FAQs

General Questions

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.

You will need to do that research. Faculty get very frustrated when students ask them to do this work for them. Faculty are not familiar with all of the classes available on study away programs, so it is your responsibility to do your research ahead of time. Use your best judgment to match courses abroad with what you need to graduate, and then take that information to your advisor. We even recommend creating a spreadsheet of the courses you need, and what classes you can take while studying away are similar to those courses. Be sure to bring courses descriptions and as much information on the courses as you can with you to your advising appointments. Keep in mind that faculty are VERY busy during the last two weeks of classes, the first two weeks of classes, and around registration; they are also generally unavailable during winter and summer break. You should not expect faculty to help you during these times, so be sure to plan accordingly.

If you don’t know what you need to graduate, be sure to review the SSU campus catalog, and your Academic Requirements Report that you can access via your MySSU account. If you are confused about your requirements, talk to us or your academic advisor.

Navigating GE courses abroad can be difficult since there is not designated GE advisor. Use your best judgment by matching the study away class with an SSU GE course title and course description. The more similar the study away class is to a SSU course, the easier it will be. You can also use the following GE area descriptions to help guide you in matching GE courses.

 

For CSU International Programs, we have been able to pre-match some courses, which you can use to guide you. These pre-matched courses are emailed to students, as well as made available on the applicant Facebook group. If you would like to be emailed a copy, email Hope Ortiz at hope.ortiz@sonoma.edu(link sends e-mail).

As a part of the application, you will need to list courses you plan on taking while abroad. Listing these courses does not set them in stone, however, this demonstrates that: 1) You have done your research regarding taking courses while abroad, and 2) That the location you have selected offers sufficient courses that you will be able to take.

After you are accepted to the program, you will need to complete the Academic Planning Form. This will be reviewed and signed by your advisor, then submitted to CSU IP.

 

For National Student Exchange/NSE Study Abroad, after you are accepted to the program, you will need to complete the NSE Advising Agreement. This will be reviewed and signed by your advisor, then submitted to the Global Engagement Office.

Please speak to an advisor about your situation. Generally, this should not impact your application or eligibility. Ideally, classes students take while studying away will help the student meet graduation requirements, though location and program selection is dependent on the student’s goals and priorities. Some locations are better suited for specific majors, and students should compare that availability with their academic goals.

For CSU International Programs, many of the program locations offered, your major must be related to the fields available at that location. Undeclared students and students in the process of changing their major can still apply, but it may impact their location options and application competiveness. 

For National Student Exchange/NSE Study Abroad, certain majors may be listed as Limited or Closed. If a student applies to a host university with a major that is limited as Closed, they may not be accepted unless the student explicitly states they do not plan on taking classes within their major. Students applying to a host university with a major that is listed as Limited should not anticipate being able to take more than one or two classes within that major, and should be very flexible on what those classes are.

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.

You will need one academic recommendation from a faculty member. It MUST be from a professor (NO graduate teaching assistants, employers, advisors, or former high school teachers), that you have taken or are currently taking a course with and hopefully that grade was an A or a B. If possible, we also recommend that it be a faculty member in your major department, particularly if you are studying your major while abroad.

Remember, you do not need a “recommendation letter!” The online form that the faculty member completes is EASY and FAST and should take no more than fifteen minutes. This is requested online through your online application. 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. Remind them to check their SPAM folder as the emails are often forwarded there.

For CSU International Programs, you will request the recommendation, after discussing it with your faculty member (from which you received a LETTER GRADE (NO credit/non-credit courses, except for Hutchins)), by clicking “Request Electronic Recommendation” on your application program page. You will enter their information, and then be able to provide an additional message to them. (Be sure to thank them!) Whether you click “Save” or Submit”, they will automatically be sent an email, so make sure everything is complete and correct. 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.

For National Student Exchange/NSE Study Abroad, you will request the recommendation, after discussing it with your faculty member, by entering their name and contact information in your NSE application under Recommendation. After you submit your application, they will automatically be sent an email with instructions on how to complete the online recommendation form.

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.

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.

For CSU International Programs, in your online application portal, you enter your Faculty member’s contact information under “Request Electronic Recommendation.” After you enter their contact information and click Save or Submit, they will automatically be sent an email from the CSU IP website with information on completing the online recommendation.

For National Student Exhchange/NSE Study Abroad, in your online application, you enter your Faculty member’s contact information and then once you save or submit your application, they will automatically be sent an email with information on completing the online recommendation.

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.

You should make sure the professor knows who you are. Participate and ask questions in class, show up on time, and visit the professor during office hours BEFORE you ask for the recommendation.

When asking for the recommendation, it may be a good idea to provide them with a brief statement of purpose. You can use a version of the essay from the application. They will appreciate this because it helps them to know where you are coming from, why you want to study away, as well as how studying abroad fits into your academic and career goals. We recommend that you email them a link to the program website in case the faculty member has questions about the program.

Make sure to communicate with your faculty recommender regularly. Provide them with ample time to complete the application prior to the deadline. As the deadline approaches, be sure to touch base with them as they may have forgotten or lost the email. Be realistic when asking a faculty member; if it is the week of the application deadline or even closer, ask if they think they will be able to complete the recommendation on time.

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.

For CSU International Programs, there is a $500 deposit due on May 1st (Nov. 1st for Calendar Year.) Students will know if they are accepted prior  to the deposit being due.  

If a student is accepted to the waitlist for their first choice location, they may still be on the waitlist when the  deposit is due. If that is the case, the deposit will not be due until they are officially accepted to a program location. Once a student is off the waitlist, a deposit will be due immediately.  

Technically, the deposit is the entire prepaid program cost amount as can be seen on the Budget Estimate located on the CSU IP program page. However, as most students do not have that much money readily available, they can opt for a $500 deposit instead.

 

For National Student Exchange/NSE Study Abroad, this will depend on the program and host university for which the student is accepted. On National Student Exchange, students may need to pay an enrollment deposit, housing deposit, or other fees. All host campus fees are listed on the campus profile pages under Tuition/Fees and should be reviewed.

For NSE Study Abroad, the study abroad program will likely have their own application fees and/or program deposits. This information should be listed on the program website.

For help with calculating your Cumulative GPA, please refer to the GPA Calculator Sheet which can be found online at http://www.sonoma.edu/advising/gpa/.

If you want to do it by hand, first, just look at the courses you have completed for a letter grade in your lower and upper division major requirements. Add up the grade points earned from ALL COLLEGE level coursework (on the Sonoma State University transcript this shows up under the PTS (points) column). Divide that number by the Units Attempted from ALL COLLEGE level coursework (on the Sonoma State University transcript this shows up as UNIT). Cumulative College grade point average (GPA = Grade Points ÷ Units Attempted).

For your AAA meeting, you need to have completed your online application.

For CSU International Programs, that means all required Questionnaires have been SUBMITTED, your signature documents have been signed digitally, your recommendation has been requested (if not received), and you have submitted any necessary unofficial transcripts. Don’t worry, you will be able to continue making edits up until the deadline.

For National Student Exchange/NSE Study Abroad, that means all fields must be completed and SAVED. Don’t worry, you will be able to continue making edits up until the deadline. For National Student Exchange, an important part of the AAA meeting is to review your host university placement choices. As some host universities are considered more competitive than others, it is important that your host university placement list is effective in getting you placed on NSE. Make sure to have your list ready for your AAA.

Students are able to study abroad as early as their sophomore year. This means that students may start an application to study away as early as their first semester at SSU. As a first semester college student, applicants do not have a current GPA. For the application, this means you can enter “0.0” until your Fall grades are posted. All of application deadlines are after grades are posted, so you will be able to update your GPA to reflect your most recent GPA before the deadline. Make sure to do that!

However, keep in mind that as a first-time freshmen, your application GPA will be based solely on your fall grades, so, use that as motivation to do well!

A passport is not needed to study in a different state in the US, however, make sure you have valid documentation required to travel, including a REAL ID.

To study internationally, students must have a valid passport through six months after their study abroad program ends. This includes NSE Canada locations and all NSE Study Abroad locations. If your passport is going to expire prior to six months after your program end date, then you should begin the process of renewing your passport as soon as possible. If you do not currently have a passport, and will not have a passport by the application deadline, that is okay. It is not required to have a passport to apply to the program. However, you will be required to provide a copy of your passport soon after being accepted to a program. Because of the time involved in obtaining a passport, study abroad applicants are STRONGLY advised to apply for one even before you apply to the program or before selection results are known. (The process can take up to 3 months.)

Information on how to get a passport can be found at http://travel.state.gov/passport/index.html.

YES! If your GPA is below the minimum you should still apply but be sure to speak to a study away advisor FIRST. Some locations are more flexible or competitive than others, and the advisor may be able to help you find a location that is a better fit for your circumstances.

Either way, you will have a chance to address your GPA and the requirement under the section titled GPA Statement. In this section, you should be specific with details, such as courses, semesters, or circumstances that impacted your GPA. You should not only explain the circumstance, but also explain why you should be considered for the program despite this deficiency. Include what you have learned and what you do differently now as a student, as well as how you plan to be academically successful while studying away. Our top concern is that you will be successful while you are studying away. Also, be sure to address how you will meet the minimum to GPA before departure.

In order to get your student visa, passports MUST be valid six months after your program end date. For example, if your program ends in May 2021, then your passport would need to be valid through November of that year.

If your passport is going to expire any time prior than six months after your program end date, then you should begin the process of renewing your passport right away.

YES! If you are planning to work on a double major or minor, including a language, while studying abroad, you should declare as soon as possible so that it will appear on your transcripts for your application. You will also need to speak to an advisor in that department before departure.

For CSU International Programs, all units earned on these programs are displayed on your transcript as RESIDENT CREDIT, though you need to make sure you are taking the right classes while studying abroad by working with your academic advisor throughout the process.

For National Student Exchange/NSE Study Abroad, all units earned on these programs are guaranteed to transfer back, though you need to make sure you are taking the right classes while studying away by working with your academic advisor throughout the process.

CSU International Programs

The Academic Planning Form is a “contract” between you and your advisor regarding the courses you are  planning on taking while studying abroad, and how they will count towards your graduation requirements when  you return. This form is available and due after you are accepted to your CSU IP program. 

Be sure to follow the listed instructions! You will print the document that is linked in the instructions and take  that to your academic advisor for them to sign. The form should be mostly completed BEFORE taking it to your advisor. Faculty get very frustrated when students ask them to complete this form for them. Faculty are not  familiar with all of the classes available abroad, so it is your responsibility to do your research ahead of time, use your best judgement to match courses abroad with what you need to graduate, and then take that information to your advisor. We even recommend creating a spreadsheet of the courses you need, and what classes abroad are similar to those courses. Be sure to bring courses descriptions and as much information on the courses as  available.  

Keep in mind that faculty are VERY busy the last two weeks of classes, the first two weeks of classes, and around  registration; they are also often unavailable during winter and summer break. You should not expect faculty to help you during these times, so be sure to plan accordingly.  

If you are planning on taking classes in your major, then a faculty member in that department will sign. If you want to take classes in your double major or minor, then likewise your advisor in that department will sign. If you want to take GE courses, there is no designated person to sign. You can either go to the department that houses that GE (ex. a history GE class would be in the history department) and ask one of them to sign, or you can have your normal academic advisor give their best guess.  

Navigating GE courses abroad can be difficult since there is no designated GE advisor. Use your best judgement  by matching the abroad course with a SSU GE course title and course description. The more similar the abroad  course is to a SSU course, the easier it will be. You can also use the following GE area descriptions to help guide  you in matching GE courses: https://catalog.sonoma.edu/content.php?catoid=3&navoid=141#general-education-program

Keep in mind, and you can tell your advisor this, that the course information will still be reviewed once you  return from studying abroad. Signing this form does not provide a blanket guarantee of how classes will transfer  back; faculty can be hesitant to sign if they feel that way. That is why it is imperative you bring back syllabi for all  of the courses you take abroad!

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.

Japan and Germany: Music Final Deadline: January 15th 

Academic Year Timeline:

Priority Deadline: February 1st

Secondary Deadline: March 1st

Final Deadline: April 1st 

Calendar Year Timeline:

Priority Deadline: September 1st

Secondary Deadline: October 1st

Final Deadline: November 1st 

 

Students applying to competitive locations, such as the UK, Australia, Denmark, Canada, South Korea, and Japan MUST apply by the priority deadline, as these locations will fill up. Only locations that still have space available will accept applications on the subsequent deadlines. This means that the fewest locations will be available for  the Final Deadline. If you have any questions on chances of availability, talk to a study away advisor. 

Additionally, ONLY students who meet the priority deadline will be considered for the CSU IP Scholarship!

“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.

One of the required application questionnaires is the Unofficial Transcript Upload. Please upload your SSU unofficial transcripts from your MySSU account. When you are on your MySSU account, you can click the left drop-down box and select “Unofficial Transcript”, click the arrow, then click “View Report.” When your unofficial transcript pops up, you can then right click, and select “Save as” or “Print” to save the document as a PDF. You will then be able to upload the PDF to your application. If you need assistance, contact us.

If you have attended colleges other than SSU and received college academic credit, you WILL need to upload those unofficial transcripts. Having them transferred to SSU does not mean you won’t need a transcript from the college, and unfortunately we cannot get access to the copies you have already submitted to SSU. You should be able to access those via your online student account at that college. If you have any trouble, you will need to contact that college. If you have difficulty getting unofficial transcripts, it may be easier to just request official transcripts. You can have them sent to yourself and then bring them in to the Global Engagement Office.

Keep in mind that if you are accepted into the program, you will need to request OFFICIAL transcripts from any colleges you have attended other than SSU. Have all official transcripts sent to you, and then bring them to us in the Global Engagement Office. Please do not have official transcripts sent directly to us, as they tend to be lost in campus mail. Even if you have already submitted transcripts to SSU to transfer the courses, we will need fresh copies for your application. The Registrar's Office at Sonoma State University CANNOT provide you or the Global Engagement Office with copies of transcripts from previous institutions attended.

You will not need to request SSU official transcripts once you are accepted; the Global Engagement Office will request those.

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 ipstudentaffairs@calstat.edu(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

EVERYONE can participate in NSE! A benefit of studying away in another state is you do not need a passport and you won’t cross country borders, so DREAMERs and undocumented students can participate too! However, make sure you have valid documentation required to travel within the country, including a REAL ID.

To study abroad internationally, students with a Green Card or with Permanent Residency can study abroad. DREAMERs can also study internationally by applying for Advanced Parole in consultation with your attorney.

International students can participate in NSE, and information on which NSE schools accept international students can be found here: https://nse.org/exchange/colleges-universities/f1students/.

If you are planning on studying abroad in another country and you are not a U.S. citizen nor hold a U.S. passport, investigate the visa procedure of your intended host country to see if there are special requirements to get the visa that apply to you.

Preferred Deadline – February 15

Priority Placement Deadline – March 1

NSE Application Closes – November 1

For National Student Exchange, placements for the Summer, Fall, and Winter/Spring terms open and applications are due at the same time. Students who apply by the Preferred Deadline receive a $25 discount on the application fee. All NSE applicants should apply by the Priority Placement Deadline. This gives students the best chance at being accepted by their first-choice location on their preferred payment plan.

Only locations that still have space available will accept applications on a rolling admission basis. This means that the fewer locations will be available for students to apply to as time goes. After the Priority Placement Deadline has passed, students should pay attention to the host university deadlines listed on the NSE website campus profile pages. If you have any questions on chances of availability, talk to a study away advisor.

For NSE Study Abroad, students are encouraged to apply by the Preferred Deadline to receive the application fee discount. However, students should pay attention to the individual program deadline for the location they want to apply. NSE Study Abroad is rolling admissions, so the sooner students apply, the sooner they will get apply. Subsequently, popular locations can fill prior to the listed deadline. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

When participating in National Student Exchange, there are two payment plan options: Host Payment (Plan A) and Home Payment (Plan B). Host Payment - student pays in-state (resident/provincial) tuition and fees directly to the host campus (and no tuition is paid to the home campus). Home Payment - student pays their normal tuition and fees to their home campus (and no tuition is paid to the host campus).

When considering which plan to list on your application for NSE, there are three factors to consider: financial aid, in-state tuition at the host university vs. at SSU, and competitiveness.

Some NSE institutions are more competitive than others, particularly on Home Pay. Many campuses have limited space available on one or both plans. Read more about placement chances on the NSE website and talk about your chances with the NSE coordinator.

NSE Study Abroad students are automatically placed on Host Pay unless otherwise noted.

Yes, students can use financial aid on NSE. Which financial aid that can be used depends on the payment plan the student is accepted on.

When a student participates in NSE on Home Pay, they can use whatever financial aid they normally use at SSU while studying away. All financial aid goes with you.

When a student is placed in NSE on Host Pay, students can use any financial aid they would be able to use if they went to a university outside of California. Federal Financial Aid (Pell Grant, Federal Loans) as well as any external scholarships that do not depend on the student attending a university in California or at SSU specifically can be used while studying away. California and SSU specific financial aid, such as Cal Grants, SSU scholarships, the Middle-Class Scholarship, and the CSU waiver, are examples of California specific financial aid that does not apply when a student is placed on Host Pay.

The VA is currently changing and updating their student financial support policies, but it is currently believed that students will only be able to use Veteran’s benefits on Host Pay on National Student Exchange. VA benefits will likely not be available on 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.)

The NSE Advising Agreement is a “contract” between you and your advisor regarding the classes you are planning on taking while studying away, and how they will count towards your graduation requirements when you return. This form is available and due after you are accepted to your NSE program and due prior to the end of the semester. Keep in mind that faculty are VERY busy the last two weeks of classes, the first two weeks of classes, and around registration; they are also often unavailable during winter and summer break. You should not expect faculty to help you during these times, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Be sure to follow the listed instructions! The form should be mostly completed BEFORE taking it to your advisor. Faculty get very frustrated when students ask them to complete this form for them. Faculty are not familiar with all of the classes available on study away programs, so it is your responsibility to do your research ahead of time, use your best judgement to match courses available at your host university with what you need to graduate, and then take that information to your advisor. We even recommend creating a spreadsheet of the courses you need, and what classes abroad are similar to those courses. Be sure to bring class descriptions and as much information on the classes as available.

If you are planning on taking classes in your major, then a faculty member in that department will sign the form. If you want to take classes in your double major or minor, then likewise your advisor in that department will sign. If you want to take GE courses, there is no designated person to sign. You can either go to the department that houses that GE (ex. a history GE class would be in the history department) and ask one of them to sign off, or you can have your normal academic advisor give their best guess.