Study Abroad

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures encourages study abroad through the California State University’s Study Abroad Programs and San Francisco State University’s bilateral exchange programs.

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures encourages study abroad through the California State University's Study Abroad Programs and San Francisco State University’s bilateral exchange programs. More information about available programs can be found at the website of the Office of International Programs. Students are also encouraged to meet with language program advisors to learn about programs available for different languages in different host countries.

Students should note that while all courses taken as part of the aforementioned study abroad programs and bilateral programs automatically count as SF State units (upon receipt of transcripts from the host university), each language program may place additional restrictions on how many of these units can count toward the language major — most language programs require that no more than half of the units required for the major or minor can be from abroad, but check the relevant SF State Bulletin and consult with a language program adviser for specifics.

In addition, note that study abroad units, in most cases, can be double-counted as units satisfying the requirements of complementary studies — see language program adviser or SF State Bulletin for details.

In cooperation with the Office of International Programs we encourage students to study abroad. Through the California State University (CSU) International Program, students may study, for example, at the Universität of TübingenUniversität of Heidelberg or other institutions of higher learning such as the Musikhochschule Trossingen, Aachen. Such opportunities give students an immersion experience, helping to build and reinforce language skills while earning units toward graduation.

To study or research in Germany, students should also check out funding opportunities provided by the German Academic Exchange Service.

The German Program also facilitates paid summer internships in German-speaking Europe offered by International Cooperative Education, among others. Students work in a German-speaking professional setting for a minimum of six weeks to a maximum of three months, depending on placement. Internship opportunities have included at BMW and in holistic health care, retail and many others. The organization sets up the internship as well as housing. Visas are provided. Informational meetings are arranged on campus in the fall semester.

The Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft e.V. (CDG) in Cologne, for example, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to international advanced training and human resource development. The Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft e.V. works together with partner organizations in Germany and abroad to offer practice-oriented training, exchange and foreign language programs.

The Deutscher Bundestag Internship Program in Berlin, for example, offers students with interest in international organizations, business, public and diplomatic service internships administered by the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. This well-respected and prestigious program includes a four-month internship with the German Parliament.

Summer Programs

SF State Summer Program in St. Peterburg

Contact: Krista Hanson
Tel: (415) 239-3542
Office: HUM 458

Internships and Employment Opportunities

ACTR/ACCELS Accredited programs, homestays, volunteer opportunities, financial aid.
Beloit College Center for Language Studies. Summer Intensive Language Studies at Beloit.

Indiana University Summer Workshop in Slavic and East European Languages

Middlebury Language Schools Kathryn Wasserman Davis, School of Russian

Summer Intensive Language Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies

University of California, Berkeley Intensive Russian Language Workshop

University of California, Los Angeles Intensive Russian (Elementary and Intermediate)

Russian Language and Culture Summer Immersion Program at California State University, Northridge

University of Washington Intensive Summer Program

University of Pittsburgh Slavic and East European Summer Language Institute

Eastern European Study Abroad offers a program in the Ukraine for undergraduate students engaged in economics, business, political science, history, international relations, cultural studies and/or the Russian or Ukrainian language. Classes are taught in English at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University.

The Center for Citizen Initiatives
Productivity Enhancement Program
Address: P.O. Box 29912, San Francisco, CA 94115
Fax: (415) 561-7778

Moscow Times job listings

Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St.Petersburg

Bard-Smolny Colleges Study Abroad Program, St. Petersburg

Nothing enhances the study of a language better than living in a country where that language is spoken. For that reason, the Spanish Program encourages all students to study abroad. Students must be aware, however, that a wide variety of international experiences is available to students, not all sanctioned by the University. Coursework taken at an institution that has an official relationship with SF State will transfer automatically. Coursework taken at an unsanctioned program may not transfer at all.

CSU International Programs

The CSU has programs in Spain, Chile and Mexico. The Spain and Chile programs require you to have at least two years of college-level Spanish prior to applying for the program. However, the Mexico program is open to beginners. For information on these programs, please visit the Office of International Programs website.

What Credits Will Transfer

Coursework taken through officially sanctioned international programs will transfer automatically. However, this does not mean that all classes taken abroad can be used to fulfill the requirements of the Spanish major. All classes taken in an official CSU International Program will transfer to the University, but only 15 units may be applied toward the major. Students hoping to apply study abroad credits toward completion of a major or minor in Spanish must consult with an adviser prior to departure.

Non-Sanctioned Programs

The Spanish Program does not recommend that students participate in programs that do not have a formal relationship with San Francisco State University. You need to be aware that if you enroll in a foreign university or privately owned language school abroad that does not have a formal relationship with SF State, the classes you take will not transfer automatically, and may not even transfer at all. Students who enroll in such programs do so at their own risk.

Students who wish to enroll in foreign universities or language schools must be aware that:

  • Spanish Program faculty will not pre-approve coursework taken through non-sanctioned programs.
  • The Spanish Program is not responsible for seeing that you get credit for those classes.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to present a transcript to the SF State Admissions Office, which has the sole responsibility to evaluate coursework taken abroad and decide whether it will transfer.
  • If such coursework is accepted by Admissions, whether or not to allow that coursework to be applied toward completion of a major or minor in Spanish is at the discretion of the Spanish Program.

The Chinese Program offers Chinese language Study Abroad options in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, at universities with specializations in Chinese language study, Chinese language pedagogy, Chinese for business, and translation & interpretation.

Through the University’s Office of International Programs (OIP), students can choose from a variety of study-abroad destinations for studying the Chinese language.

Options include:

  • California State University (CSU) International Programs (one-year commitment)
  • San Francisco State University Bilateral Exchange Programs (one-semester commitment)

Study Abroad partners in each subject area are listed below. Be sure to check the OIP website for the latest updates. Note that institutions in mainland China typically offer instruction using simplified Chinese characters, while those in Hong Kong and Taiwan use traditional Chinese characters.

Chinese Language

For general Chinese language study, including all levels of Chinese language and linguistics, literature and culture, the Chinese Program recommends Peking University (PKU) in Beijing and National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei. Both are study abroad partners in CSU’s International Program (one-year commitment) and are the top institutions of higher learning in their respective countries. Both are also large, comprehensive research institutions with classes in all subjects and at all levels from undergraduate studies to doctoral seminars.

In addition these two universities, students already possessing advanced-level Chinese language skills have the option of enrolling in the CSU International Programs at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) and National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan), or in the SF State Bilateral Program at the City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong).

Translation and Interpretation

For advanced students of Chinese language wishing to specialize in translation and/or interpretation, and students in the Strategic Language Initiative (SLI) Translation-Interpretation Program, the Chinese program recommends the Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation (GITI) at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), which provides professional training for Chinese-English and English-Chinese translators and interpreters. Strategic Language Initiative candidates must complete at least 12 units of graduate level translator and/or interpreter training at NTNU, among other requirements, in order to be eligible for the SLI Certificate of Completion.

Teaching Chinese as a Second Language

For proficient speakers of Chinese wishing to become teachers of Chinese as a second language, the Chinese program recommends the teacher training module at the Department of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at Chung Yuan Christian University (CYCU) in Taiwan. Chung Yuan Christian University is an SFSU bilateral exchange partner and requires a commitment of at least one semester.

Business and Management

Students with a focus in business and/or management, including those who are studying Chinese with an eye toward conducting business in the Chinese-speaking world, may wish to enroll in the Chinese language program at National Cheng Chi University (Taiwan), which is known for its business school. National Cheng Chi University is a bilateral exchange partner and requires a commitment of at least one semester. 

Chinese Flagship Program

Students admitted to the Chinese Flagship program have additional study abroad resources available that are not open to non-Flagship students. These include summer Flagship prep programs in Taiwan and Flagship capstone-year programs in China. Contact the Flagship Office for Flagship-specific study abroad options and enrollment details.

Study Abroad Signup

For details regarding deadlines, scholarships and how to sign up for study abroad, contact the Office of International Programs (OIP):

Office of International Programs
Village at Centennial Square, Building C
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132, U.S.A.
Phone: +1 (415) 338-1293
Fax: +1 (415) 338-6234

Study-Abroad Units

Applies to all Chinese degrees, concentrations and minors:

For students opting to study abroad, all study abroad units will count as units in residence and can be counted towards graduation credit, but no more than half of the units required for the major or minor may be taken outside of the home campus. 

*Students are encouraged to study abroad through the International Programs of the CSU and the Bilateral Programs of San Francisco State University. For students opting to study abroad, all study abroad units will count as units in residence and can be used for graduation credit, but no more than half of the units required for the major or minor may be taken outside of the home campus. Flagship language concentration students, however, may apply all of their Study Abroad units toward the major.