International Experience

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The International Experience Requirement

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) is initiating a requirement for all students in the college to participate in an international experience prior to graduation. The goal of CASA’s international experience requirement is to introduce students to international and intercultural perspectives in order to prepare them to live and work in an increasingly globalized world.    

Meeting the Requirement

The requirements of the international experience include:

  • Travel outside of the United States
  • Program must be a minimum of 9 days
  • Student must receive academic credit

International students can meet the requirement through a modification: Click here for Modification Petition

Each school and department has developed a model for their international experience with specific guidelines and curriculum requirements. See the departmental websites for specific information for your degree program:

The international experience requirement is being implemented over a period of three years. Beginning in Fall 2015, six schools and departments in the college will require an international experience for graduation:

  • Undergraduate students (freshman and transfer students) entering the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as of Fall 2015
  • Graduate students entering the Department of Occupational Therapy as of Fall 2015
  • Graduate students entering the School of Information as of Spring 2015
  • Undergraduate students (freshman and transfer students) entering the Department of Justice Studies as of Fall 2016
  • Undergraduate students (freshman and transfer students) entering the Department of Kinesiology as of Fall 2016
  • Undergraduate students (freshman and transfer students) entering the Department of Hospitality Management as of Fall 2017

Students who were admitted to SJSU as undeclared or other majors prior to Fall 2015 are not required to complete the international experience.

Programs that Satisfy the International Experience Requirement

  • SJSU Semester Exchange Program (Semester, Academic Year, or summer only)
  • SJSU Faculty Led Program through the College of International and Extended Studies
  • CSU International Program (Full Academic Year)
  • Study abroad or faculty led program through another CSU Campus or a community college
  • Approved Independent Study Abroad Program
  • International volunteer service AND completion of APSC 198ITL

Alternative to the International Experience Requirement

Students seeking alternative from the study abroad portion of the international experience requirement due to financial hardship, serious and compelling life situations, or physical limitations must meet first with the CASA International Coordinator to review the requirement guidelines. Students may then petition the college for a travel alternative. Final determinations regarding travel alternatives must be approved by the dean of the college. Students who are approved for a travel alternative are required to complete a 1-unit online seminar (APSC 198ITL) in conjunction with 20 hours of service in a local service organization. Students must select an organization that serves individuals or communities representing a cultural heritage or background that is different than their own.To receive credit for APSC 198ITL, verification of completion of 20 hours of volunteer service must be submitted to the instructor on agency letterhead (sample verification letter attached to petition). Click here for Alternative Petition


Modification for Students with Prior International Experience

Students who have substantial international experience within 5 years of entering San Jose State University may petition the college for a modification of the international experience requirement. Examples of substantial international experience may include (but are not limited to): international service in the Peace Corps or other volunteer organization, military service abroad, and work experience abroad. Students whose modification petition is approved will register for a one-unit online seminar course (APSC 198ITL) where they will engage in reflection and analysis of their international experience. Click here for Modification Petition


Independent International Experience

Students who wish to pursue an independent international experience can petition for permission to do so. An independent international experience is one that is not completed through SJSU. It is not necessary for the experience to have an academic component, but it must provide opportunities for the student to engage directly with local people and organizations. Examples of experiences that qualify include:

  • A course taken at a university outside of the U.S.
  • A faculty-led study abroad program taken through another U.S. university
  • A service or volunteer trip abroad sponsored by a non-profit or charitable organization

Tourist trips or vacations taken with family or friends do not qualify as independent international experiences.

Students who successfully petition for an independent international experience must take APSC 198ITL (1-unit online seminar course) upon their return. APSC 198ITL is offered Fall and Spring semesters.

Submitting the Petition:

  1. Download and complete the petition: Click here for Independent Proposal Form
  2. Attach documentation regarding the experience, i.e., course syllabus, program information, etc.
  3. Obtain the signature of your academic advisor or department chair
  4. Bring the packet to the Dean’s office for signature (MacQuarrie Hall 431)

Important Considerations:

  • All students traveling abroad must obtain international health insurance that includes medical, evacuation and repatriation coverage. If the organization that you are traveling with does not provide this insurance you must obtain it on your own.
  • Students in nursing, occupational therapy, social work, or athletic training must obtain individual malpractice insurance if you will be in direct contact with clients/patients.
  • You must register for and complete APSC 198ITL or approved departmental equivalent upon your return (1-unit online seminar) in order to satisfy the international experience requirement. APSC 198ITL is offered Fall and Spring semesters.
In signing your petition, you will be agreeing to the following:

In electing to pursue an independent international experience, I understand that the agencies or organizations with which I travel or work abroad are not affiliated with San Jose State University and the University provides no assurance or guarantee of program content or supervision, travel arrangements, or accommodations. I have purchased international health insurance and if my international placement involves contact with clients/patients, I have purchased individual malpractice insurance. I further understand that upon my return to SJSU I must register for and complete APSC 198ITL (or approved departmental equivalent).