How do I choose a program?

finger pointing the globe map china

Is there a list of all the programs?

Yes.  Aztecs Abroad is the search engine for all SDSU study abroad programs.  Start here: Aztecs Abroad home and click Search Programs.  You will note there are search fields from which to choose, including country, institution, type of program, language, etc.

Tips on searching for programs using Aztecs Abroad

  • It is generally best to do broad searches, in other words don’t select too many search fields at the same time.  Start with “Country,” for example.
  • Fields of study may be called different things in different countries.  See  “Courses in your Major” below.

What’s the best way to start browsing programs?

There may be a number of factors that are important to you.

  • Location
  • Length of Program
  • Cost
  • Taking courses in your major

Locationstudent with map

Are driven to study in one particular country?  Perhaps you want to improve language skills, you have spoken with another student who loved a particular program, you have relatives there, or you are just fascinated in that particular part of the world.  If you have a burning desire to study and explore one particular place, for whatever reason, I urge you to do it!

Length of program

SDSU offers a wide variety of program lengths.

  •      A few weeks –  Consider Faculty Led Programs
  •      Winter or spring break?  Consider  College of Sciences faculty led programs  A complete list of  SDSU Faculty Led Program is on Aztecs Abroad home  click Search Programs and select TYPE OF PROGRAM:  Faculty led Program.
  •      A few months? Start by checking out the SDSU Exchange programs.
  •      An academic year?  Consider a one year  CSU International program or two one-semester programs at one or 2 locations


Financial aid students – funding transfers  provided  you choose an approved semester or year-long program that is not an independent program; for example, choose  an SDSU Exchange program, ISEP Exchange program or  CSU International Program.  Meet with your financial aid adviser to double check your eligibility.

Cost of Living Certain areas of the world have a higher standard of living and thus are more expensive.  Generally the highest costs of living are in the UK, Western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.  Students can stretch  money much more effectively in locations where the cost of living is lower.  This could mean the difference between spending $2.00 on a meal in China or $20 on a meal in London.  Asia (except Japan) and Latin America are often a great choices when students are trying to lower costs.

Taking classes in your Major  for course credit

You may wish to take one or two classes in your major as well as GEs . On  Aztecs Abroad  select your major from the FIELD OF STUDY drop-down menu.  Note: our U.S.  majors are often known by other nomenclature abroad.   All sciences majors should look under their specific major AND under Sciences.

Biology – also look under Biotechnology, BioEngineering, and Ocean and Marine Science. Biochemistry may be listed under Chemistry.

Chemistry –  Since Chemistry and Biology departments are often very closely linked abroad, look at Biology Offerings

Computer Science – also look under Engineering-computer.

Environmental Science – also look under Ecology.

Geology – also look under Science, Earth; Earth Science, Physical science.

Physics: also look  under Energy Studies, Physical science.

Psychology – also look under Social Science.

Astronomy – Don’t panic when the data base returns little or nothing; Astronomy may be known as other things abroad, so that search term will yield no results. You have to hunt a little more.  If you find a country/institution you’re interested in, look in their specific sciences offerings.

Note about the word “course” –  In the USA we use “course” and “class” interchangeably.  However, most countries use the word “course” to mean major.  For example, if a student is “doing a course in Biology”  it does not mean she’s taking a particular Biology class, it means she’s a a Biology major.

Looking for institutions abroad that are known for strong sciences?

The College of Sciences has identified the following SDSU Exchange Programs as outstanding.  Keep in mind this list is by no means exclusive.

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Deakin University, Australia

University of Stirling, Scotland

University of Leicester, England

Murdoch University,  Australia


You are invited to make an appointment with me at any point in this process.  Let’s discuss your ideas and how to make them happen!    Maureen Crawford, International Programs Coordinator, College of Sciences,, (619) 594-1813.