That depends on the program, and what financial aid applies to the different programs can be found on the Study Away Programs page. When discussing study away, there are generally two types of financial aid - Federal Financial Aid and CA State-Based Aid. Federal Financial Aid includes the Pell grant, federal loans, and any external scholarships the student may have received that do not depend on the student attending a university in a particular state. CA State-Based Aid is any financial aid that is dependent on attending school in California,at a CSU, or at SSU, which includes Cal Grants, State University Grants (SUG), Middle-class Scholarship, EOP Grants, CSU Waivers, and SSU Scholarships. To see which SSU programs can use the different kinds of financial aid, be sure to check out the Study Away Programs page! Veterans and dependents of Veterans should contact the VA representative in the Financial Aid Office to understand how government assistance can apply to study away programs.
For CSU IP, all financial aid applies and can be used towards program costs, except for work-study.
Yes, though we recommend the recommender be from SSU. If this is your first semester here at Sonoma State University, or you are an incoming transfer student, you may need to get a recommendation from someone at your previous community college or institution. If you have any further questions about who to get recommendations from, you should speak to your study away advisor.
Once your professor is sent the email, they will be provided with a link to complete an online recommendation form. This recommendation form includes questions with rating scales and short answers regarding observations of you in the classroom, as well as other interactions they may have had with you. Remember, this is not a recommendation letter!
Participating in an external program is generally not recommended, particularly during an academic semester. Courses taken on an external program cannot be guaranteed to transfer back, and will be evaluated once the transcripts are received. Courses that do transfer back will count as transfer credit. Students will need to take a leave of absence from SSU, and therefore will also not be able to use any financial aid while participating in an external program.
Sometimes the automatic email sent to faculty are directed to Spam/Junk. Be sure to tell them to check their SPAM folders within a couple days of you submitting their information in the online application. If they cannot find it or don’t receive it, email the study away advisor. The study abroad advisor is able to resend the link, and be sure to contact the study away advisor right away if you need to request for this to be done. However, it is imperative that you speak with your professor beforehand so that they know to either save or bookmark the email that they will receive with the recommendation form link.
That depends on the program. CSU IP, Direct Exchange, and Faculty-Led have no application fees. There is a fee to apply to NSE, including NSE Study Abroad. The application fee is $200, but students who apply by the Preferred Deadline receive a $25 discount. Furthermore, DACA and EOP students receive a $25 application fee discount.
The NSE application fee in non-refundable.
It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure the recommendation forms are submitted on time. Faculty have a couple of extra days after the application deadline to submit the recommendation. Your file will be considered incomplete without the recommendation submitted. If for some reason the faculty member needs additional time, be sure to contact the study away advisor prior to the deadline. If you are unsure if the faculty member has submitted the recommendation, check in with them and/or the study away advisor.
Yes, of course! However, it may require additional research when selecting a program/location, planning prior to departure, and communication with their advisors. Not all locations are sometimes appropriate for specific physical limitations, and not all international universities provide accommodations as is common in the U.S. It is important this research is done prior to selecting a program.
Terrific to hear! Planning ahead is a great way to stay on track with graduation, which includes planning out which classes you plan on taking leading up to your time studying away. Some students will focus on taking major core requirements at SSU, especially if any are not available at your desired study away location. Then, students can save some elective and GE units to do while studying away. Keep in mind, the Critical Race Studies/Ethnic Studies graduation requirement is very difficult to find when studying outside of the US, and the CA Government graduation requirement, completed by taking POLS 200 or equivalent, is difficult to find outside of California.
Keep in mind that program deadlines are usually the semester before studying away, and you want to get started on the planning and application process the semester BEFORE the application deadlines, which means ideally students will get started a year in advance. Make sure to keep the study abroad advisor updated on your plans and timeline!
NO, you cannot get a recommendation from a work supervisor. Do not request recommendations from employers, university staff, or administrators who have not had you as a student in a class.
With some programs we may be able to give an application extension, but be sure to contact your study away advisor BEFORE the deadline to request an extension.
If a student has a prescription for a needed medication, it is important they discuss studying abroad with their doctor. Their doctor may be able to help them figure out how to get the medication while the student is abroad. In some cases the doctor may be able to provide the student with enough of the medication for the student’s study abroad term, or they will need to figure out how they can refill the prescription while abroad. The student should also consult their insurance coverage regarding their medical needs. This information also applies to prescriptions such as contact lenses, birth control, etc.
The purpose of this section is to collect emergency contact information. Be sure to complete this section with correct and updated information for those whom you would want the program to contact in case of an emergency. Please note that it is only in emergency situations that those listed would be contacted. Those listed will not have access to your application nor your personal, academic, or other study away information.
That depends on the program. Generally, there are three types of housing options when studying away; living in on-campus housing, off-campus housing with other students that may or may not be sponsored by the host university or program, or staying with a host family. Different programs will have different combinations of these options available. Students will find out more about their housing selection after being accepted into the program and/or by the host university.
For students participating in NSE domestically, of course they are able to work as they are still in the U.S. For students studying abroad internationally, that will depend on the visa regulations of their host country. Some countries allow those on a student visa the ability to work a limited number of hours per week, such as Sweden, Denmark, the UK, and Australia, while other countries do not allow students to work while on a student visa, such as Spain and Italy. Ultimately, it is up to the student to be familiar with their visa requirements and regulations.
The sooner the better! You should definitely talk with your faculty member prior to submitting their contact information on the application. You need to let them know to watch out for the email! You also do not want to wait until the last minute. Faculty are very busy the last two weeks and the first two weeks of every semester, so avoid those times when possible. If it is getting close to the deadline, be sure to ask them immediately! Keep in mind faculty have a couple extra days after the deadline to complete the online recommendation, but the recommendation request must be made prior to the deadline and should be made as soon as possible.
A benefit of participating in a SSU study away program is that all classes are guaranteed to transfer back, though it is up to the student by working with their academic department to make sure they are taking the right courses. The Study Away Programs page lists whether courses taken on specific programs will count as in-resident units or as transfer units.
CSU International Programs
You will submit your personal statement via the Essay Questionnaire in the online application. There are three questions to answer, and a prompt at the beginning of the statement section that requires 4-7 sentences per section, so be sure to stay within that range. Of course, it can be easy to stretch a sentence pretty far, but we always recommend to keep your responses concise and to the point. There is no reason to add fluff and drag it out. Each section should be no more than 7 sentences.
“Save” simply means that you have saved all of your answers in the online system, whereas “Submit” means that you are ready for your application to be reviewed. However, you are still able to go back and make changes after you click SUBMIT up until the application is marked as complete and officially submitted on the deadline. Additionally, please keep in mind you must click submit on each component prior to your AAA meeting so the study away advisor can review your work.
Yes!! Please click “Submit” within each Questionnaire so that the advisor will be able to look over your application with you and make sure it’s all filled out correctly. You will still be able to make edits after clicking submit, up until the deadline.
YES!!! If you reported those units to Sonoma State University and/or if you need those courses to meet program eligibility requirements, then we will need those official transcripts.
HUTCHINS STUDENTS need to obtain GRADE EQUIVALENCIES for any Hutchins courses they took as credit/no credit (LIBS 101, 102, 201 & 202) from the faculty member that you took those courses with. You will need to submit all Hutchins course grade equivalencies BEFORE the application deadline to us in the Global Engagement Office.
Only advanced language programs require a foreign language recommendation. If your program does, then there will be a second box under ‘Recommendations’ that you’ll see when you fill out the application. Generally the following programs require a Foreign Language Recommendation: Chile, France (Paris only), Germany (direct enroll only), Mexico (Spanish only), Spain (Madrid & Granada only), and China (direct enroll). This recommendation should be filled out by a faculty member who has had you in a language class, or based on a 15 minute, in-person conversation. All information regarding the general faculty recommendation applies to the language recommendation as well.
The IP Coordinator Recommendation is completed by the SSU CSU IP Coordinator, Hope Ortiz. Please enter their information if needed. Only they can complete this recommendation, so do not send a request to anyone else. Keep in mind this recommendation must be requested prior to the deadline; though it will not be completed until AFTER the application deadline. In this recommendation, the advisor will make an overall recommendation on your acceptance based on your application, performance during the application process, and regarding certain personal characteristics, such as maturity, dependability, how well researched the applicant is on the program/location, etc.
It is important to talk to your professor about the recommendation process and your study abroad plans prior to entering their information into the system. You should also tell them that once they click on the link and create a password, their password will expire after FIVE or 14 DAYS. If their password does expire, they can email CSU IP at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) get help resetting their password. If they lost the email, you can request the study away advisor to resend it to them.
National Student Exchange & NSE Study Abroad
There are more than 170-member campuses as a part of National Student Exchange. That means you have lots of options to choose from for your NSE experience! Here are some questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your options:
- Do you receive financial aid? If so, which payment plan is best for you?
- How competitive is it to get accepted to that campus? (Talk to Hope for details.)
- What are the GPA minimums for the host universities you are considering?
- Will you have access to your major courses? (Check under ‘Programs’ and ‘Conditions’ on the campus profile page.)
- What are you looking for in a campus? What type of college experience? Check out the different NSE campus categories and featured highlights.
- Is there a language requirement? (Canada, Puerto Rico, and NSE Study Abroad.)