International Experience

The Department of Learning & Teaching faculty believe that preparing teachers to be globally competent by addressing the needs of diverse communities within and beyond our national boundaries is central to our mission and adds value to candidates’ graduate education. All graduate students in the Department of Learning and Teaching are required to participate in a program-approved internationalization experience during their graduate course of study at USD. This requirement is designed to enhance the students’ international and global knowledge and skills in working with immigrant and international populations and issues, particularly related to education. Students have two options to complete the International Requirement and need to discuss the options with their advisor. Links to registration sites for the various experiences are emailed when the trips are announced.

International Experience Requirement Guidelines - 2016/2017

Option 1

  • Complete a SOLES-approved 3-unit course with a travel abroad component. This course can be a program requirement or elective. If you are choosing this option, you DON’T need to fill out any forms.


Option 2

  • Provide evidence of participation in a cross-cultural experience in a faculty-planned or faculty-led educational based agency for a minimum of 42 hours. Complete the “Cross-Cultural Experience” form and the “Prompts for Reflection” form included in this website. You will be sent dates and links to register towards the beginning of the semester in which the event is held.

    • The experiences are:

      • Supporting linguistically and culturally diverse populations (maximum 20 hours at one site) at the:

*Candidates considering teaching abroad must complete a minimum of a month long experience. Students must meet with their advisor to propose the experience and advisor will consult with the committee. Advisor will provide special guidelines.            

Students with visa restrictions or students who have studied for at least six months or worked at least one month in a classroom abroad before entry into the program will develop a 20-minute presentation for a class. This is in lieu of the Tijuana part of USD CASA experience. The presentation must respond to the prompts on the “Teaching Abroad” form and reflect the breadth of your experience.

Option 2 Descriptions

Bayside Academic Club
Academic Club is a Bayside Community Center program housed at Kit Carson Elementary School. Kit Carson is a Title 1 school where 100% of the students receive free lunch. It is also a community rich with culture, with over 24 languages spoken. The school offers bilingual programs for Spanish-speaking students. The Academic Club is an afterschool program for Kit Carson students who speak English as non-native language. The purpose of the program is to bring up the reading levels and overall literacy skills of the 2nd and 3rd graders enrolled. Students are also provided with homework assistance, but the primary focus is literacy. The Academic Club has helped more than 50% of its students improve their reading scores to reach grade level proficiency.  USD students will tutor at an after school program with elementary school children run by Bayside at Carson Elementary School. For more information and to set up the experience contact: Adam Osorio at | COST: NONE

STEAM Summer Camp
The STEAM Team Summer Academy at the University of San Diego is a week-long program focused on the holistic academic enrichment of middle school students. Through hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, middle school students will engage their creativity, enhance problem solving, and develop communication and critical thinking skills. The daily activities will include designing and building complex chain reaction machines, exploring mathematical concepts through origami, team building through fitness activities, and goal setting in preparation for transition to high school, college and career. | COST: $40

Minato School
Participants will have the opportunity to visit a local Japanese school (hosoyuko=weekend school) supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education where about 400 Japanese and local children in the greater San Diego area learn though the Japanese national curriculum. The visit includes an introduction to the Japanese education system, observation of an inquiry lesson by an experienced Japanese teacher, discussions of the observed lesson, and discussion on the underlying philosophy with teachers. | COST: $40

CASA trips to San Diego and Tijuana - Fall 2016 Flyer
Through USD’s Karen and Tom Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action (CASA), the Department of Learning & Teaching (DLT) arranges two one-day trips to Tijuana and San Diego. The focus of these trips is to join the border community to better understand the unique political, economic and cultural reality of this region. The impact of US immigration policy is specifically highlighted through engagement with men, woman and children who are directly affected by it on both sides of the border. Students will learn from the work of Community Partners such as Border Angels, Fundación GAIA and the Scouts of Tijuana who have experienced the opportunities and challenges of life along “the fence”. Students will have opportunities to think about their role as a teacher in meeting the needs of students whose lives have been impacted by these disruptions. The CASA/DLT trips are offered once a semester. DLT students must sign up for both trips to meet part of the international requirement. Each trip includes an orientation session before the trip and a reflection session after the trip, which will be held at USD. A fee (as well as a passport copy for the Tijuana trip) must be submitted for registration. | COST: $40 EACH ($80 TOTAL)

  • San Diego | Saturday, October 29, 2016 | 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
  • Tijuana | Saturday, November 19, 2016 | 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.*
    • Orientation takes place from 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. on the day of each trip. Attendance is required. 
    • Reflection: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. in Maher 222
  • Register TODAY!

*Please note that arrival time from Tijuana varies depending on how long it takes to cross the border. Transportation is provided.

Linda Vista Immersion
The Linda Vista Immersion (LVI) is part of the shift in paradigm of how we view “study abroad” experiences. Instead of traveling overseas to new countries and foreign lands, USD students will literally turn left out of USD’s campus and immerse themselves in their own backyard: Linda Vista. One of the most diverse communities in San Diego with over 35 dialects spoken in a 3-4 mile geographic radius, Linda Vista is a culturally diverse community that offers USD students the opportunity to experience and interact with students from a variety of cultural backgrounds one mile from campus. While the diversity brings an abundance of unique foods, populations, and community activities, Linda Vista is also one of the hardest hit communities socio-economically in the County of San Diego. USD students who participate in this immersion experience will learn about the realities of living in an underserved community that lacks access to employment, health care, transportation, healthy food, and quality education. They will be challenged by the social inequities and disparities that exist while simultaneously being introduced to the assets and richness the community has to offer: its history, people, culture, and resilience. Most importantly, they will meaningfully engage with their community, “Linda Vista: The Home of the University of San Diego”.  | COST: $40

For more information, please consult with your faculty advisor. 

Options and Resources