Family F.A.Q.

Why should my student join a Faculty-Led Program/Summer School Abroad program?

Studying abroad can benefit your student in numerous ways. Studying abroad helps students gain a new perspective on the way they see themselves and the world. Research has suggested that intercultural experiences help students develop soft skills, which are highly employable traits sought out by recruiters. These skills provide your student with a much more competitive edge in the job market compared to those who have not studied abroad. Check out this news article on how studying abroad can help students improve their employability.

For more possible reasons why one should consider studying abroad with our short-term programs, see "Why FLP?" and "Why SSA?".

Will Faculty-Led Programs/Summer School Abroad programs count toward my student’s degree? 

Yes, they can. All Faculty-Led Programs/Summer School Abroad programs have SJSU credit-bearing courses attached to them. These courses can be applied towards your student's degree. They should discuss their FLP/SSA plans with their academic advisor to make sure the program they choose will work for their degree and help them on their path to graduation.

What year can my student study abroad on an FLP/SSA?

SJSU Faculty-Led Programs/Summer School Abroad programs are open to all students. However, many of the courses we currently offer require upper-division standing which is usually (but not always) achieved when a student has completed their sophomore year. Moreover, some courses may be locked for certain majors and/or graduate programs.

Where can my student study abroad on an FLP/SSA?

We currently offer programs in 25 locations around the world (and we’re adding new program locations every year!). Students can study in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania.

Where will my student live while abroad?

Housing for students varies by program and may include hotels, hostels, dorms, apartments, homestays, etc.

Do you need to know another language to go on a program?

Absolutely not. Unlike other programs, Faculty-Led Programs are taught by SJSU faculty and as such, all modes of instruction are conducted in English. Additionally, our Summer School Abroad programs are offered at international universities that offer summer courses in English, so students from all over the world can come together and learn in a common language.

How much do Faculty-Led Programs/Summer School Abroad programs cost?

Individual program costs vary, as they are based on differing factors such as location, length of program, and units offered. However, studying abroad on an FLP/SSA does not need to be prohibitively expensive. Full program costs are listed on each program’s online brochure page, and will help your student choose the right program for them and budget accordingly.

Is financial aid available? What about scholarships?

Undergraduate students may be able to use their Financial Aid toward the FLP/SSA if they are planning to take a minimum of 6 units during the summer session. Graduate students may be able to use their Financial Aid if they are planning to take a minimum of 4 units during the summer session.

The Financial Aid disbursed for the Summer FLP/SSA is part of the Financial Aid award for the academic year (Fall and Spring), so students should be sure to save some of their Financial Aid for the summer. For more information on Financial Aid eligibility and processes, please see the Summer 2017 Financial Aid Fact Sheet for Faculty-Led Programs to get an idea.

Your student is encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible to find out the process of potentially allocating their Financial Aid towards an FLP/SSA. Please contact:

Carol A. Garcia
Special Programs Coordinator
Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

Moreover, depending on the program, some scholarship support is also available for those who qualify. We encourage that you and/or your student(s) reach out to their individual departments/colleges and other applicable third-party scholarship providers for further funding if needed.

What is the process for obtaining a passport?

If your student has been accepted to a program and does not yet own a passport, we encourage them to apply for one as soon as possible. It is important that the student plan ahead as processing times can take several weeks (or longer during peak travel times). Instructions on how to obtain a passport can be found on the Department of State's Passports & International Travel page.  

Does my student need a visa to study abroad?

Visa requirements vary by country. If your student needs a visa for their FLP/SSA location, their Program Leader or GEI will let them know.

Will my student be able to travel before, during, or after their program?

Yes, your student can choose to travel before or after their program. In fact, we highly recommend that students take advantage of their time abroad by visiting other countries before or after their program. This additional traveling will help increase their knowledge of other cultures and can greatly enrich their study abroad experience.

Please note that during the program dates, students must remain with their FLP/SSA (except for any free time that their program leader schedules).


How can I contact my student while they are abroad?

There are many ways for students and their families to keep in touch. E-mail, Facebook, text, Skype, and cell phones are all popular options. Families should be aware that due to the short nature of FLPs/SSAs, students may be very busy and unable to communicate on a daily basis. We advise you and your student to make a contact plan prior to their travel dates, in order to avoid unnecessary concern and to set realistic communication expectations.

Can I visit my student while they are abroad?

If you would like to travel abroad with your student before or after the program dates, you are more than welcome to join your student. However, parents/guardians/spouses are not allowed to travel with the student during the program dates as outlined in the Commitment to Participate form that all students sign. Violating the Commitment to Participate and travelling with your student during the program is grounds for dismissal for the student.


What happens if my student gets ill or hurt while on their program?

Global Education & Initiatives has procedures in place in the event of illness or injury during a Faculty-Led Program/Summer School Abroad program. All students are enrolled in an international health insurance plan for the duration of their program. Should medical care be needed, the program leader(s)/host university would assist the student in obtaining the proper treatment. Program leaders/host universities are also in constant contact with our office and would inform us of any serious incident, should one occur.

What does my student need to pack?

Packing needs will vary. As such, we first recommend that the student research what can and cannot be carried onto an airline provider and through the TSA. Moreover, the student will need to see what items are restricted in the host country as this will differ from country to country.

Some core items that we recommend the student pack include: passport; boarding passes and copies of flight itineraries; extra copies of important documents (passport, visa(s), plane tickets, and insurance information); cash and credit cards; medications (in original containers with copies of respective prescription); toiletries; proper clothing relative to the weather in host country; etc. Your student’s program leader will provide them with additional packing recommendations during their predeparture orientation.

What is FERPA? 

FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Under FERPA guidelines, students who are over 18 have a legal right to privacy in regards to their educational records. This means that Global Education & Initiatives (GEI) staff are prohibited from providing any student information to anyone other than the student. In emergencies, GEI staff will communicate with any individuals the student has listed as their emergency contacts in the application materials. However, be aware that FERPA guidelines apply to all non-emergency matters.