isep_logo
  • Academic Year, Semester and Summer programs available
  • Enroll in regular courses with local and international students; integrate into mainstream university life
  • Applicants must search for courses at host institution and discuss with their SDSU academic advisors
  • Program structure varies by location; some include intensive pre-session language courses
  • Non-Profit network of over 100 international universities worldwide that exchange students
  • Students must be enrolled at SDSU the semester prior to program start dates
ISEP Exchange
  • Pay tuition and pre-set room and board (housing and meals) fee to SDSU
  • Earn SDSU resident credit; federal and state financial aid automatically applicable
ISEP Direct
  • Pay tuition and room and board package price to ISEP (packages vary by program)
  • May be affordable option in certain destinations, especially for for out-of-state (non-resident) students or students not receiving financial aid
  • Earn transfer credit; only federal (Pell Grant, loans, etc.) financial aid applicable; additional paperwork necessary to release federal aid and scholarships

CES Faculty-Led Programs (View all SDSU Faculty Led programs)​ces_logo
  • Short-term programs (1-6 weeks) - Summer, Winter, Spring Break options
  • Earn SDSU resident credit while taking one or more courses with mainly SDSU students and instructed by an SDSU faculty member
  • Courses designed mainly to satisfy general education requirements, although some courses may satisfy major or minor requirements
  • Pay SDSU (College of Extended Studies) fees; program fee generally includes tuition, housing, meals

Independent Programs (View all approved independent programs now)​
  • Semester, Academic Year, and Short-term (Summer, Winter, Spring Break) options
  • Broad range of approved programs offered including traditional study abroad, internships and volunteer programs
  • Enroll in courses mainly with other U.S. university students
  • Advising and application process through independent program provider
  • Earn transfer credit, but that credit is still applicable toward SDSU graduation with academic advisor approval
  • Dedicated resident director or on-site staff
  • Pay tuition and fees directly to program provider; generally more than SDSU cost of attendance
  • Only federal financial aid (Pell Grant, loans, etc) applicable
  • Organized excursions/field trips and extracurricular activities in host city included
  • Students must be enrolled at SDSU the semester prior to program start dates