University Honors Program

Live, Learn, Achieve

Study Abroad


Honors students are welcome to choose any of the study abroad programs offered by Cal Poly's International Center. Here we provide information on two programs we feel best meet the goals of Honors and, in some cases, are most cost effective. Each of these programs offers study abroad opportunities in many different countries and cities across the world. You will find a plethora of curricular emphases to allow you to focus your studies on your particular interests and major.
CSU International Programs (CSUIP)
The Cal Poly Study Abroad website has 49 of these programs listed. They are in many different countries, from Australia to Chile to Ghana to Italy and more. CSUIP programs are offered through the CSU. They are the most cost effective because you will pay the base CSU tuition, and in most cases can use your financial aid (check with the Financial Aid office about what portions of your aid can be used). For many of the programs, you will directly enroll in a foreign university or a center on campus for foreign exchange students, live on campus, and take classes with the students enrolled there. You will learn about and experience a different educational system. These are often good programs if you need to take classes that will count for GE credits at Cal Poly.
SIT Study Abroad Programs
The Cal Poly Study Abroad site has 67 of these programs listed. You can study renewable energy in Iceland, global health and development in Switzerland, migration in Morocco, and many more options. These programs tend to focus on experiential learning like internships or research opportunities. They are designed to serve students from U.S. universities, usually in small cohorts of 8-30 students. You will be taught by professors local to the country where you are studying, but you will not be in classes with local students. You will do a “home stay,” where you live with a local family. Programs often engage students in site visits and other opportunities to learn about the local society and culture. These programs tend to have higher tuition costs, but note that listed costs include most all expenditures, such as excursions, home stay, food, and the like.
Find more information about both SIT Study Abroad and CSU International Programs on the Study Abroad website. Go to and select the “Simple Program Search” option. Search on “CSUIP” and “SIT” to see the full list of programs associated with each of these.
Check with the Financial Aid office about aid for study abroad and your individual aid package. Contact your aid counselor or email to request advising.

How To Apply

Access Cal Poly’s Study Abroad website and meet with Study Abroad staff
Step 1:
Complete the Study Abroad 101 module and sign up to attend a Study Abroad 101 workshop provided by the International Center:
Step 2:
Set up a meeting with a Study Abroad peer advisor for one-on-one guidance about any topics related to study abroad. Applicants need to complete the Study Abroad 101 Advising Module before attending a peer advising session. Information on peer advising, including hours and how to access virtual advising: Study Abroad Advising Webpage.
Step 3:
If you still have questions about particular programs after completing steps 1 and 2, meet with the International Center staff member in charge of the program. For SIT Study Abroad, contact Sara Otis ( For CSUIP, contact Stacey Shimizu (
Consider these questions to prepare to meet with Study Abroad staff:
1) What to study:
Do I need to earn credits toward a major, a minor, or the GE curriculum while I am abroad?
Does the program offer the kinds of courses I need in my field of study -- and offer a wide enough variety of them?
Is my field of study a particular academic strength for that program?
2) Academic credit:
What is the average course load for the program?
What credit unit does the program use and how will those credits transfer back to Cal Poly?
If I need credit in a major or minor, will my department accept the courses I take?
3) Language proficiency:
 If the program has a language requirement, am I at the appropriate level of proficiency?
 Am I fluent enough in a foreign language to take classes in it or will I need to take at least some -- if not all -- of my classes in English?
4) Location:
Where do I want to go? Why do I want to go there?
What part of the world do I want to focus on?
Do I want to live and study in a large city or would I prefer something smaller and more intimate?
Do I want to directly enroll in a foreign university? If so, would I feel comfortable in a very large university (30,000+ students) or do I want something a bit smaller?
5) Living arrangements:
What kind of living experience do I want? Living in a dorm with other American students? Living in an apartment and cooking for myself?  Staying with a host family?
6) Timing:
What are the program’s start and end dates?
Will those dates interfere with my return to Cal Poly? Will they interfere with other plans, such as summer internship or work plans?
7) Experiential opportunities:
Does the program offer internships or work experience?
Will I have the opportunity to conduct independent research?
Can the program help place me in volunteer activities?
8) Cost:
What is the total cost for the program (tuition, room and board, round-trip airfare, ground transportation, additional insurance, visa fees, etc.)?


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