International Experience Petitions

There are several options for students who need a modification or alternative to the study abroad portion of the international experience requirement. All require submission of a petition/proposal that must be approved by the Dean of the college. Students whose petitions/proposals are approved must also enroll in and complete APSC 198ITL, a 1-unit online seminar course.

In order to avoid late fees for students, the deadline to submit a petition is September 3rd, 2020 for Fall 2020 and Janurary 15, 2021 for Spring 2021

Alternative to the International Experience Requirement

We understand that some students may be unable to travel abroad due to health issues, immigration/documentation status (i.e., AB 540, DACA, undocumented), financial hardship, family/work responsibilities or other situations. In these cases, students can petition to complete an alternative experience locally or elsewhere within the United States.

Due to COVID-19, CHHS understands the financial implications and hardships students are currently facing. Students may be unable to participate in Volunteer Service (Option 2) or complete a Domestic Cultural Program (Option 3) due to public health restrictions. CHHS is happy to announce a new option, Virtual International Partners (VIP) (Option 1) in partnership with SJSU Study Abroad and Away Office that will allow students to complete their International Experience Requirement remotely.

Make an Advising Appointment and Submit Petition:

  1. Make an appointment to meet with a CHHS International Experience advisor in the CHHS Student Success Center for advising on options available for alternative experiences and the process for submitting a petition.
  2. The advisor will initiate the petition in DocuSign and help you to understand the process for completing the Alternative Petition. Be sure to include all required documents.
  3. Final determination regarding alternatives must be approved by the associate dean of CHHS. The CHHS Dean’s Office will notify you once a decision has been made.  If the petition is approved, you will receive information on the next steps to enroll in APSC 198ITL.

Students can find more information regarding Option 1 through Option 3 below.

If your Alternative Petition is approved, you MUST complete one of the following options to meet the International Experience requirement for graduation:

Option 1: Virtual International Partners (VIP)

Students who choose VIP will be matched with an SJSU international student and engage in a peer to peer interaction to learn about each other's culture, language, and country remotely and while enrolled in APSC 198ITL.

  1. Once you have received approval that your Alternative Petition to the International Experience has been processed by the CHHS Dean’s Office you will be directed to submit a request to enroll in APSC 198ITL.
  2. Follow instructions in the Dean’s Office email regarding next steps, and be sure to submit your request for the permission number to enroll in the course prior to the beginning of the semester that you wish to enroll in APSC 198ITL.
  3. Once you receive your permission number, register for and complete APSC 198ITL, a 1-unit online seminar course. This course is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.

Option 2: Volunteer Service

Students who elect Volunteer Service must complete 20 hours of volunteer service in a local community service organization that serves individuals or communities from a culture that is different than your own. In addition, students who choose this option are responsible to connect with the organization to arrange their volunteer service. The local organization you elect must have a University Organization Agreement (UOA) with the university. You can visit SJS4, for organizations with UOA’s already established with SJSU or you can request a site. Please see a list of International Experience Approved Sites below.

  1. Complete 20 hours of Volunteer Service in a local organization that serves individuals or communities from a culture that is different than your own. For Academic Year 2020-2021, students can complete their volunteer service in the same semester as being enrolled in APSC 198ITL.
  2. Once you have received approval that your Alternative Petition to the International Experience has been processed by the CHHS Dean’s Office you will be directed to submit a request to enroll in APSC 198ITL.
  3. Follow instructions in the Dean’s Office email regarding next steps, and be sure to submit your request for the permission number to enroll in the course prior to the beginning of the semester that you wish to enroll in APSC 198ITL. If you have already completed your Volunteer Service prior to enrolling in the course, you will submit their verification letter in the request form. The letter must be on the organization's letterhead and signed by an employee of the organization (see sample verification letter attached to the petition form [pdf]).
  4. Once you receive your permission number, register for and complete APSC 198ITL, a1-unit online seminar course. APSC 198ITL is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.

Option 3: Cultural Domestic Program

Students who choose to complete a Cultural Domestic Program can complete an Alternative Spring Break within the United States offered through the SJSU Study Abroad and Away Office. You must complete the domestic cultural program before you can enroll in APSC 198ITL.

  1. Students should submit their Alternative to the International Experience Petition prior to completing a 7-10 day domestic cultural program.
  2. Once your Alternative Petition to the International Experience is processed and approved by the CHHS Dean's Office, you will receive an email confirmation.
  3. Upon return from your cultural domestic program, submit a request to the Dean’s Office to enroll in APSC 198ITL. Students will need to submit the certificate of participation in the request form. Be sure to submit your request to enroll in the course prior to the beginning of the semester that you wish to enroll in APSC 198ITL.
  4. Once you receive your permission number, register for and complete APSC 198ITL, a 1-unit online seminar course. APSC 198ITL is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.

To help guide students in finding a volunteer site, please see the pdf below with approved sites. More sites will be added in the future.

International Experience Approved Sites [pdf]


Modification for Students with Prior International Experience

International students and 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; schooling, military service, or work experience abroad. 

Students whose modification petition is approved are not required to study abroad, but must register for a one-unit online seminar course, APSC 198ITL, where they will engage in reflection and analysis of their prior international experience.

Make an Advising Appointment and Submit Petition:

  1. Make an appointment to meet with a CHHS International Experience advisor in the CHHS Student Success Center to discuss your previous substantial international experience and the process for submitting a petition.
  2. The advisor will initiate the petition in DocuSign and help you to understand the process for completing the Modification Petition.
  3. Once you have received approval that the Modification Petition has been processed by the CHHS Dean’s Office, you will be directed to submit a request to enroll in APSC 198ITL.
  4. Follow instructions in the Dean’s Office email regarding next steps, and be sure to submit your request for the permission number to enroll in the course prior to the beginning of the semester that you wish to enroll in APSC 198ITL.
  5. Once you receive your permission number, register for and complete APSC 198ITL, a 1-unit online seminar course. This course is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.

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.

  • 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

Make an Advising Appointment and Submit Petition:

  1. Make an appointment to meet with a CHHS International Experience advisor in the CHHS Student Success Center to discuss your proposed independent experience and the process for submitting a petition.
  2. Complete the Independent International Experience Petition with the assistance of the CHHS International Experience advisor. Be sure to attach documentation regarding the experience, i.e., course syllabus, program information, etc.
  3. Once your Independent International Experience petition has been processed and approved, you will receive an email from the CHHS Dean’s Office.
  4. Upon return from your independent travel experience, submit a request to the Dean’s Office to enroll in APSC 198ITL. Be sure to submit your request to enroll in the course prior to the beginning of the semester that you wish to enroll in APSC 198ITL.
  5. Once you receive your permission number, register for and complete APSC 198ITL, a 1-unit online seminar course. APSC 198ITL is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.

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).


Waiver to International Experience Due to Catalog Rights

Please schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor from the Student Success Center to discuss your option and qualification to waive the International Experience requirement due to catalog rights.