Study Abroad and Research/Thesis Abroad

F-1 students who attend the certified CSU/SF State Bilateral Program or doing Research/Thesis abroad (Graduate Students only) can still maintain F-1 status while physically studying outside the U.S.

F-1 students are required to notify OIP if they wish to study abroad.  Please follow the instruction below:
Since students are still maintaining F-1 status while study abroad, they can return to the U.S. with their current I-20s.  It is very important for F-1 students to make sure that their passports, F-1 visas, and the travel signature on the I-20s are valid when they return to the U.S. after study abroad.


  • F-1 students who plan attend non-CSU/SF State certified study abroad program will not be able to maintain F-1 status.
  • F-1 students who attend CSU/SF State Bilateral Program during the final semester of their program will NOT be eligible to apply for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).