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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, however these programs do not require an international student to attend SDSU the same exact term you plan to study abroad at their home institution
  • 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 CES Faculty Led programs)​ces_logo
  • Short-term programs (1-6 weeks) - Summer and Winter 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 to satisfy both general education and major requirements
  • Program fees include College of Extended Studies tuition, housing, and program activities

SDSU Department-Led programs - View all Department-Led programs
  • Short-term programs (1-6 weeks) - Summer, Winter, Spring Break options
  • Earn SDSU resident credit while taking one or more courses with other SDSU students
  • Depending on the program, pay either regular SDSU or College of Extended Studies tuition and fees
  • Programs are managed by your department or college

SDSU Trans-border courses - View all Trans-border courses
  • SDSU courses that include one or more days of travel to Mexico
  • Earn resident credit

Independent Programs (View all approved independent programs now)​
  • Semester, Academic Year, and Short-term (Summer, Winter, Spring Break) options
  • 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

Internship Programs - View all approved internships programs now
  • Semester and Short-term (Summer, Winter, Spring Break) options
  • Often have flexible dates and various locations

Service-Learning (Volunteer) Programs - View all approved service-learning programs now
  • Semester and Short-term (Summer, Winter, Spring Break) options
  • Often have flexible dates and various locations