International Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Study Abroad?
  • To enhance your education.
    Study abroad adds a new perspective to your studies. You will see things from another point of view, which will help you to develop your analytical and critical thinking skills.

  • To build your resume.
    In an age of global economies and information super-highways, experience abroad distinguishes your background from the rest.

  • To develop your self-awareness.
    We sometimes impose limitations on ourselves that limit our progress toward our goals. By leaving the familiar behind to encounter different people and places we gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

  • To understand another culture.
    Living and learning in another culture in the midst of the unfamiliar adds to our understanding of the variety of cultures in our world and gives us a maturity and perspective which can be gained in no other way.

How do I apply and what is the selection process? (Top)
  • Application and selection process
    The California State University (CSU) International Programs is open to CSU students and to students eligible to transfer from a California community college. The application deadline for most programs is December 15 (May 1 for Australia and South Africa). There is no application fee. Applications are available online but first you should meet with your IP Campus Coordinator who can explain the application procedures.

    A complete application consists of an IP Application, 2 faculty recommendations and official university transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. For some programs, students must also submit a Foreign Language Faculty Recommendation. See your IP Campus Coordinator for more instructions.

    All applications are reviewed at the home CSU campus by a local selection committee. The local selection committee makes its recommendations to the Student Affairs Committee of the Academic Council on International Programs (ACIP), which takes final action on all candidates. Selection is based on academic, linguistic, and personal qualifications, and on the appropriateness of the students' proposed plan of study to thier degree objective. Applicants will be notified of the final decision in early March (late August for Australia and South Africa).

    If a nonselected applicant wishes to make an appeal for reconsideration, the following procedure should be observed. First, the student meets with the local member of the Academic Council on International Programs (ACIP) for further consultation. If the student still wishes to appeal after consulting with the ACIP member, he/she may write a letter of appeal to the chairperson of the Student Affairs Committee of the ACIP. In his/her letter of appeal, the student must provide new information about his/her eligibility, or a clear case of error on the part of the campus selection committee or Student Affairs Committee. Supplementary character references or personal statements expressing unhappiness with the selection outcome do not constitute new information and will not result in a reconsideration of the case. Personal appearances by applicants are not permitted. Appeals should be sent to the Office of International Programs by early April (mid September for Australia and South Africa). The Student Affairs Committee will review all appeals and respond to the students.

    Apply Online

Can I Afford to Study Abroad? (Top)
  • IP keeps costs as low as possible.
    IP is the most affordable study abroad opportunity for California residents.Enrollment fees are kept at an affordable level because part of your costs are supported by the State of California. IP also takes steps wherever possible to minimize costs.

  • Financial aid is available.
    If you qualify for financial aid you may apply it to your year abroad. Your campus financial aid office has a counselor available to talk with you about to study abroad.

  • The costs vary by country.
    Students pay for their own housing, meals, transportation and incidentals. These costs do differ from country to country depending on the economic situation of the country and the type of arrangements you select.

  • Cost or Investment?
    Study abroad, when carefully integrated with your overall educational objectives, is a long-term investment in yourself and in your future. It is also an opportunity available to you as a student which will not likely be available to you at any other time in your life. The question is: can you afford not to include study abroad in your educational plan?

Are there any IP scholarships I can apply for? (Top)
  • IP Scholarships (pdf) : Made possible through the generosity of former IP participants. Approximately five awards of $500 each are made each year. Applications due December 15. (May 1 for Australia and South Africa).

  • Wang Family Scholarships (pdf): Recognizing the importance of international education, the Wang Family generously provides scholarships for study in China and Taiwan with the CSU International Programs. Ten $4,000 scholarships are awarded for study in China, and ten $4,000 scholarships are awarded for study in Taiwan. Applications are due December 15, along with the IP Application.

  • Japan Scholarships:

    • The Ward Wallach Memorial Scholarship (one $500 scholarship awarded mid-year during your year abroad).

    • Japan Student Service Organization (JASSO) Scholarship.

    • Students need not apply for the two aforementioned scholarships. All Japan IP participants are considered and will be informed if they are awarded a scholarship.

  • Baden-Württemberg Fellowship Program: Provides a limited number of scholarships for study in Germany through the CSU International Programs. The award is 400 Euros per month and can be awarded for up to 11 months. Applicants must have completed at least 4 semesters of German prior to departure. Your application must be sent to Germany by the Office of International Programs (OIP). Submit your letter of application to your IP Campus Coordinator by December 15.

    • A complete application consists of:

      • A formal letter of application outlining your academic goals.

      • A strong foreign language faculty recommendation.

      • Official university transcripts.

      • Awards are announced by mid July.

Will I Get Credit? (Top)
  • Yes, for all coursework successfully completed.
    How credit applies to specific requirements depends on your campus; see your academic advisor.

  • IP students remain registered at their home CSU campus while they are abroad.
    All academic work completed during the year is considered CSU resident credit. Academic Reports are prepared by the Office of International Programs converting host university information into CSU campus terms.

  • Pre-departure advisement is required.
    All students must meet with advisors to plan how the work taken abroad will apply to major, minor, general education or elective requirements.

Can graduate students study abroad? (Top)
  • Graduate students are eligible for participation in the following International Programs Study Centers:

    • Chile
    • China
    • France
    • Germany
    • Ghana
    • Israel
    • Italy
    • Korea
    • Mexico
    • Spain
    • Taiwan

    Graduate students are NOT eligible for participation in the following International Programs Study Centers: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

  • Applicants just beginning graduate work should be aware that study abroad at this early stage of their academic career removes them from their home campus department and advisor at a critical juncture in their studies. It is essential that graduate students considering application for the International Programs obtain advance information on how work completed abroad can be applied to their degree program from both their graduate department, as well as the dean of graduate studies on the home campus. At a later point, this will also require that the Academic Advisement Form be signed by both the department chair and the dean of graduate studies. Graduate students may find that only six to nine units will count toward their graduate degree; they must, however, maintain the unit load requirement.
  • Students pursuing graduate degrees must obtain classified graduate standing before departure for overseas. They should plan to complete before departure any course or courses which are either required as part of the graduate program and unlikely to be available at the foreign university or are prerequisite to other graduate work.
  • Graduate students must be realistic about what they can accomplish in a year of study overseas, both in terms of what can reasonably be expected in the way of course offerings and of what preparation they have to pursue the available offerings. They should not expect, for example, to work in a narrowly defined area of specialization, particularly one in which they have not had previous preparation. Similarly, their competence in the language of instruction might not be sufficiently advanced to permit them to take courses for which they are otherwise intellectually prepared. Acquisition of the foreign language in itself may be a valid reason for a graduate student to study abroad; however, such study is usually credited on the undergraduate, even lower division, level.

Students pursuing credentials or second baccalaureate degrees are admitted as postbaccalaureates, but are treated, academically, as undergraduate students.

What Is IP? (Top)
  • IP is an integral part of the CSU system.
    The International Programs (IP) was established by the CSU Board of Trustees in 1963 as the study abroad program of The California State University system.

  • IP offers a true international academic experience.
    IP's guiding principle is that students should be "immersed" in the academic and living environments in their host countries. Accordingly, all instruction is offered by recognized host universities and/or by distinguished host country faculty.

  • Students live in the communities where their studies are pursued.
    Learning the language and learning to function in the daily life of the host culture to achieve maximum social integration is a high priority for IP students.

  • IP takes student needs into account.
    IP students are provided special assistance in preparing for their year of study and while they are overseas by professional CSU and/or host university staff. This assistance includes, for example, help in obtaining visas, arranging for transportation and housing, health insurance, and academic advising.

Why an Academic Year? (Top)
  • To get the most out of the study abroad experience, personally and academically.
    We all seem to be in a hurry, but some things cannot be hurried. One of these is cultural assimilation. It takes time to go beyond tourism and to undergo the transformation from visitor to resident. An academic year offers the opportunity for the fullest possible adaptation and integration in the context of university studies.

  • To allow time to achieve advanced language, academic and cultural coping skills.
    During the first half of your year you will be learning, adjusting, and assimilating information at an incredibly rapid pace. During the second half of your year you will be applying and using what you have learned and you will finally feel "at home" in your host country and host university environment. It is also the time when you will really come to feel that you have made friends.

What can I Study and Where can I Study it? (Top)
  • Lots of subjects in Lots of Places!
    The CSU International Programs can accommodate students in over 100 academic majors and operates study centers in eighteen countries. We are affiliated with over 70 universities and other institutions of higher education around the world. For detailed information on the programs that are available to you and advice on how to choose a program that best meets your needs, please visit IP's IP Campus Coordinators.

How do I Talk to a Real, Live Person about Study Abroad? (Top)
  • See your campus International Programs Coordinator.
    Your IP Coordinator, can give you additional information about specific programs and answer your individual questions about participation. Your IP Coordinator can also help you with the application process. Please feel free to visit your IP Coordinator soon. We like helping students make their dreams a reality! The help and answers are free, and so is the application.