Study & Travel with SJSU Program Policies

Students participating in any Study Abroad and Away Faculty-Led Program or Alternative Break Program must fulfill certain requirements and abide by program policies as outlined below. Policies are subject to change.

Post-Acceptance Requirements

Upon acceptance to an SJSU Faculty-Led Program (FLP) or Alternative Break Program (ABP), you will receive an official acceptance letter from the Study Abroad and Away office. Below you will find the steps you will need to complete after acceptance. Please click on the links to read more information. The official acceptance letter will inform you to log into your Spartans Abroad Portal (SAP) account to complete the checklist of items by the stated deadlines. This includes, but is not limited to, the following steps:
  • Review Program Policies
    For the safety of all people involved, students are required to abide by rules and regulations. Review the Program Policies (below) and Program Withdrawal policy. Visit the Program Withdrawal page for more information about withdrawing from a program and what happens if a program is canceled.
  • Completing the Commitment to Participate Form

    Upon acceptance, you are required to complete the Commitment to Participate Form to secure your spot in the program. You will find the link to the form when you log into your Spartans Abroad Portal account and view your checklist of required documents.

    By signing this agreement, you are formally accepting your admission to the program and are promising to abide by the statement of responsibilities detailed in the form. Read the terms and conditions of the Commitment to Participate Form carefully. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

  • Paying Your Deposit (FLPs only)

    Once accepted, students are required to pay a $600 non-refundable deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit charge will be placed on your student account after the submission deadline for the Commitment to Participate form. Please note that deadlines are subject to change; visit the Short-Term Programs Deadlines page and check your email for updates. You are obligated to pay the deposit in order to secure your spot on the program. If at any time after signing the Commitment to Participate form you decide to withdraw from the program, you will still be responsible for paying the non-refundable $600 deposit.

    Methods of Payment: There are three ways to make the deposit payment:

    1) Online through MySJSU. View instructions from the Bursar’s Office here.
    2) In-person at the Bursar's Office by cash or check. Make sure to let the cashier knows that you are making your prepayment for a Faculty-Led Program (FLP).
    3) Send your check to the Bursar's Office. If paying by check, make the check payable to SJSU. In the memo section of your check, write Faculty-Led Program, Summer/Winter YEAR and your SJSU ID number (for example: Faculty-Led Program, Winter 2025, 0123456789).

    Visit the Bursar's Office Methods of Payment web page for more information.  

    Bursar’s Office Location:

    San José State University
    Bursar’s Office-Cashiering
    One Washington Square SSC
    San José, CA 95192-0138

    Outstanding Balance: If you have any outstanding balance on your account at the time you make the deposit, your deposit will go to cover the outstanding balance. If this happens, please send an email to and let us know. We will check with the Bursar to see if your deposit could be applied toward your FLP deposit.

  • Registering for your FLP Course (FLPs only)

    You will receive an email notifying you when your FLP course is open for registration. You will have a specific window of time, from the date you are notified about registration to the set deadline by which you must complete your registration. You will register for your FLP course online through your MySJSU account.

  • Paying Program Fee and Tuition (if applicable)

    If you have paid a deposit and there is no outstanding balance, the amount should have been applied toward the program cost. Therefore, the amount owed should be $600 less than the total cost listed for your program.

    You will see the program fee added to your MySJSU account after paying the deposit. Once you register for your course (if applicable), you will also see the tuition fee added. Allow the system about 1 to 3 hours to refresh after registering before checking your account for the charges. Check the Finances section of your Student Center homepage to see the amount owed. If you see any discrepancy, please contact our office at immediately, before making any payment.

    Payment Plan: Currently, there is no payment plan option for FLPs and ABPs.

    Full payment must be made by the set deadlines. If you fail to pay by the deadline:

    • You will prevent the Study Abroad and Away office from being able to make any payments for your program. This can put hotel reservations and other programming in jeopardy. It is critical you pay by the stated deadline.
    • No one (students or program leaders) will be permitted to purchase flights until the entire group has paid in full. Your late payment could increase the cost of flights for the entire group.
  • Complete Student Health Form

    After making the full program payment, you will complete the Student Health Form. You will find the link to the form when you log into your Spartans Abroad Portal account and view your checklist of required items. You will submit the form by the deadline posted in the Short-Term Programs Deadlines page. The intention of this form is to collect pertinent information in order to identify any resources that may be needed for your health and safety on the program. Please note that having a health concern will not impact your application; the Study Abroad and Away office will provide reasonable accommodations as needed.

    Please note that students requesting accommodations on their study abroad program due to disability-related limitations are required to register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at least 60 days before the program start date.  However, we strongly encourage registering as part of applying to the program in order to inform a student’s choice of program. If you need accommodations, please register online. If you are already registered with the AEC or once you are registered, please remember to submit any accommodation requests to the program leader for your study abroad program, the same way you would for any course on campus based on the Accessible Education Center's policies.

  • Prepare Travel Documents

    Once you are accepted to the program, you can begin preparing your travel documents. Travel documents can take a few weeks or up to a few months to be processed so begin the process as soon as possible. Please note it is your responsibility to make sure your travel documents are in order prior to departure. 

    The following documents may required: 

    • Valid passport (for international locations): Some airlines and countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months past the date of your return to the U.S. You will need to upload a copy of your passport to your Spartans Abroad Portal account. We need copies for safety and security reasons while you are abroad. If you do not already have a passport, make sure to apply for one early, as processing can take at least 6-8 weeks (not including time in the mail). Make sure to look up the applicable passport fees; costs can vary depending whether you are applying for a new passport or renewing one and expedited services have an additional fee. For information on how to apply for or renew your U.S. passport, visit the U.S. Department of State website.
    • Visas (may be required): This will depend on the destination/country of your program. Your program leader/SAA office will provide more information about the visa process, if applicable, once the cohort is formed. 
  • Complete General Pre-Departure Orientation

    All students are required to complete the online SAA general pre-departure orientation that will cover basic cultural, health, and safety information for going abroad. This will be in addition to any site-specific pre-departure orientation or meetings your program leader will host prior to your departure. 

  • Buying Plane Tickets

    Students should not purchase airline tickets until the entire group has registered in their program course (if applicable) and have fully paid their program fees. To be able to get the best airfare rates, students should register for their program course (if applicable) and make full payment by the stated deadlines. Failure to meet the deadlines can delay all other participants' ability to buy their plane tickets.

    Once you have purchased your plane tickets, you must enter your itinerary information in your Spartans Abroad Portal account in order to inform the Study Abroad and Away office. You will see instructions for how to do so once after logging into your account.

    In the event that a program is canceled, SJSU is not responsible for refunding any personal expenses, including flights. Airfare and other individual expenses are the responsibility of the student. Students may choose to purchase travel insurance or investigate refundable fares at their own expense. Please see the Program Withdrawal Policy for more information.

Program Policies

Students participating in any Study Abroad and Away Faculty-Led Program (FLP) or Alternative Break Program (ABP) must abide by the following policies. Policies are subject to change.
  • Communication
    Students must respond within 24 hours to all email correspondence sent to the email address listed on their program application from the Study Abroad and Away Office regarding their participation in their program. You are expected to participate in all required programming which may include, but are not limited to: classes, workshops, and meetings; and submit all additional required forms by their respective due date. Failure to respond to email correspondence in a timely manner or to attend and participate fully in any and all aspects of your program will be reflected in your academic grade (if applicable) and/or your ability to participate in the program.
  • University Policies

    Participants must abide by San Jose State University (SJSU) policies, including the SJSU Student Code of Conduct, while enrolled in the program. You may be subject to disciplinary action upon return to campus for violations of those policies.

  • Alcohol and Drugs

    As a participant in a partner university program, you are responsible for knowing and obeying the laws of the host country, all local institutional regulations and rules of your specific program regarding alcohol and drugs. Unless permitted by host country law and host university regulations, and local institutional regulations, you will not possess, consume, furnish, or distribute any alcoholic beverages.

    The use of illegal drugs on partner university programs is prohibited (even in locations where drugs may be legal), just as it is on campus. You must understand that violations of law or policy may result in:

    (i)   immediate removal from the program;

    (ii)  academic withdrawal from SJSU and/or the host university for the remainder of the semester; and

    (iii)  disciplinary action upon return to campus.

    Alcohol and drug misuse and abuse will not be tolerated on SJSU Study Abroad and Away programs.

  • Host Country Customs

    Students will abide by the laws and customs of the host country, community, institution and program. Participants must be sensitive to the social mores of the host culture. You are also subject to the disciplinary codes and processes of any host institution(s) and providers of contracted services. 

    Being sensitive to cultural customs of the host country may include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

    • dressing appropriately for the host culture;
    • being respectful of local guides, hosts and other community members with whom you may interact as part of your program's curriculum;
    • respecting property of individuals, businesses and institutions in the host country

    You must agree to act respectfully, as your behavior will be viewed by local hosts as a reflection of San José State University.

  • Program Removal

    If you disrupt the group learning process, violate the SJSU Student Code of Conduct, or if your behavior gives the program leader(s) reasonable cause to believe your continued presence in the program poses a danger to the health or safety of persons or property, or impedes, disrupts or obstructs the program in any way, you may face removal from the program. Examples of grounds for immediate removal include, but are not limited to alcohol, drug and weapons related violations, assault, and sexual or racial harassment.

    Prior to dismissal from the program, you will be provided with an opportunity to explain your conduct to the program leader(s). The determination to be removed from the program would be made jointly by the program leader(s), the Director of Study Abroad and Away and the Vice Provost of Academic Innovation and Institutional Effectiveness. The determination to be removed would be final and no refund will be issued. Should you be removed for disciplinary reasons, you will be responsible for airfare and any other expenses associated with early removal from the program.

  • Travel

    The University may make modifications to the program itinerary, including but not limited to cancellations at any time and for any reason, acts of God, war, quarantine, civil unrest, public health risks, criminal activity, terrorism, accident, etc.

    Purchasing flights: Students are responsible for making their own flight arrangements, unless the flight is included in the program fee. As such, SJSU is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers or any other associated costs based on program cancellation, operational and/or itinerary changes when students make their own flight arrangements. Students should not purchase airline tickets until all of the group members are registered in their course(s) (if applicable) and have paid the entire program fee. Unfortunately, programs may be canceled if enrollment is insufficient or if contracts with service providers are incomplete before the start of the program. If an FLP is canceled, tuition fees will be refunded. However, SJSU is not responsible for refunding any personal expenses (e.g. flights, spending money, etc.) if an FLP or an ABP is canceled for any reason. Airfare and other individual expenses are the responsibility of the student. To be able to get the best airfare, you need to register for your course (if applicable) and make full payment by the stated deadlines. Failure to meet the deadlines can delay all other participants' ability to buy their plane tickets. Do not purchase flights until you are notified to do so by the Study Abroad and Away office.

    Traveling before or after the program: You will be able to travel independently before or after your program, but we strongly advise you to discuss any independent travel plans with your families and others that you rely upon before making any concrete plans. You are required to confirm departure and arrival times and locations with your program leader(s). If you travel independently and arrive after the start of the program, you are responsible for all academic consequences (if applicable), such as lost class time and missed assignments. In the event of a delayed arrival, you will notify your program leader(s) and the Study Abroad and Away Office (SAA) personnel. Your property is transported at your risk; SJSU is not responsible for travel delays, inconveniences, or lost/stolen property. You will be financially responsible for any additional expenses incurred should you arrive early, prolong your personal travel, or for the loss/destruction of your personal property before, during and after the program. 

    Traveling during the program: You will be responsible for notifying your program leader of your itinerary whenever you leave the program site(s) that occurs during the program dates. For programs that include free time, you must provide all travel plans in advance. During free time, we strongly advise that you do not go out alone. We suggest that you travel in smaller groups of 3 or 4 people, rather than individually, in pairs, or in large groups. Additionally, if you choose to travel independently during your scheduled program, you cannot travel further than 2-3 hours’ distance from the program site within the host country. This is to ensure that we can have participants gather on short notice if an emergency were to occur in the region. When an emergency happens, transportation and borders are likely to be closed for an indefinite period of time; for this reason, participants traveling outside of the program site must remain within the host country.

    SJSU is not responsible for any injury or loss you may suffer when you are participating in program activities, traveling independently or are otherwise separated from any University-sponsored activities. If you become separated from the program group for any reason, you will rejoin the group at your own expense at the first opportunity.

  • Lodging

    You are expected to stay in the accommodations arranged by your program. SJSU may substitute hotel accommodations or housing at any time. Specific room and housing assignments are within SJSU’s sole discretion. If you wish to arrive prior to, or stay after, your program dates, you are responsible for making your own lodging arrangements. You cannot stay in alternative lodging (even if you pay for the lodging independently) at any point during the program.

  • Spouses/Partners, Children, Parents

    All Study Abroad and Away Faculty-led Programs are for students enrolled in a San José State University course or program; spouses/partners, children, parents, and friends may not participate in, overlap with, or plan personal/family travel experiences with participants during a Study Abroad and Away program. If such a person affiliated with you disrupts the program, it may be grounds for your removal.

  • Health

    Students are responsible for their own health maintenance. You must agree to disclose any pre-existing mental and/or physical health conditions in their entirety on my Student Health Form, understanding that your answers will not impact your application or acceptance decision. The Study Abroad and Away office will work to provide reasonable accommodations for students to have a successful program experience. Should a situation arising from such a condition that you have not disclosed in advance place yourself, others, and/or the program at risk, this may result in dismissal from the program.

    Students should research relevant agencies such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine if there are any required immunizations for the country/countries they will be traveling to while participating in a SJSU Study Abroad and Away program. It is your responsibility and choice to obtain any required or recommended immunizations suggested by these agencies in a timely manner prior to your participation in the program.                    

    In the event of serious illness, accident or emergency during your time abroad/away, you must inform an appropriate program official so assistance may be secured and if necessary, your designated emergency contact may be notified.

  • Acceptance

    Upon acceptance into the program, you will receive an official acceptance letter from the Study Abroad and Away office and more information on steps you will be required to complete. Failure to satisfy the requirements may lead to program disqualification.

  • Withdrawal and Cancellation


    Should students withdraw from the program upon acceptance of admission, they will be financially responsible for any payments made or any non-recoverable costs incurred or committed by SJSU and its affiliates on their behalf at the time of their withdrawal - this may equal the entire cost of the program.

    Definition of Non-Recoverable Costs: A non-recoverable cost is defined as any amount SJSU or a student has paid which is associated with their participation in the program. While non-recoverable costs vary by program, they may include, but are not limited to: housing costs, passport fees, visa fees, transportation costs and administrative fees. 

    Students who withdraw must notify the Study Abroad and Away Office and their program leader(s) in writing. The date the written notification is received by the Study Abroad and Away Office is the date by which the financial calculation will be determined. If a balance is due at the time of withdrawal, students will pay SJSU to cover expenses incurred up to that point. Students will be financially responsible for the entire program fee if they fail to submit any written notification of their withdrawal and/or fail to show up at the program site.

    If students have received Financial Aid, grant or scholarship funding provided by San José State University for a program from which they withdraw, upon their withdrawal that aid will be reversed. Students understand withdrawal from the program may affect their financial aid package and require return of aid to the federal government, and students agree to consult the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office immediately if they withdraw from the program.

    Should a student withdraw from the program prior to the program’s first day, they will be required to withdraw from the course(s) (if applicable) and will receive a refund of any tuition and fees (note: this does NOT include non-recoverable costs described above). Should a student withdraw after the program’s first day, refunds for any recoverable fees will be according to standard university policy, as stated in the Catalog. In the event a student is placed on probation or removed from the University after acceptance, it is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from their program.

    Should students withdraw from the program for any reason, after program withdrawal deadlines or during the course of the program, they will not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid, including the program deposit, tuition (if applicable), program fees or other applicable fees they may have incurred in connection with the program prior to departure or after their arrival at the program site. 

    Please refer to the Program Withdrawal Policy for the refund schedule and more details on policies regarding withdrawal from SJSU Study Abroad and Away participation on Faculty-Led Programs.


    If, due to any unforeseen circumstances or other circumstance beyond the control of the university, an SJSU program is cancelled, either prior to departure or during the course of the program, students will not be guaranteed a refund of any fees paid to SJSU, including program deposit, tuition fees (if applicable), program fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. In most cases, SJSU forwards program fees to vendors in foreign countries, thus it is very difficult to recover such fees due to a program cancellation. In such cases, the Study Abroad and Away office will make a good-faith effort to recover such fees and return any portion of fees it may recover that may be attributable to a student's participation in the program. 

    If the program is interrupted or cancelled by SJSU for any reason, including, but not limited to, pandemic, epidemic, natural disaster, acts of God, war, quarantine, civil unrest, public health risks, criminal activity, terrorism, or accident, SJSU will, depending on the circumstances and timing of the cancellation, make every effort to enable students to complete any academic work of the program, including by placement in an alternative program or by other means. 

    Refunds for air transportation are subject to the rules and regulations of the appropriate airline or travel agency. Students have the option to independently purchase fully refundable airline tickets and/or trip cancellation insurance to safeguard against losses or penalties should a program be canceled or the dates change. The SJSU Study Abroad and Away Office assumes no responsibility for such losses or penalties.

  • Safety and Security

    Students are responsible for responding and replying to any and all forms of communications from the Study Abroad and Away office, within 24 hours of receipt, when contacted regarding potential threats or risks abroad during the program. All Study Abroad and Away students participating in an international experience are required to enroll in the mandated international insurance plan for students, as well as enroll in any risk management tools, communication tools, and risk management programs used by the Study Abroad and Away office. Students participating in domestic study away programs are required to procure domestic health insurance for the duration of their program.

    Each program provides detailed information with location-specific safety information. Participants should follow all recommendations. This includes information about emergency gathering points, on-site contact information and SJSU contact information.

    Each program leader will register all participants in the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) prior to departure, for the duration of their time abroad, when traveling internationally. This program will provide students with up-to-date travel warnings and advice for specific locations.

    You should always avoid demonstrations and protests while on program, as even peaceful ones can sometimes turn violent.

  • Waiver

    In the case of an emergency in which you cannot be reached, you authorize U.S. Embassies and Consulates to release information concerning your welfare and whereabouts to San José State University. In authorizing this release of information, you authorize the U.S. Department of State to release all records about you to San José State University and its representatives making this request. You declare, certify, verify or state, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, the foregoing is true and correct (per 22 C.F.R. 171.12(a)).

  • Program-Specific Additions

    Individual SJSU Study Abroad and Away programs may, in conjunction with the Study Abroad and Away office, establish additional rules and policies regarding issues specific to that program. Students will be responsible for reading and understanding these additional rules and will agree to abide by them while participating in the program.

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