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  • Locations: Lisbon, Portugal; Ponta Delgada, Portugal; Sao Miguel, Portugal
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Class Standing: 1-Freshman, 2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior, 6-Non-Degree Seeking Language of Instruction: English
Minimum GPA: 2.00 Field of Study: General Studies, Geological Sciences
Housing Options: Hostel or Hotel Credit Type: Resident Credit
Program Type: CES Faculty-Led Program SDSU Office: 2-Extended Studies
Program Description:
Natural Disasters in Lisbon/Azores

Summer 2019: Add your name to the Inquiry List below
Course Dates: TBA
Dates Abroad: TBA
Price: TBA


Summer 2018: Application Closed 
Course Dates: May 22 - July 6, 2018
Dates Abroad: June 1-30, 2018
Price: $4,690
NOTE: Information below is for 2018. Subject to change for 2019. Updates coming soon.


Ever wondered what makes the earth quake? Or how tsunamis are formed? Or how great cataclysmic volcanic eruptions can bring a city to its knees? Or what erosion and landslides can mean for coastal cliff dwellers? Explore the answers to these questions with a look at a wide range of natural events and disasters in the north Atlantic Azores islands and continental Portugal, indeed world heritage sites.

Students will gain knowledge of the geologic reasons and tectonic settings that produce natural disasters, and will subsequently be able to apply these new-found scientific skills into real field situations. Beyond this academic perspective, students will also get to know the Azores and continental Portuguese culture and some of its language, thereby appreciating the real impact that these natural hazards have on people's lives here.


The First two weeks of the program will be spent on the beautiful volcanic Atlantic Azores Island of São Miguel. The focus will mostly be on Plate Tectonics, Volcanism and Volcanic Hazards. The second half will take place in the ancient city of Lisbon on mainland Portugal. The focus here will be on Earthquakes, Seismology, Tsunami, and Ocean and Coastal Erosion.


Students will learn the theoretical and scientific content of natural disasters in the classroom, and subsequently will be able to apply it in the field, both in Azores and the Lisbon area. Students will appreciate the great energy of the planet to modify the landscapes and greatly affect people.

All participants are required to register for the following SDSU College of Extended Studies (CES) “Special Sessions” course:
  • GEOL 303: Natural Disasters (3 units)
    • Fulfills GE upper division explorations natural science requirement.
    • Students will need to complete online work assignments before and after the dates abroad.

HINT for SDSU students: Log in to your WebPortal account and check your Degree Evaluation to see if the course fulfills your graduation requirementsOtherwise, meet with an academic advisor to discuss your options; click HERE for more information.  

  • Welcome dinner
  • Visit to University of Açores Institute of Vulcanology Research and Risk Evaluation
  • Visit to Gruta do Carvão - Ponta Delgada (lava tubes)
  • Day trip to Fogo Volcano
  • Day trip to Sete Cidades 
  • Day Trip to Furnas Volcano
  • Day trip to Serra da Arrábida, Cabo Espichel, Sesimbra, Santana, ending at Praia do Meco
  • Visit to University of Lisbon
  • Visit to Alfama quarter
  • Visit to the Baixa e Chiado
  • Walking visit to Museu da Cidade/Lisboa
  • Day trip to Cascais (Boca do Inferno), Guincho, Cabo da Roca, Praia Grande, Sintra
  • Farewell dinner


Isabelle_SacramentoGrilloIsabelle Sacramento Grilo, MSc, is a geologist in the Department of Geological Sciences, where she's been teaching for the last 17 years in lower and upper division courses for majors and non-majors, with a focus and expertise in natural disasters and geosciences education for science teachers.

A celebrated educator who brings modern instructional technology to the classroom, she teaches classes like Earth Science, Natural Disasters, and Oceanography. She's part of an on-going project aimed at fostering excellence in the preparation of science students with the New Generation Science Standards, to enhance their knowledge and confidence. She has also given international talks at several universities on the pedagogy of teaching natural disasters, as well as lectures in the San Diego natural history museum.

Her students consistently rate her classes are the "best that they've taken at SDSU" and her evaluations are near the top of her department. Awards received include outstanding faculty award as most influential university professor, favorite faculty award, and student evaluation awards at

Isabelle was born in Portugal and speaks several languages. She weaves her cultural experiences and international travels into all her lectures, thereby fostering in students a sense of knowledge of a much larger landscape and a sense of belonging to and respecting a highly active and energetic planet.

Payment Schedule (Applications Before March 15):
$695       Deposit due to Extended Studies (CES) with application
$2,900    Second program payment due to CES by April 2, 2018
$1,095    Tuition due with course registration between  April 15-25, 2018
$4,690    Total Program Fee 2018

Payment Schedule (Applications After March 15):
$3,595    Deposit and second payment due to Extended Studies (CES) with application
$1,095    Tuition due with course registration between  April 15-25, 2018
$4,690    Total Program Fee 2018

Included in the Program Fee:
  • Housing
  • SDSU tuition
  • Activities as listed above
  • Three group meals
  • Airport pickup and dropoff
  • Domestic Airfare* (Lisbon-Azores-Lisbon)
  • 24/7 on-site support
  • Travel Medical & Repatriation Insurance
*In order to book the domestic airfare, each participant must have a valid passport by March 15, 2017

Not Included in the Program Fee:
  • International airfare (US-Lisbon-US)
  • Most meals
  • Passport/visa fess
  • Personal expenses

Refund Policy:
Program Costs Refund:
  • The application deposit is non-refundable for withdrawals after March 15, 2018*
  • For the second payment, for withdrawals after March 15, 2018 but before April 2, 2018, there is a 50% cancellation fee
  • For withdrawals on or after April 2, 2018, no refunds will be issued 
Course Tuition Refund: 
Refunds for course tuition follow the College of Extended Studies (CES) standard refund policy

*Withdrawals are effective on the date that the CES Faculty-Led Program staff receives written notification from you, the student. Email notification is acceptable.

Funding & Scholarship Information:
Visit the CES Study Abroad website for more information about financial aid, scholarships, military and veterans benefits, and other funding sources. 

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Open to SDSU students, students at other colleges and universities and the general public
  • SDSU students cannot be on academic probation (less than 2.0 GPA) or disciplinary probation (expulsion, judicial, or suspension) at the time of application and/or at the time of course registration. The standard CES refund policy for study abroad applies if you are found to be on probation after applying to the program.
  • Minimum age to participate is 18.
  • After applying and being accepted into the program, all participants must complete BOTH a mandatory pre-departure orientation sponsored by the College of Extended Studies (CES) as well as a program-specific orientation(s) with their faculty leader(s) prior to departure. Details about both will be sent after acceptance into the program.


If you are interested in attending this program in Summer 2019, add your name to the Inquiry List below and you will receive email updates when available.

Students from majors and minors in the College of Sciences are strongly encouraged to apply!

  • Click HERE for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about College of Extended Studies (CES) study abroad programs.
  • For course content, requirements, and specific information about the program contact the faculty leader Dr. Isabelle Sacramento Grilo at
  • If you would like more information about the application and registration process or have general questions, please contact Philip Hoog, Study Abroad Advisor, in the College of Extended Studies, Faculty-Led Study Abroad office:,  (619) 594-0638.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 03/15/2019 03/15/2019 TBA TBA