Traveling abroad during college does not necessarily need to include traditional coursework. Many students and recent graduates take time to engage in other valuable experiences such as internships, volunteering, service-learning programs, teaching English, conducting research or simply working overseas. The distinctions between these categories are not always clear, so do not limit yourself to searching under only one section.
When you identify a program of interest, collect as much information as possible to gain a thorough understanding. The SDSU Education Abroad Office can only provide general advising and therefore it is important for each student to be proactive in making preparations for the experience.
You may want to ask the following questions of program staff:
- How far in advance do I need to apply?
- When will I be notified of my placement or acceptance?
- What does the program fee cover? What additional expenses can I expect that are not included in the fee?
- Can I contact past participants?
- What is the daily and weekly work schedule?
- Who will be my coworkers and supervisor?
- What kind of supervision or guidance will I receive?
- How much can I expect to be paid weekly or monthly?
- Where will I live and with whom will I live?
- Will I receive pre-departure information?
- Is there an in-country orientation?
Once you have a strong grasp of the program structure and details, then consider if your expectations are realistic. Will the activity provide you the experience you are seeking and serve your long-term goals?
Most students do not earn academic credit for internships and volunteering, but it may be possible to transfer credits to SDSU if you are issued an official transcript from a host institution. Check ahead of time with the Academic Advising Center to determine if credits can be transferred to SDSU.
Entry and Visas requirements will vary widely by country and the type of activity engaged in while living there. In order to ensure you apply for the most appropriate visa, access the country’s consulate or embassy website for visa instructions. In most cases, you will need a legitimate sponsor to receive a visa.