International Experience


What is the Justice Studies International Experience?

Beginning in Fall 2016, the College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) has initiated a requirement for all Justice Studies and Forensic Science students to participate in an international experience prior to graduation. The goal of CHHS’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. The experience may also expose students to more effective and viable practices, principles, and ideas about justice that they may use to transform their local communities and institutions over the course of their careers.  

Studying abroad is a high-impact educational practice that has been shown to increase student success and employability after graduation. The CHHS International Experience is designed to provide high-quality global learning experiences that are flexible, affordable, and relevant to students’ degree programs and professional goals. There are many options for fulfilling the requirement and advising is available to assist students in all aspects of the process. Students may be able to apply financial aid towards the cost of some SJSU-sponsored study abroad programs, and scholarships are also available through CHHS and other sources. Often, students find that it saves money to study abroad because housing costs are much lower in many other countries compared with Silicon Valley.

To satisfy the Justice Studies Department International Experience requirement, students must study abroad for at least nine days in an approved program, course of study, or class. Students may satisfy the “study abroad” requirement using any course from any subject taken abroad—the course does not need to be a JS or FS designated course, and its units do not have to count toward the total for the major. 

For More Detailed Information, See Our Fact Sheet [PDF]

Getting Started 

Who Needs to Complete an International Experience?

  • Freshmen entering SJSU on or after Fall 2016
  • Transfer students entering SJSU with catalog rights on or after Fall 2016

If you are unsure whether the requirement applies to you, need help selecting a program, or have any other questions about the international experience, contact the Justice Studies International Experience Coordinator Dr. Bryce Westlake or College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) International Experience advisor Anthony Korsund at the CHHS Student Success Center located in MacQuarrie Hall 533 or Health Building 140. 

What Programs are There?

To complete the International Experience requirement, there are four main programs to choose from at SJSU:

Faculty-Led Programs: Faculty Led Programs (FLPs) are overseas courses taught by SJSU faculty from various academic fields for up to 5 weeks during the summer or winter sessions. FLPs are considered SJSU Special Session courses, and they range from 3 - 6 units, with many courses meeting general education requirements. Per unit fees for these programs are dependent upon the unique costs of running programs in particular locations. Website:

Study Abroad Programs: SJSU offers a range of bilateral exchange Study Abroad Programs for a single semester, summer, or academic year.  Programs are available at over 33 universities in 18 different countries. You can find the program that is right for you by searching by region, country, or your major/minor. Website:

International Student Exchange Programs: SJSU is partnered with the non-profit International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). It has agreements with 328 colleges and universities around the world. ISEP is dedicated to helping students overcome the financial and academic barriers to studying abroad. Website:

CSU International Programs: The California State University Chancellor's Office manages study abroad programs at a network of international universities. Students pay SJSU tuition, but, programs are also partially subsidized by the CSU system making them very affordable. All programs run for one year. CSU International Programs (CSUIP) are some of the highest quality programs in California. Website:

Can the International Experience requirement be Waived?

There are several options for students who need a modification or alternative to the study abroad portion of the international experience requirement. In lieu of study abroad at SJSU, other international experiences had by students may be “validated,” or a domestic intercultural assignment may be completed. 

  • Independent International Experience: Students who want to participate in an international experience not sponsored by SJSU can submit an Independent International Experience Proposal.
  • Modification: International students and students with substantial prior international experience (within the past five years) can submit a Modification Petition. 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 APSC 198ITL, a one-unit online seminar course, where they will engage in reflection and analysis of their international experience.
  • Alternative: Students seeking an alternative to the study abroad portion of the international experience requirement due to financial hardship, serious and compelling life situations, or physical limitations may petition the college for a travel alternativeWaiving the “study abroad” portion of the requirement may only be approved by the Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences (not the department).  Students who are approved for a travel alternative are required to complete a 1-unit online seminar (APSC 198I) in conjunction with 20 hours of service in a local organization. Students must select an organization that serves individuals or communities representing a cultural heritage or background that is different than their own. Alternatively, students can substitute a relevant cross-cultural experience in the U.S.and complete APSC 198ITL, a 1-unit online seminar course, where they will engage in reflection and analysis of their international experience.

Are there Scholarships? 


 Have Additional Questions?

Contact the Justice Studies International Experience Coordinator Dr. Bryce Westlake or College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) International Experience advisor Anthony Korsund at the CHHS Student Success Center located in MacQuarrie Hall 533 or Health Building 140.