Cal Poly International Center

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International Students and Scholars

Study Abroad Programs

Cari Moore, Director
Bldg (52), Room E-32
Phone: 805.756.1477

The primary mission of the Cal Poly International Center (CPIC) is to provide leadership and coordination for Cal Poly international activities and to serve as the principal catalyst for internationalization efforts at Cal Poly. The CPIC maintains administrative authority and university-wide oversight of international engagement, including international initiatives, programs, and activities supported by the campus.

Cal Poly’s International Center provides programs and services for both international students studying on campus and students preparing to study abroad. College graduates in the twenty-first century are citizens of a world in which communicating in other languages and understanding other cultures are requirements for successful careers. Many Cal Poly colleges and departments encourage students to pursue overseas study opportunities.

International Students and Scholars

The International Center provides services and programs aimed at meeting the unique needs of international students and scholars throughout their academic careers at Cal Poly.

We help prepare international students and scholars for their tenure at Cal Poly by providing immigration advising and documents, pre- arrival information, and orientation programming. Our staff welcomes newcomers upon arrival and offers quarterly arrival workshops, visa advising, and seminars.

The International Center is the first point of contact for inviting international visitors to Cal Poly to foster collaboration and cross-cultural exchange. We work with academic departments and Dean’s offices to produce visa documentation appropriate to the purpose and nature of each academic objective.

Cal Poly International Exchange Programs are centrally managed by the International Center with assistance from Cal Poly Exchange Coordinators to ensure reciprocity and compliance with the U.S. Department of State and California State University regulations.

The International Peer Contact Program brings international and domestic students together to share their cultures and to develop friendships. Cal Poly International Peer Contacts (IPCs) provide a support system to assist new international students with adapting

to the “SLO Life.” In return, the IPCs receive invaluable experience learning about life in other countries, make many new friends, and create long-lasting relationships with people from around the globe.

The Cal Poly International Club is open to international and U.S. students interested in making new friends, sharing culture, language, food, and exploring the community together.

Find more information for International Students and International Scholars online.

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Study Abroad Programs

Students interested in studying abroad should begin by visiting the International Center  web site and coming to the International Center (Building 52, Room E-32), Cal Poly’s clearinghouse for information on all study abroad programs. A resource center provides students with printed material and web resources on study abroad. Study abroad advisers are available to provide guidance and suggestions.

Study Abroad and Exchange Eligibility Requirements 

Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at Cal Poly in order to be eligible to participate in a study abroad or exchange program. In addition, students must meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen programs. Academic eligibility standards vary by program and most require a minimum GPA and at least one letter of recommendation. Participants may not study abroad during their first quarter at Cal Poly. Students who are on Academic Probation or Disciplinary Probation at the time of application, or the term prior to studying abroad, must notify the International Center. Normally, such students will be considered ineligible to participate in the program unless extenuating circumstances exist, and the International Center gives its approval. Students are strongly encouraged to seek pre-approval for courses prior to departing for their terms abroad. If a program is located in a country where there is a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning, Cal Poly may not provide the approval to participate in the program, or provide pre-approval for the transfer of credits. 

Cal Poly Global Programs

Cal Poly Global Programs are study abroad programs that offer students opportunities to study abroad with Cal Poly faculty. Ranging from one to two weeks to a full term in length, these programs present a highly flexible model capable of responding to specific curricular goals. Planned with a focus on general education courses and/or courses applicable to one or more Cal Poly major(s) and minor(s), Cal Poly Global Programs may be open to students in all majors or to students in targeted fields of study only. Check our website for the current major-specific program offerings. Cal Poly Global Programs offering general education credit are listed below.

Cal Poly in Australia

Cal Poly faculty take students to the University of Adelaide campus in Adelaide during the winter quarter. The courses focus on Agribusiness and Wine & Viticulture with general education augmentation. The study program includes seven weeks of classes with field trips to nearby sites, which can include visits to wine regions, Kangaroo Island, and a national wildlife park.

Cal Poly in London

This six-week summer program immerses students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences while using London as a laboratory. Students take numerous field trips, visiting London’s concert halls, theaters, museums, cathedrals, and halls of government.

Cal Poly in Peru

One of the most unique study abroad programs offered by Cal Poly, this four-week summer program gives students a chance to live with a host family in Cuzco, Peru. Students study Spanish and take Cal Poly general education courses that incorporate hands-on community-based development work. Excursions may include trips to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon rainforest.

Cal Poly in Spain

Students are immersed in Spanish life and culture in the city of Valladolid in northern Spain. Offered in summer and fall, the program provides students the opportunity to live with a Spanish family and take Spanish classes from local professors at the University of Valladolid. Cal Poly general education classes highlight Spanish history and culture. Students choose between a four-week summer immersion program or a 12-week fall quarter program. Excursions may include day trips to Salamanca, Segovia, Burgos (Fall) and Santander (Summer).

Cal Poly in Thailand

In this six-week summer program, students study at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. Students get a brief introduction to the Thai language and learn how to cook famous Thai dishes, while taking Cal Poly general education classes. Excursions may include trips to the Hill Tribe, Bangkok, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

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Cal Poly International Exchange Programs

A number of Cal Poly colleges and departments have individual exchange agreements with a variety of universities around the world. Through these exchanges, students have an opportunity for cost effective, easily arranged study abroad experiences within their own academic disciplines. Students who qualify for one of these exchanges pay Cal Poly tuition fees and the International Center fee. Students can spend up to one year at overseas universities as regularly enrolled students.

National Student Exchange (NSE) Consortium

Since its founding in 1968, more than 100,000 students have had the opportunity to study away through the National Student Exchange (NSE). Undergraduate students are able to spend up to one calendar year at another NSE member college or university in the U.S., Canada, and the U.S. Territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands). Because students pay in-state tuition, it is an affordable study away program option.

CSU International Programs

Developing intercultural communication skills and international understanding among its students is a vital mission of the California State University (CSU). Since its inception in 1963, the CSU International Program’s office has contributed to this effort by providing qualified students an affordable opportunity to continue their studies abroad for a full academic year. More than 20,000 CSU students have taken advantage of this unique study option.

International Programs participants earn resident academic credit at their CSU campuses while they pursue full-time study at host universities or special study centers abroad for an academic year. The International Programs suite of options serves the needs of students in over 100 designated academic majors. Affiliated with more than 50 recognized universities and institutions of higher education in 18 countries, International Programs also offers a wide selection of study abroad destinations and learning environments.

The estimated cost for participation in the CSU International Programs varies from country to country, but, on average, the cost to spend a year abroad on IP is comparable to studying at the CSU for a year.  Financial aid, with the exception of Federal Work-Study, is available to qualified students.

Additional information about specific programs and answers to questions regarding the application materials may be obtained from the IP Coordinator at Cal Poly (building 52, room E-32), visiting the web page or by writing to the California State University International Programs, 401 Golden Shore, 6th Floor, Long Beach, California 90802-4210.

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Cal Poly Partner Programs

Cal Poly has formal partnership contracts with several private sector and consortium program providers to place Cal Poly students in reputable study programs, usually cooperating universities or specialized study centers.  Each partner has specializations and a variety of locations, and students should check with a partner website and visit with an Affiliated Partner adviser in the International Center for further information.

CEA Global Education

CEA sends thousands of students on study abroad programs in multiple locations in Asia, Europe, South Africa, South America, and the UK.  CEA Study Abroad Centers emphasize active learning, internships, service-learning & hybrid enrollment programs (ex. Rome John Cabot University).
Study abroad centers include Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Florence, Paris, Rome, Seville, and Shanghai. CEA also has a network of partner universities within all of their 22 program locations in 12 countries.

Danish Institute For Study Abroad

DIS provides students from any major with the option of enrolling in any of the following academic tracks offered for a semester or summer program: Architecture, Biomedicine, Child Diversity & Development, Communication, European Humanities, European Politics, Global Economics, Graphic Design, International Business, Justice & Human Rights, Medical Practice & Policy, Neuroscience, Prostitution & the Sex Trade, Public Health, Science & the Environment, Sociology, Sustainability in Europe, Urban Design and Urban Studies in Europe.

University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC)

Cal Poly joins 29 members that participate within the University Studies Abroad Consortium. Since 1983, thousands of students from more than 500 U.S. and foreign universities have joined in USAC programs. USAC offers 30 43 study abroad programs at host universities in 23 26 countries including summer, semester, and yearlong programs. USAC offers two types of programs; the language programs focus on language immersion and cultural studies, whereas the partnership programs offer direct enrollment in international partner universities offering a full curriculum of studies. USAC offers study abroad opportunities for some underrepresented disciplines such as Education, Engineering, Computer Science, Viticulture, and Women's Studies, along with internship, field studies, and community-involved programs.

Education Abroad Network (TEAN)

The Education Abroad Network provides direct enrollment study abroad opportunities in Australia, New Zealand, China, Southeast Asia and South Korea. The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) was created in 1995 to give students unique and flexible overseas experiences. Program options include semester, summer, winter and internship abroad programs. TEAN serves as the liaison between the host universities and Cal Poly regarding credit transfer, financial aid and academic issues. The overseas host universities issue the transcripts to Cal Poly. Cal Poly students will receive transfer credit for pre-approved courses and will be considered for TEAN scholarships. Cal Poly will disburse federal financial aid to eligible students.

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)

The Council on International CIEE provides almost 200 programs in 60 cities and 41 countries. Since 1950, CIEE has been one of the nation’s leader in producing high-quality international study abroad and exchange programs.  Over 30 different language programs are offered at the various study centers.  CIEE works with a roster of volunteer organizations and companies to ensure that students have an experience that is enriching and facilitates cultural immersion.  49 of the program sites offer internship opportunities. Majors and minors of almost any field of study are able to participate in CIEE programs.  For example a student can study Global Architecture and Design in Prague, Tropical Marine Ecology in Bonaire, Business, Language and Culture in Shanghai.

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