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Faculty Resources

SSU Faculty are an integral part of International Education at Sonoma State University, and there are many ways to be involved. Whether it’s leading a student group abroad for a course over the summer, teaching abroad, or volunteering to interview study abroad applicants, faculty participation is strongly encouraged!

Ways for faculty to promote international education on campus:

Request a Classroom Visit!

As you prepare your Canvas courses for this semester, make sure to include the Study Away Classroom Presentation page on Canvas! This page includes a 6:30 minute video that introduces study away opportunities at SSU, resource links for students, and steps on how to get started with the application process. All SSU faculty can access this page through the Canvas Commons. Study Away Commons Page
If you would like to incorporate the classroom presentation video into your class in another way, here is the direct link to the video:
Additionally, if you are holding synchronous class sessions, GEO can join your session for a more traditional, quick 5-10 minute discussion and bring along a study away alumni so students can ask questions. Just fill out this quick online request form.

Help internationalize the campus!

Do you know of a program or have a colleague abroad? Let us know and we can look into setting up partnerships and/or exchange agreements!

Want more students from SSU to study abroad? Consider working with your department to set up scholarships for students within your major to study abroad. Departments can also look into adding courses with an international focus, work with us to identify programs that are particularly well suited for students in the major and set up established pathways, or even to add international experience as a component of the major! Contact us for more information!

Participate in International Education Week

International Education Week is a national initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate and promote international education and exchange. Sonoma State University participates annually and hosts many different events in celebration of international education. If you are interested in hosting a lecture, bringing a speaker on campus, or assisting another international education-minded event, contact us to get involved! For more information on International Education Week visit their website.

Bring a Fulbright Scholar to campus!

Fulbright Foreign Student Program
Fulbright Schuman Program

Opportunities for Faculty

An experience abroad can be life changing for students, and the opportunity to teach material in an educationally significant location can be very impactful for a course.

Faculty-Led Study Tours are credit bearing courses hosted by the School of Extended & International Education taught by SSU Faculty. These study tours tend to occur over the summer session, though they can also take place as a winter session course or during spring break. Some study tours are stand-alone courses, while others are a travel component of a regular course occurring either during the fall, spring, winter, or summer sessions.

How to organize a Faculty-Led Study Tour:
If you are interested in organizing a Study Tour, please contact Hope Ortiz.

Please keep in mind that the process of organizing a Study Tour should begin a year in advance. Currently, Study Tours are organized by unaffiliated, third party providers, and contracts are made on a trip-by-trip basis. The faculty member, the Global Engagement Office, and the School of Extended and International Education will work with these providers to design the Study Tour. View the resources below to find a provider that will work with your needs.

Previous Partner Providers:
Performing Arts Abroad
Toucan Education Programs of Belize

View additional providers:
Study Abroad 101

Contact Us:
For additional information and questions, please feel free to contact us.

Dr. Hope Ortiz – Global Engagement Coordinator (707) 664-3358

Julie Shell – Coordinator of Scheduling, Summer, and Intersession (707) 664-2396

Did you know that Faculty can go abroad too?! There are lots of ways for Faculty to go abroad other than leading a Study Tour course. Please feel free to check out the opportunities and resources below.

Apply to be a CSU International Programs Resident Director.

Teach or Research Abroad:

Fulbright Scholar Program

Research in Germany

Semester At Sea Employment

One way that faculty can be involved in international education at SSU is by sponsoring an international professor or research scholar to come to SSU under the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program. In coordination with the Office of Faculty Affairs, we can issue documentation to invite Exchange Visitors to the United States. SSU is certified to host J-1 Exchange Visitors in the Professor or Research Scholar category. More information about the Exchange Visitor Program can be found on the Department of State’s website.

For more information about the Exchange Visitor Program at SSU, please refer to the Instructions for Requesting a J-1 Exchange Visitor document. To request an Exchange Visitor (EV), please have the prospective EV complete the J-1 Exchange Visitor Information Form . The sponsoring faculty must complete the J-1 Exchange Visitor Department Request Form. If you have any questions about this special opportunity, please contact Katie O'Brien, International Student Coordinator, at 707-664-2738 or

As part of furthering the Sonoma State University mission and strategic plan concerning campus International Education and Globalization, SSU will continue to host more and more international students. Collegial relationships between faculty/staff and international students can be very formative during their experience at SSU, and students will often go to their faculty/staff advisors with questions. Though we encourage faculty/staff to work with international students, advisors will want to keep the following information in mind.

International students are not the same as domestic students, as international students have additional governmental regulations and policies they must adhere to in order to maintain their legal status. Therefore, before advising international students to make any drastic changes to their academic plans, the student should consult with the International Student Advisor in the Center for International Education.

  • There are two types of students, matriculated degree-seeking (F-1 Visa) and short-term exchange (J-1 Visa).
  • International students must maintain fulltime status in order to satisfy their visa requirements, unless discussed and arranged with International Student Advisor due to extenuating circumstances.
  • Students CANNOT withdraw during the fall or spring semesters without speaking with the International Student Advisor, or they will have to leave the country.
  • International Students must meet with the International Student Advisor prior to changing or adding majors.
  • International Students must continuously make academic progress through their degree. This includes maintaining satisfactory academic standing.
  • International Students are legally allowed to work with approval of the International Student Advisor and they will need to apply for a social security number.
  • Students will need approval from the International Student Advisor prior to traveling outside of the country.

If an international student comes to you with other unique circumstances, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the International Student Coordinator, Katie O'Brien, (707) 664-2738 or

As a part of the process to research and plan for a study away experience, students have to plan for the coursework they plan on taking abroad. Students are advised to be familiar with their Academic Requirements Report and the SSU Course Catalog so they understand what classes they need to graduate, and therefore what they should be looking for abroad. Then, after attempting to do some course matching on their own, they are to seek advising with their major/minor advisor for approval of their proposed course matches. 

Things advisors/faculty should keep in mind when advising study away students:

  • It is expected that students are familiar with their study away programs and have done research on their own prior to seeing an advisor. Students should not be expecting that their advisor to do the work of finding courses abroad for them.
  • Coursework taken on all SSU study away programs is guaranteed to transfer back to SSU, though it is still up to students to make sure they are taking the right courses. Courses may count as SSU in-residence or as transfer units, depending on the program. More information can be found on our Programs page
  • Oftentimes, a syllabus may not be available during the initial advising phase pre-departure. Students and advisors may have to go off of course descriptions. 
  • Upper and lower division courses may be considered differently in foreign countries, and even at other universities in the US. Students and faculty should pay close attention to course level conversions when evaluating a course. Though a faculty advisor can approve that a lower division course taken while abroad can substitute for an upper division major requirement, the course will still transfer as a lower division course, which may impact the upper division units major requirement and should be paid close attention to. 

We are currently working to pre-course match more course work at our study away locations so there are less guesswork and time required of students and faculty prior to students' departure. Some of the courses that have already been pre-matched can be found in our spreadsheet

Other general frequently asked questions.