What is Study Abroad?
How much does it cost?
Like winter and summer session at CSUSM, tuition fees are paid directly to Extended Learning. Program fees are paid to the Office of Global Education. Depending on the destination, these fees will vary based on program length, location, accommodation, food, excursions, etc. Flight costs are not included in our program fees.
Most of our programs cost around the same as a term at CSUSM living on-campus. You might even save money studying abroad! Tuition and fees are the same and paid to CSUSM. The cost of living (housing, food, personal, transportation, etc) will vary by each country. Specific costs breakdowns can be found on each program page.
Outside program fees are directly paid to the program provider or foreign university. Check out your program’s website for this information.
How does Financial Aid work?
Like winter and summer session at CSUSM, no new awards from the financial aid office are given during these terms. Students can use leftover aid from the previous semester and apply it to these programs.
Since tuition and fees are paid to CSU, any financial aid you normally receive can be applied to your semester or year abroad. This includes grants, Cal Vet, loans, and scholarships! Specific scholarships for study abroad are also available. Check out our financial aid section.
For semester and year-long programs, students who normally receive aid at CSUSM, can take most of their financial aid and apply it towards their outside program, except state university grants.
Short-Term programs during the winter or summer, can take any leftover aid from the previous semester, except state university grants.
How do I get credit?
Our Short-Term Faculty-Led Programs (Winter and Summer) are direct CSUSM courses and units. They will count the same way they would if you took the course(s) on campus. While no pre-approved documentation is required, you must meet the minimum eligibility requirements stated on the program’s page.
Semester and Year programs (Exchange, CSU IP, ISEP Exchange) earn CSU credits and grades for all coursework taken abroad. It is required you meet with your major/minor Faculty Advisor before departure to fill out the Credit Approval Form. This will ensure you receive credit for any classes taken in your major or minor. For General Education credit, you can return your credit approval form with course descriptions to our office and we will obtain the signatures.
Outside Program (ISEP Direct and others) courses will be accepted as transfer credit. These courses can clear requirements for your major, minor, and lower-division general education courses. Upper-division GEs (BB, CC, and DD) CANNOT be cleared through an outside program. It is required you meet with your major/minor Faculty Advisor before departure to fill out the Credit Approval Form.
What program better suits my major or minor?
Where will I study?
Will my classes be taught in English?
Where will I live?
Will I delay graduation?
The country I want to travel to is not listed...can I still study there?
I am an incoming transfer student. Could I study abroad my first semester at CSUSM?
You could study abroad through our year-only option (CSU International Programs). This would mean that your first year at CSUSM will actually be spent in another country! If you would like to apply for CSU IP, please contact our office to set an appointment.
If you want to go through a short-term or semester program, you are required to attend a semester on-campus at CSUSM before you can study abroad.
I have a disability. Can I still study abroad?
How do I get started?
The first step to studying abroad is attending our Study Abroad Info Session! We have them every semester on a weekly basis. Please check out our calendar for specific dates and location. This will give you an idea of all the programs we offer, how financial aid and classes transfer, etc.
Once you have attended an info session, the next step would be making an appointment with our Study Abroad Coordinator for specific advising about the application process.
Check out our checklists to keep you on track
When is the deadline?
Do I have to attend an Info Session?
What is the General Study Abroad Application? And where can I find it?
The General Study Abroad Application is an application all our students must fill out before they can study abroad. This gives us information on your basic contact information, health, emergency contact, program you are most interested in (which can be changed later), etc.
Should take you about 20-30mins to complete. You can find it at the following link:
Do I need a passport to apply?
What is STEP?
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Everytime you add a country to your account, you will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. The US Embassy also has direct contact with you through STEP in case of an emergency.
Every student traveling MUST enroll and send us a copy of their profile (See sample).
If you have applied to one of our programs, create account ASAP: STEP Homepage
What is the credit approval form?
The Credit Approval Form is your insurance policy that the courses you take overseas will translate into degree progress at CSUSM. It is required you meet with your major/minor Faculty Advisor before departure to fill out the form together. We recommend you also get back-up classes approved.
You must take complete the form and submit it to our office before departure. Once transcripts from overseas are received, classes will show on your CSUSM transcript or under external institutions for outside programs.