Studying abroad through USAC, the CSU International Program, or Exchange is a priceless experience and can be more affordable than students think.


Stanislaus State offers two scholarship opportunities to help students fund their trips: First, the Study Abroad Student Scholarship, which can be put toward either of the three programs offered. Second, the Stan State University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) scholarship, which is strictly for students studying abroad through USAC.


“Students can use financial aid, the provider determines if they can use state or federal. There are also plenty of scholarships that are not through Stan State, which are government scholarships. For example, the Gillman Scholarship. In order to apply you need to be a Pell Grant recipient, and that scholarship can range anywhere between $2,000-$5,000,” said Brittany Fentress, International Admissions and Service Coordinator. 


The CSU International Program and Exchange programs do not have oversea tuition fees (meaning students pay what the CSU fee would be), according to the Stan State Office of International Education website.


It is important to do research and decide which program is the best fit for you.


“I will say, when students come back... a lot of them (almost all of them) say their biggest regret is that they would have gone longer,” Fentress said.


Lizet Martinez (senior, Psychology and Criminal Justice) studied abroad in Madrid, Spain through the Exchange program (Stan's newest program), during the Spring of 2019.


“My dream study abroad country was Spain. This program allowed me to study there because it helped me out financially. The Exchange program was the only program that accepted all my financial aid offered,” Martinez said.


Mallory Melo (junior, Business Entrepreneurship) studied abroad in Florence, Italy during the Fall of 2018 and made many memories traveling to Croatia, Denmark, Germany, and Spain.


“The most rewarding experience I had was just being able to travel to so many different places… My advice would be to travel as much as you can! Everything is so close and the flights are cheap,” Melo said.


Elissa Fonseca (senior, Psychology) is currently studying abroad in Valencia, Spain through USAC. She has left home for the first time and is adjusting to life in a new city.


“The most rewarding experience thus far has to be overcoming the challenge of living in a different country than my family and friends,” Fonseca said.


Students can decide which country is best for them by researching which program can help them earn the most credit toward their major or minor. Fonseca is working to earn a minor in Spanish while studying in Spain.


“Studying abroad has always been a lifelong goal of mine and what better way to do it then by earning my minor in Spanish while in Spain!”


The possibilities are endless. For more information, visit The Office of International Education website for upcoming session dates and times. You can also email or stop by Room 180 in MSR for more information.


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