Liberal Studies International Experiences

2021 COE Study Abroad Opportunities Have Been Suspended

Please visit the Aztecs Abroad database for other opportunities available this year. 2022 options led by College of Education faculty will be published in fall 2021.


SDSU and the Liberal Studies Program recognize that student participation in approved international experiences is a transformational educational experience. Toward that goal, the Liberal Studies major includes an International Experience requirement and has designed trips especially for you.

Why Travel Abroad?

Liberal Studies majors must fulfill an International Experience Requirement. Possibilities range from a multi-day experience to a semester or even a year abroad. Students are encouraged to participate in experiences arranged specifically for Liberal Studies, or they may choose from myriad other opportunities.

The International Experience Requirement is fulfilled through completion of a course of 1 or more units which involves travel.

You'll learn flexibility, adaptability and new ways of doing things as you adjust to living in a new culture. And you'll learn to see the United States from a different perspective.
Learn to communicate effectively and work with groups of diverse backgrounds. Develop cross-cultural competence that will set you apart on a resumé, in a job interview, and in a future career teaching a diverse classroom.
Explore personal goals such as learning a new language or becoming more fluent, exploring a culture related to your ancestry, or learning about the art and music of your host country.
Travel is always exciting. In addition to learning, growing, and experiencing a new way of life, you're bound to find fun and adventure!

International Experience Options for Liberal Studies Students

children with flowersThe Liberal Studies International Experience Requirement provides flexibility and variety, so you can make the most of your time abroad and fit the experience into your personal and academic schedule.

Consider how long you want to spend abroad. There are good reasons to study abroad for a longer stay, as well as for a short-term visit.

Long-term programs

In a long-term program, you have more time for exploration, cultural immersion, making friends . . . and it’s often no more expensive than staying at SDSU.

  • Year-long study abroad
  • Semester abroad

Short-term programs

In a short-term program, you can gain an initial exposure to a new culture and focus on a more specific topic or theme.

  • Summer programs (2-8 weeks)
  • Spring break programs (9-10 days)

Talk to an Advisor

As a Liberal Studies major, you have a variety of travel options to choose from, based on length of time you will spend abroad. Talk to an advisor to pick the option that is right for you. Email [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

The LS program requires all students to complete an International Experience. There are no exceptions to this requirement. That stated, we do make accommodations for students who have verifiable and documented proof that traveling abroad will cause harm; examples are DACA and medical conditions.

In such cases, the risks of traveling abroad are greater than the benefits. Some students will complete alternative experiences in local communities. If you feel that you may meet eligibility conditions for the alternative experience, contact an advisor at [email protected]. (Examples that do not meet the eligibility conditions are childcare, financial duress, fear of traveling, etc.)

Past Trips


  • Interacted with local principals, teachers, and students
  • Volunteered in elementary schools
  • Stayed with local families (2-3 students per home)
  • Saw spectacular ancient Mayan ruins
  • Visited the Green Iguana Conservation Project
  • Toured the Belize Zoo
  • Went cave tubing through a Mayan cave
  • Strolled the Belize Botanical Gardens
  • Learned about the Belize Barrier Reef and snorkel Caye Caulker

 Maya ruins

Costa Rica

  • Interacted with local principals, teachers, and students
  • Volunteered in elementary schools
    Stay with local families (2-3 students per home)
  • Experienced the rainforest
    Visit a butterfly farm
  • Volunteered with rescued animals at the Asis Wildlife Center
  • Hiked lava beds in Volcano National Park
  • Visited a local coffee grower and creamery



  • Interacted with local principals. teachers, and students
  • Volunteered in elementary schools
  • Stayed with local families (2-3 students per home)
  • Spent a day in historic Quito, a UNESCO world heritage site
    Visit butterfly and orchid gardens
  • Learned about making chocolate from the ground up
  • Explored a cloud forest and hike Imbabura Volcano
  • Shopped in Otavalo, the largest handicrafts market in South America
  • Visited Peguche waterfall and Cubilche Lake

Ecuador girls.