International Programs

CSU Overview

Academic Information

The CSU offers more than 1,800 bachelor's and master's degree programs in some 240 subject areas. Most subjects are available to exchange students although a few programs are "impacted" at some campuses. Course descriptions can be found on campus websites.

Academic Calendars

Exchange students can study at the California State University (CSU) for up to one academic year. Check your home university advisor for details. Some CSU campuses operate on quarters, others operate on semesters.

Quarter System Campuses Semester System Campuses
Bakersfield, East Bay, Los Angeles,
Pomona, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo.
Channel Islands, Chico, Dominguez Hills,
Fresno, Fullerton, Humboldt, Long Beach,
Maritime Academy, Monterey Bay, Northridge, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Marcos, Sonoma and Stanislaus.
Dates are approximate and vary by campus.

Fall Quarter: Mid Sept. - Mid December
Fall Break: Mid December - Early January
Winter Quarter: Early January - Mid March
Winter Break: Late March - Early April
Spring Quarter: Late March - Mid June
Dates are approximate and vary by campus.

Fall Semester: Late August - Late December
Fall Break: Late December - Late January
Spring Semester: Late January - Mid May
Spring Break: Mid March - Early April


There are university dormitories available on most CSU campuses. Dormitories typically house first-year university students, ages 18-20, and are co-ed, with half the floor reserved for female students and half the floor reserved for male students. Students normally share a bedroom with another student. There is a bathroom in the hall with 3 or 4 showers, sinks and toilets, which is shared by 10-12 students. Some campuses have recently built apartment-style housing facilities on campus, but space is very limited. Students have several housing options at each CSU campus. Most international students decide to live in off-campus apartments near the university. This usually entails arriving a couple of weeks before classes start to allow time to find housing. More detailed information about housing will be provided by your host CSU campus prior to your arrival.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in California?

Exchange students pay normal tuition fees directly to their home universities and avoid paying costly international fees which are normally incurred by international students who study in the CSU. Most CSU campuses will require exchange students to pay miscellaneous campus-based fees.

Financing Your Year of Study at the California State University

Many students assume that studying abroad will cost much more than they can afford. While it is an undeniable fact that studying abroad will cost money, the surprising reality is that the cost is within the financial reach of most students. Keep in mind that the California State University system includes 23 universities located throughout the state of California. Some campuses are in big cities and others are in smaller, more rural areas. Just as is the case around the world, the cost of living in a big metropolitan city, such as London, Paris, Los Angeles or San Francisco, is higher than the cost of living in smaller cities. If cost is a deciding factor for you, we strongly recommend that you consider one of the CSU campuses located outside the large metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Furthermore, remember that living near the ocean costs more than living inland. All of these factors will play a role in determining your costs.

Fun Facts about California
  • If California's economic size were measured by itself to other countries, it would rank the 7th largest economy in the world.
  • California is bigger than eighty-five of the smallest nations in the world.
  • California is the largest producer of goods of all the states and the largest agricultural state in America.
  • One out of every eight United States residents lives in California.
  • The highest and lowest points in the continental United States are within 100 miles of one another. Mount Whitney measures 14,495 feet and Bad Water in Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level.