For those looking to explore the world through study abroad programs while avoiding the expense, the Study Abroad Office at San Diego State wants students to know there are options.
Every international opportunity available is accessible through the Aztecs Abroad online database. The site features options to browse different programs, submit and application or save the program as a future option, said Study Abroad Assistant Director Inemesit Williams.
Williams said students who are unsure of how to select a program can visit the website for an overview of the basics to getting started.
Filling out an advising application also allows students to access general information about studying abroad. Students can ask advisors questions, learn more about different options and set up advising appointments.
“The advising office is there to assist you through possible paths that fit best for you academically and financially,” Williams said.
Visiting another country through a university program can take many different forms, including taking classes, researching or volunteering, Williams said. Some programs may even provide special support as a financial incentive to increase enrollment.
Planning ahead can help students prepare financially by being able to create options.
“If you plan early, you can come through this process with less stress knowing what scholarships are available, what money you can save or knowing your best case scenario,” Williams said.
The timeline for all study abroad experiences can range from one week up to a full year. Typically, programs in the winter and summer, faculty-led and exchange programs tend to be the most popular due to affordability.
“We try to make sure we have a good mix of all types of options for students,” Williams said.
Study abroad experiences have inexpensive alternatives for students. Programs can be funded by applying for many scholarship options within the school or from other organizations.
Students can also use financial aid awards to pay for study abroad costs as long as they have filled out a FAFSA form online. Some students find that they pay the same SDSU tuition and fees amount in resident credit programs when studying abroad, depending on the program.
Williams said choosing a location that is less expensive than living in San Diego can be an easy way to save money.
“A lot of students build their own scholarships in a way, simply by choosing a destination that will be more affordable,” said Williams.
International Security and Conflict Resolution junior Melissa Cagney said she studied abroad in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a faculty-led program and described the experience as a “culture shock.”
“It was interesting to study International Relations from the perspective of a post-Soviet Union country,” said Cagney.
Communications senior Nikolas Lopez studied abroad in Denmark for an international student exchange program and described the experience as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“It was really important for me as a person to experience because I had never left the country before,” Lopez said.