Application Workshop

Once you have identified your top choice program, it is highly recommended that you attend an application workshop. You can virtually attend an application workshop or complete this self paced one that will provide resources to completing any application for an SF State Abroad Program. 

  • Friday, August 26 at 2 p.m. – RSVP here.
  • Thursday, September 1 at 1 p.m. – RSVP here.
  • Friday, September 9 at 11 a.m. – RSVP here.
  • Monday, September 12 at 4 p.m. – RSVP here.

If you are unsure what type of program you are applying for, look in the SF State Abroad Database at the first column (provider) on the far left. 

SF State Exchange Application 

Use the following information to apply for any SF State Exchange program.

Your entire application is in the SF State Abroad Database. You may do it any order. If you like, you may jump around and do different sections at different times. Therefore, the videos below are in the order we recommend working on the application.

Begin by creating a profile in the SF State Abroad Database

Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the need of your program. If it will expire anytime before then or you do not have one, please apply right away as it takes 4-6 weeks to obtain a U.S. passport. 

You do not have to have your passport by the application deadline. You only need to show proof that you have applied or begun the renewal process by then. 

Request a recommendation from a professor who has given you a letter grade at least 2 weeks (preferably more) before the deadline. You may ask SF State as well as community college professors. You may not ask employers or advisors. 

Be sure to let your professor know that it is a form, not a letter. The form should only take them 5-10 minutes to complete. 

Reach out to the professor directly before entering anything in Horizons. 

Most programs only require 1 faculty recommendation, but there is no limit to the number you may request. However, a few programs require 2. 

Which programs require a second recommendation?

*If you are applying for one of these programs, please note a second faculty recommendation is required:

  • Erasmus University Rotterdam (Psychology majors only)
  • Carlos III (UC3M) (Business majors only)
  • MICEFA
  • University of Amsterdam (UvA)

You are welcome to have a second-choice program. The Selection Committee will first review your first choice and if they are able to place you there, they will not look at your second choice.

A second choice is only needed if you are below any of the program requirements or if the program is competitive (all programs in Australia, Italy, and South Korea). If a second choice is needed, an SF State Abroad Advisor will let you know. 

If your first and second choices are SF State Exchange Programs, then you should only submit one application for your first choice and then note under “program selection” that you want a second choice. By selecting yes to a second choice and writing the name of your Everything (including recommendations) will be shared by the two choices.

If your first choice is an SF State Exchange Program, your second choice cannot be a CSU IP program. If a CSU IP program is your first choice, then your second choice should be another CSU IP program.

In your application, list all the classes you have left to take at SF State from the term you will be abroad until graduation. It is not required to speak an advisor to complete this section, but if you are unsure what you have left, then you should speak with your academic advisors. 

Please list at least 6 to 8 potential courses you would like to take abroad. You are not enrolling in them. This just shows the Selection Committee that you understand the structure of the program and will be academically happy with it should you be selected. 

If you have trouble navigating the course page of the university abroad, please sign in for drop-in advising. 

It is not required to speak with your department, but if you plan on taking major or minor classes abroad, it is highly recommended that you share your list of potential classes. 

You will need to write a short statement (500 words or 2-3 paragraphs). This is a statement about your academic goals connected to a specific program. This is not a general study abroad statement, but a program-specific one. Therefore, if you have a first and second choice one, you will need two statements. 

Once you have written your Statement of Purpose, please have a friend or family member look it over. If you would like the SF State Abroad Team to look over your personal statement or your response to the essay questionnaire, please email studyabroad@sfsu.edu or bring a copy to your study abroad advising session.

0:00 - 1:24: Covers structure and length of the Statement of Purpose

1:25 - 3:08: Question 1 (first paragraph)

3:09 - 4:07: Question 2 (second paragraph)

4:08 - 5:29: Question 3 (third paragraph)

5:30: Additional Information (if applicable)

  • If your GPA is below the requirement or you do not completely meet all of the program requirements, please briefly address this in a separate paragraph and statement. 
  • Include 1-2 sentences about why you are below the requirement. For example, if the program requires a 2.75, but you GPA is 2.60 because you worked too many hours while going to school your first semester at SF State. If you have a personal story, such as a death in the family, then you may want to take a few more sentences to explain. The level of detail you provide is up to you, but try to be specific and direct about what happened.
  • Then, include 2-4 sentences show why you would be successful abroad based upon your recent semester. Be specific. If it was because you worked too many hours, then you could talk about cutting back your work hours, finding a better work/school balance, purchasing a calendar, and seeking out professors during office hours when you do not understand the material. It is always best if you can point to two academic successes in the last two semesters. Maybe you were on the Dean’s List last semester.

 

Please add unofficial transcripts by the deadline. Official transcripts may be needed later so recent transfer students should acquire them now and hold onto them. Please do not mail them to the Study Abroad Office. Please note that the Study Abroad Office does not have access to any transcripts from other institutions submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

If you are not a recent transfer student, this is not needed since the Selection Committee has access to your SF State transcript. You may skip this step.

The Selection Committee will never deny you based upon your budget. They just want to know that you have thought about it and have a reasonable understanding of the cost. The Budget Workshop page can help you complete this section of the application. 

Once you have created your budget, you will want to consider how to fund your study abroad program

Deadlines:

Be sure to submit by SF State's deadlines to ensure full consideration and support from the SF State Abroad Office. 

Academic year, fall, and summer deadlines:

  • February 1st (priority deadline)
  • March 1st (final deadline*)

Calendar year, spring deadlines:

  • September 15th (priority deadline)
  • October 1st (final deadline*)

*Not all programs will remain open until the final deadline. If possible, apply by the priority deadline for full consideration. 

Submit Early:

  • If possible, it is highly recommended that you submit early.
  • The SF State Abroad Advisors will work with you and provide detailed feedback for all early applicants. Additionally, this will give you time to make any changes that the SF State Abroad Team recommends, if needed. 

Notification:

You will be notified via email. Be sure to check your email regularly and add studyabroad@sfsu.edu as a safe sender. 

Check your spam folders! 

  • Spring/Calendar Year programs: Emails are sent on a rolling basis from late September to late October.
  • Fall/Academic Year programs: Emails are sent on a rolling basis from late February to mid-March.

Please note that the Selection Committee reviews applications based upon programs to meet the deadlines of partners. Therefore, it is possible that your friend who is applying for a different program and submitted it after you may hear first. This does not mean anything about your application. 

After Submission (while you wait):

  • Keep preparing! Do not sit around waiting to be notified via email.
  • Learn the local language.
  • Connect with study abroad alumni and international students. 

CSU IP Application

To apply for a CSU IP program, you will need to complete a very short application in the SF State Abroad Database and the CSU IP portal. You may start with either one. 

In both applications, you may work on the parts in any and my jump ahead to work on a part and save it then return later for a different section. Therefore, the videos below are in the order we recommend working on the application.

Begin by creating a profile in the SF State Abroad Database

This video will go over completing the application in the SF State Abroad Database. Additionally, you will then need to create an account in the CSU IP portal and begin an application there as well. 

You are welcome to have a second-choice program. The Selection Committee will first review your first choice and if they are able to place you there, they will not look at your second choice.

A second choice is only needed if you are below any of the program requirements or if the program is competitive (all programs in Australia). If a second choice is needed, an SF State Abroad Advisor will let you know. 

If your first and second choices are CSU IP Programs, then you should only submit one application for your first choice and then note your second choice in that section of the IP application. By selecting yes to a second choice and writing the name of your second program, you will need to state how you meet the requirements of the second program. Everything else (including recommendations) will be shared by the two choices.

If your first choice is a CSU IP program, and your second choice is an SF State Exchange Program, then you will need to complete two separate applications for each. An SF State Abroad Advisor will follow-up with you regarding which one is your first choice, and which is second. You only need to request a faculty recommendation in the CSU IP Program and email studyabroad@sfsu.edu asking that SF State Abroad use the IP recommendation for SF State and submit the application on your behalf once you have completed everything else. Because they have different selection committees and convene at different times, it is possible to be accepted to both. If that happens, you need to know beforehand which is first and which is second as you will have less than one week to confirm. If you fail to do so, the SF State Abroad Office can withdraw you from one as we want students only selected for one program to be fair to everyone so there are enough spots.

Request a recommendation from a professor who has given you a letter grade at least 2 weeks (preferably more) before the deadline. You may ask SF State as well as community college professors. You may not ask employers or advisors. 

Be sure to let your professor know that it is a form, not a letter. The form should only take them 5-10 minutes to complete. 

Reach out to the professor directly before entering anything in the IP Portal. 

Since the CSU IP Selection Committee is based out of the Chancellor's Office and is comprised of individuals from different campuses, IP requires that you have the support of the SF State Abroad Office through the IP Coordinator Recommendation.  

Be sure to request the recommendation by the deadline.

We are happy to support your application. Please list Janelle Waldrep and the email address as studyabroad@sfsu.edu

After you submit your application, we will automatically complete it after the application deadline IF you have submitted an application in both the CSU IP portal AND the SF State Abroad Database. We will not submit it if you have not yet completed the application in the SF State Abroad Database. Please note that we have additional time after the deadline to complete it. 

It is not necessary to reach out to the advisors about this recommendation. If we need any additional information to complete the recommendation form, we will contact you. 

List at least 8 to 10 potential classes you would like to take abroad. You are not signing up for them. This is just to show the selection committee that you understand the program and will be academically happy if selected. If there are any required classes that you must take while abroad, be sure to list them. 

You need to write three separate paragraphs (4-7 sentences each). 

Question 1: Academically why this program? (video 0:33 - 2:03)

Question 2: What classes have you taken to prepare? What have you done outside of the classroom to prepare? (video 2:04 - 3:15)

Question 3: How will this program help you stay on track for graduation? How will it help you professionally? How will this help you personally? Try to be specific. (video 3:16 - 5:06)

If you would like the SF State Abroad Team to look over your response to the essay questionnaire, email studyabroad@sfsu.edu or sign up for study abroad advising. 

GPA Questionnaire (if needed): 

If your GPA is below the program requirement, then the GPA Questionnaire is required.

  • Include 1-2 sentences about why you are below the requirement. For example, if the program requires a 2.75, but you GPA is 2.60 because you worked too many hours while going to school your first semester at SF State. If you have a personal story, such as a death in the family, then you may want to take a few more sentences to explain. The level of detail you provide is up to you, but try to be specific and direct about what happened.
  • Then, include 2-4 sentences show why you would be successful abroad based upon your recent semester. Be specific. If it was because you worked too many hours, then you could talk about cutting back your work hours, finding a better work/school balance, purchasing a calendar, and seeking out professors during office hours when you do not understand the material. It is always best if you can point two academic success in the last two semesters. Maybe you were on the Dean’s List last semester.

Sophomore Questionnaire (if needed):

If you are a freshman now and will be a sophomore while abroad, please complete the Sophomore Questionnaire.

  • CSU IP wants to know that you have the maturity to be successful abroad. Give an example or two about a time you have demonstrated maturity or taken on responsibility.
  • If you have a strong academic record, you could use that to make your case.
  • Then, connect it to being abroad.
  • Your goal is 4-7 sentences.

CSU IP does require that you submit unofficial transcripts from everywhere you have attended in higher education, including community colleges and SF State.

For your SF State transcript, please log into Gateway and download a copy.

If any other schools are listed at the top, even if you took a 3-unit class at City College in high school, you need to include that unofficial transcript.

Fall/Academic Year Applications:

If you are applying to be abroad in the fall or academic year, then you may want to wait until after grades post at SF State around January 6th to upload your transcript in the IP portal and submit your IP application.

Spring/Calendar Year Applicants: 

If you are applying to be abroad in the spring or calendar year, then you should submit after the beginning of June, which is well in advance of the deadlines in the fall semester.

Deadlines:

Be sure to submit by SF State's deadlines to ensure full consideration and support from the SF State Abroad Office. 

Academic year, fall, and summer deadlines:

  • January 15th (Waseda, PUC, and Trossingen only)February 1st (priority deadline)
  • March 1st (final deadline*)

Calendar year, spring deadlines:

  • September 15th (priority deadline)
  • October 1st (final deadline*)

*Not all programs will remain open until the final deadline. If possible, apply by the priority deadline for full consideration. 

Submit Early:

  • If possible, it is highly recommended that you submit early.
  • The SF State Abroad Advisors will work with you and provide detailed feedback for all early applicants. Additionally, this will give you time to make any changes that the SF State Abroad Team recommends, if needed. 

Notification:

You will be notified via email. Be sure to check your email regularly and add studyabroad@sfsu.edu and ipstudentaffairs@calstate.edu as safe senders. 

  • Spring/Calendar Year programs: Emails are sent in late October.
  • Fall/Academic Year programs: Emails are sent mid-March.

After Submission (while you wait):

  • Keep preparing! Do not sit around waiting to be notified via email.
  • Learn the local language.
  • Connect with study abroad alumni and international students.