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for Study Abroad Students

Academic Advising & Approval

It is very important to discuss your study abroad plans with your academic advisor(s) as early as possible. Early planning for study abroad is fundamental to allowing you to stay on track to graduate and not get behind.

image of advisor at desk with student looking at study abroad onlineConsult with your academic advisor(s)

Consider discussing these topics with your advisors prior to selecting a program:

  • Review your degree audit in SDSU Webportal for remaining graduation requirements
  • Adjustments to SDSU degree “map” to better accommodate study abroad (e.g. moving major electives into one semester and saving general education courses)
  • Considerations in selecting classes and keeping in mind prerequisites
  • How courses you take abroad will meet major or minor requirements
  • Best time to go abroad (e.g. summer or semester; sophomore or junior year)
  • Declaring a minor which provides more flexible graduation requirements, such as the Minor in International Studies
  • If relevant, study abroad (or international experience) graduation requirement

Course Search at Host University

Students who select an SDSU Exchange, ISEP Exchange/Direct or CSU International Program (CSUIP) may need to search for courses/classes on the host institution website, which can be a lengthy process. The SDSU Global Education office will facilitate students in locating the appropriate course listings at the exchange partner university. However, each student must show individual course descriptions to his/her academic advisor for review.

Academic Approval

Prior to Departure:

  • SDSU Academic Approval Form: Before you go abroad, you and your departmental academic advisor will complete an Academic Approval Form to determine course equivalencies. Students who plan ahead and work closely with their academic advisors usually get full credit for classes they take abroad. You will obtain the Academic Approval Form in the Aztecs Abroad database after you submit a preliminary application.
  • Lower- and Upper-division classes: The level of courses abroad is dependent on how academic advisors review the course content.  It may be necessary to show a course description or syllabus to your academic advisor before they can say if a course is lower- or upper-division.

While Abroad:

  • Your class schedule may change upon arrival at your host university, so you may need to contact your academic advisors to ask them about course equivalency.

Upon Return:

  • For coursework not approved beforehand, you will need to petition for credit upon your return to SDSU. The Request for Adjustment of Academic Record (RAAR) form is available from the Office of Evaluations and from your major department.
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How many classes or courses can I take while I study abroad for a semester?

The number of classes considered full-time at your host university will depend on their academic system.  In general, SDSU students take between three and five classes per semester abroad. 

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