Office of International Programs  {SF State Bulletin 2011 - 2012}

Image: San Francisco State University seal on a gold background

Office of International Programs

The Office of International Programs (OIP) is the principal office on campus designated to respond to the diverse needs of the campus community with respect to international education. Prospective and matriculated international students, SF State faculty and students wishing to work or study abroad, visiting scholars and students, and international alumni are all served by this office.


OIP has a professional, multi-lingual staff who provide a range of services and programs to assist students, faculty, and staff in realizing their respective goals in international education. The staff are well informed about community programs, resources, cross-cultural issues, student/scholar regulations, and are dedicated to assisting international students and scholars in making their stay at SF State as rewarding as possible. OIP is open year round, and welcomes members of the campus community to visit our office, or our home page on the web ( The office maintains an extensive Study Abroad Resource Center with information on work and study opportunities overseas. Appointments may be made to speak with any of our advising staff.


For more information, contact OIP at (415) 338-1293; fax: (415) 338-6234; e-mail (general information):; e-mail (study abroad information):


International Student Outreach

OIP oversees the university's international student recruitment, outreach services, and activities. The office is responsible for responding to the thousands of inquiries received from prospective international students each year. Pre-admission, transfer advising, and admission follow-ups are provided by OIP's international student advisers. The advisers work closely with international student counselors and transfer centers at California's community colleges/high schools and provide on-site advising and workshops to transferring international students. OIP serves as a liaison with U.S. advising centers overseas, Fulbright Commission offices, foreign universities, and educational organizations concerned with providing academic advising and placement services to prospective international students worldwide.


International Student Services

OIP also assists the university's many F-1 and J-1 visa international students and scholars in adjusting to life at SFSU, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the United States. At the beginning of each semester, OIP conducts extensive orientation programs for new international students and scholars. In addition, the office provides advice concerning immigration and visa matters, cultural adjustment, academic matters, personal and financial counseling, and employment regulations. Furthermore, OIP conducts various workshops during the academic year on topics of special interest to international students and scholars and organizes a variety of social, cultural, educational, and recreational activities designed to help familiarize international students and scholars with life in the U.S.


Study Abroad and International Exchange Programs

OIP provides information and advisement on the two officially sanctioned study abroad programs: The California State University International Programs (IP) and the bilateral exchange programs between SF State and selected foreign universities. The CSU-IP program is affiliated with more than 70 recognized universities and institutions of higher education in nineteen countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom (see California State University International Programs section of this Bulletin). SF State has established bilateral exchange agreements with universities in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom (including Wales) (see San Francisco State University Bilateral Programs section of this Bulletin). These programs allow students from any academic major to make progress towards their SF State degree, earning CSU/SF State resident credits, while enhancing their academic program with an overseas experience. Financial aid applies, and, since participating students in either program are still enrolled at SF State, they pay only their regular SF State tuition and fees. Information workshops are offered throughout each semester. In addition, OIP maintains a Study Abroad Resource Center which contains information on other independent, non-CSU administered study abroad programs, and materials covering a variety of study, travel, and work abroad related topics such as financial resources, teaching and internships, gay and lesbian resources, resources for students with disabilities, women's concerns, students of color issues, volunteer programs, safety and health issues, transportation, and home-stays and housing information, to name a few. OIP also sponsors an annual Study/Work/Travel Abroad Fair every fall semester, and serves as the advisory office for a variety of scholarships which relate directly to the certified CSU and SF State study abroad programs.


Note: For SF State students wishing to participate in non-certified, “outside,” or vendor, study abroad programs, standard evaluation procedure for transfer credit applies. No resident credit can be awarded, and pre-approval of transfer credits cannot be guaranteed prior to actual transcript evaluation. Students are recommended to consult OIP for more information, and advisement of applicable conditions, before participation in non-certified study abroad programs.


Dedicated to supporting international exchange, OIP jointly facilitates the international scholarly movement of faculty to and from SF State. OIP assists in bringing visiting scholars to the campus through a variety of services, including orientation and advising on immigration and personal matters after their arrival. OIP is the only office authorized to issue immigration documentation to enable these scholars to come to SF State on J-1 visas. OIP also assists SF State faculty members who seek to engage in scholarly activities overseas, such as the Fulbright Scholar program, and advises departments who wish to establish bilateral exchange programs designed for the needs of students in a certain academic discipline.


International Track

Students may enhance their course of study by participating in the Study Abroad programs through the International Track option in many departments. International Track students follow a particular course of study in which the participating department integrates overseas courses from the host university with the course requirements in the major at SFSU. All official SF State Study Abroad students earn resident credit, and may use SF State financial aid while participating in the program. For more information and a list of participating International Track Departments please visit


Immigration Requirements for Licensure

For immigration requirements for licensure see Regulations and Procedures - Additional.


SF State Home