Short-Term Opportunities

The Second Year Experience (SYE) Abroad program is an innovative and comprehensive international experience open to sophomore students at the University of San Diego. Students apply during their first year and will travel together with their cohort during the intersession of their sophomore year. After being enrolled in the program, all students will participate in fall seminars (to take place in the fall semester prior to departure) in preparation for their time abroad. Please see below for more details about this unique and exciting program.

SYE 2021 Applications

Applications are being accepted on a space available basis. Applications were due on April 1, 2020. If you are interested in opening an application (per space availability), please email:

General SYE Abroad Information

Academic Component:

While abroad, students take one three-unit academic course taught by a USD faculty member (see below for course offerings in each location). Each course will fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

Intercultural Component:

Students will be assigned to an Intercultural Group. These groups will be organized and led by current USD administrators and staff who will meet with the students prior to departure, on-site in each location, and at USD upon return. Within these groups students will participate in cultural and social activities both in San Diego and abroad.

Program Cost:

Please check the program below for cost information as this depends on the course students take while abroad.  This cost includes tuition, housing, class-related activities abroad, cultural activities abroad, excursions, some meals, and international health insurance.


Details regarding program housing and calendar for each location will be made available to all enrolled students in the Fall prior to their departure.


Students must be in good academic and conduct standing with USD. Students participating in this program must have sophomore standing (completed three semesters prior to traveling abroad in January).

Students in the Class of 2023 will be able to select from either Auckland, New Zealand or Florence, Italy.

Application Deadline and Program Timeline:

  • Application deadline: April 1, 2020
  • Kick-off event: May 14, 2020
  • Mandatory Fall Seminars: Students will be required to attend three mandatory fall seminars in Fall 2020 (confirmed dates, times, and locations will be sent to enrolled students) 

SYE Abroad Locations and Applications

Florence, Italy - Explore: Relive the Renaissance (click to learn more and apply)

Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance and, as such, has a rich cultural history. Students will have the opportunity to explore the city through its art and architecture preserved among the cobblestone streets.


The cost to participate in the SYE Florence program depends on the course students take.  The cost for the ENGL, HIST, MKTG, POLS and THRS courses is $5625. The cost for the CHEM course is $5825. This cost includes tuition, housing, some meals, course activities and some cultural activities.

Courses Offered in Florence:

Course Fulfills
ENGL 236: English and American Writers in Florence Literary Inquiry (ELTI)
HIST 145: Renaissance Florence - COURSE CLOSED, WAITLIST ONLY Critical Thinking and Information Literacy/Historical Inquiry (EHSI)
MKTG 300: Principles of Marketing (3 units) - COURSE CLOSED, WAITLIST ONLY Required for all BBA majors in School of Business and fulfills Oral Communication (CORL)
POLS 346: Politics and Culture of Sustainable Food (3 units) Global Diversity Level 2 (FDG2)
THRS 350: Christian Spirituality (3 units)  Theology & Religious Inquiry (FTRI)


Auckland, New Zealand - Discover: South Pacific Past and Present (click to learn more and apply)

Auckland is the world's largest Polynesian city and is a true melting pot of various cultures. Students will have the opportunity to explore the city's traditions through introductions to the rich Māori culture and the various natural beauty throughout the region.


The cost to participate in the Auckland SYE Abroad program depends on the course students take.  MGMT and THRS courses cost $5325. The cost for the CHEM course is $5525 and the cost for the ECON course is $6150. This cost includes tuition, housing, some meals, course activities and some cultural activities.

Courses Offered in Auckland:

Course Fulfills

CHEM 102: Science of Food and Cooking (3 units) - COURSE IS CLOSED, WAITLIST ONLY

Science & Tech Inquiry w/lab (ESTI)

ECON 216: Statistics for Business & Economics (4 units)

Quantitative Reasoning (CQUR)
ENGL 364: Literature of the Global South (3 units) - COURSE CLOSED, WAITLIST ONLY Literary Inquiry (ELTI) and Global Diversity Level 2 (FDG2)
MGMT 300: Organizational Behavior (3 units) - COURSE CLOSED, WAITLIST ONLY Required for all BBA majors in the School of Business 
THRS 112: Introduction to World Religions (3 units) - COURSE CLOSED, WAITLIST ONLY Theology & Religious Inquiry (FTRI)



Regretably, all Summer 2020 undergraduate study abroad programs have been cancelled. Fall 2020 and Intersession 2021 undergraduate study abroad programs are currently going ahead as planned. 

The University of San Diego offers several short-term programs during the intersession term. These programs are offered in various international locations and are all taught by USD faculty members. Program locations and courses change periodically.

The tuition cost for these programs is subsidized by the university and USD International Center scholarships as well as outside scholarships are available.

The program cost ranges from $4,670-$5,270 and includes the following: three to four units of USD tuition, housing, excursions, class related visits, medical insurance, and some group meals. Some additional fees may apply based on the course. For complete information on the program details, please click on the program link to be directed to the program-specific brochure page.

Intersession 2021

Deadline for Goettingen program: April 29, 2020
Deadline for Euro Tour program: September 23, 2020
Deadline for all other programs: September 30, 2020

For more information on the program, click on the location listed under the "Program" heading. For course descriptions, please click on the course.

Program Course(s) Offered Professor Cost

Argentina- Buenos Aires
Spanish Program

SPAN/LATS 394: Argentina: Memory and Justice Dr. Alejandro Meter  

Euro Tour 

POLS 494/594: European Politics and Security Dr. Randy Willoughby    

England - London

COMM 203: Public Speaking Dr. Diane Keeling


ENGL 240/420: Shakespeare in London Dr. Abe Stoll
MKTG 305: Global Marketing Dr. Maria Kniazeva
PSYC 355: Abnormal Psychology Dr. Michael Ichiyama
Germany - Goettingen MENG 462: Topics in Fluid Mechanics Dr. Frank Jacobitz  
Jamaica - Duncans THRS 125/365: Black Atlantic Religions  Dr. Jamall Calloway  

Taiwan - Taipei

ECON/BUSN 494: Business Environment of Asia

DSCI 303: Operations Management

Dr. Alan Gin

Dr. Daniel Lin


Trinidad & Tobago

ENGR 103: User-Centered Design

MATH 110: Investigations in Mathematics

Dr. Odesma Dalrymple

Dr. Perla Myers


United Arab Emirates - Dubai

ISYE 410: Human Factors Engineering

MENG 360: Fluid Mechanics

THRS 388: The World of the Bible: Then and Now

Dr. Bradley Chase

Dr. Imane Khalil

Dr. Florence Gillman


Uganda - Mbarara

CHEM 356: Water Quality and Public Health in the Developing World

Dr. James Bolender



ENGR 110: The Design of Coffee

Dr. Truc Ngo


Sundance Film Festival - Park City, Utah

COMM 433: American Independent Cinema 

Dr. Roger Pace

Dr. Eric Pierson


Intersession 2021 Course Descriptions

Argentina - Buenos Aires (Spanish Program)

SPAN/LATS 394: Argentina: Memory and Justice
Professor: Dr. Alejandro Meter
Core Curriculum Information: TBD
Major/Minor/Concentration: Spanish, Latin American Studies

This intensive three-week language and culture immersion course will explore the politics of memory in post-dictatorial Argentina. We will study the role played by the “sites of memory”, places such as museums and monuments and their effects in the construction of a national identity. We will place particular attention to the cultural production that has resulted from the tensions between memory and forgetting by examining literary works, art, photography and music.  The is a three-week intensive course designed for Spanish majors and minors, and Latin American Studies minors that emphasizes Spanish language learning through a full immersion experience.

Euro Tour

POLS 494/594: Euro Tour
Professor: Dr. Randy Willoughby 
Core Curriculum Information: N/A
Major/Minor/Concentration: Political Science, International Relations, International Business

European politics have moved into unprecedented territory, with long established political parties diminishing or disappearing, populist and separatist movements proliferating, and organizations like the EU and NATO being challenged by inside and outside forces.  Part of the challenge involves cultural and security linkages across the Mediterranean between Europe and its Middle East/North African neighbors.  A travel seminar with a four city itinerary offers students a unique opportunity to experience some of the variety that characterizes contemporary Europe and the civilizational connections Europe has with a portion of the Islamic world. 

England - London

COMM 203: Public Speaking
Professor: Dr. Diane Keeling
Core Curriculum Information: CORL (Oral Communication competency)

An introduction to several forms of public communication. Emphasis is placed on the development and practice of public speaking about salient political, cultural, and social issues. Students are taught an audience-sensitive approach to the invention, arrangement, and delivery of public messages. 


ENGL 240/420: Shakespeare in London
Professor: Dr. Maura Giles-Watson
Core Curriculum Information: ELTI (Literary Inquiry) 
Major/Minor/Concentration: English

Shakespeare’s theatre was a living, money-making scheme, shaped by the city, by history and politics, and by the actors and patrons who entered the gates of the playhouse. This course will teach Shakespeare as one of history’s great artists – whose greatness was forged within the contingencies of the real world. Travel to London to see the place that Shakespeare knew, and to study his plays through live performance. London is a capital of the theatre world, and we will have the opportunity to see several plays. Mornings will be devoted to class, where we will work on the texts. When not in class, we will explore historical sites and museums, and go to the theatre. And there will be ample time for students to get to know contemporary London on their own. This can be taken either as a lower-division course, to fulfill the Literary Inquiry requirement in the Core, or as an upper-division course, fulfilling English major and minor requirements.

MKTG 305: Global Marketing
Professor: Dr. Maria Kniazeva
Core Curriculum Information: CADW (Advanced Writing)
Major/Minor/Concentration: Marketing major, International Business major 

The purpose of this course is to provide an up-to-date overview of global marketing. The principles of marketing will be augmented by additional exposure to the opportunities and problems facing marketing managers in the changing global marketplace. Special attention will be given to the management of cultural differences in product development, distribution systems, pricing, and marketing communication. For International Business minors only, BUSN 361 may substitute MKTG 300 as the prerequisite for this course.

PSYC 355: Abnormal Psychology
Professor: Dr. Michael Ichiyama

Requirement for Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience and an elective for Psychology and Biomedial Ethics minors.

This course reviews the current literature on the etiology, prevalence, classification, and treatment considerations relating to abnormal behavior and mental disorders. Course assumes an integrated biopsychosocial perspective and focuses on adult psychopathology. Gender effects and cultural considerations as they relate to the study of abnormal behavior and adult mental disorders are examined.

Germany - Goettingen

MENG 462: Topics in Fluid Mechanics
Professor: Dr. Frank Jacobitz
Major/Minor/Concentration: Approved for technical elective & simulation elective for senior-level Mechanical Engineering students

This course will combine a meaningful international experience with technical content for mechanical engineering senior students. The course will cover selected topics in fluid mechanics, such as internal flows through pipes or ducts, external flows over boundary layers or airfoils, and an introduction to turbulence by the development of the theoretical background in lectures and through hands-on experience with a computational fluid dynamics simulation code. 

MENG 462 is instructed in English by USD faculty,  and lecture material will be enhanced through excursions. Lectures will be held on the campus of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DLR) in Göttingen, Germany. The DLR campus is of historical significance as the birthplace of modern fluid mechanics at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, the center performs research in the areas of aviation and traffic engineering, including improving the operational safety of airplanes and helicopters as well as increasing the performance, safety, and reliability of air, road, and railway traffic. Guest lectures by DLR researchers will expose students to ongoing research work on the campus, discuss the experimental methods employed to solve the research questions, and allow students to engage with experiments performed by DLR staff researchers. Possible examples include the transition from laminar to turbulent flow over airfoils and the stability of high-speed trains in cross winds. The course will provide the students with an opportunity to experience the culture, history, and life in Germany.

Jamaica - Duncans

THRS 125/365: Black Atlantic Religions
Professor: Dr. Jamall Calloway
Core Curriculum Information: FTRI (Theological and Religious Inquiry)

Black Atlantic Religions is a course about the history of the religions that were formed and shaped through what Dr. Yvonne Chireau calls the “torturous transfer” of the transatlantic slave trade. Jamaica is the perfect country to teach this course in because the island is already a significant aspect of the course. Discussion topics will include Black Nationalist Christologies, the spiritualist tradition known as “Obeah” (along with Voodoo and Hoodoo) that’s predominately practiced in Jamaica (but can also be found on other islands) as well as Jamaican history, traditions and religious intellectuals. 


Taiwan - Taipei

ECON/BUSN 494: Business Environment of Asia
Professor: Dr. Alan Gin
Core Curriculum Information: N/A
Major/Minor/Concentration: Business Administration, International Business, Economics, Business Economics

This course is designed to prepare international managers to work effectively in an Asian business environment through providing an understanding of the issues, opportunities, and complexities associated with doing business in the region. The focus is on the cultural, historical, economic, social, political and business environments in Asia and on the activities of companies operating in Asia, both foreign and domestic. Successful Asian companies competing internationally will also be an aspect of the course. The course will incorporate guest speakers and company visits. 

DSCI 303: Operations Management
Professor: Dr. Daniel Lin
Core Curriculum Information: N/A
Major/Minor/Concentration: Requirement for many School of Business majors 

Students employ a managerial perspective to develop a strategic view of operations and supply chain management in a wide range of contemporary contexts (with a primary focus on process management within and across organizations). Students develop critical skills and master material relating to the fundamental role played by operations in the competitive performance of an organization. Among the critical skills and areas of mastery students develop are process analysis, process design, process improvement, supply chain management, capacity planning & control, inventory management, quality planning, quality control, strategic improvement techniques and risk management. The course incorporates concerns for corporate social responsibility.

Trinidad & Tobago

ENGR 103: User-Centered Design
Professor: Dr. Odesma Dalrymple
Core Curriculum Information: FDD1 (Domestic Diversity Level 1)
Major/Minor/Concentration: Required for Engineering majors

This is a required course for engineering students that introduces them to strategies for identifying capabilities, behaviors, and needs of a user group, and developing designs that reflect empathy gained for the user group, to address one or more of their identified needs. When offered in the 3-week study abroad model, students have the added benefits of 1) intensely immersing themselves in the concepts without the added challenges of juggling other academic responsibilities, 2) situating their learning within a rich cultural context that provides many examples of the application of user-centered design, 3) extended periods of engagement with a diverse local community eager to exchange knowledge and ideas and 4) working collaboratively with the local community to apply the course concepts towards addressing an authentic community-identified need.

MATH 110: Investigations in Mathematics
Professor: Dr. Perla Myers
Core Curriculum Information: CMRP (Math Reasoning and Problem Solving) 

Students will experience mathematics by delving into some beautiful and intriguing issues, and considering some of the greatest ideas of humankind in the realm of mathematics—ideas comparable to the works of Shakespeare, Plato and Michelangelo. Students will learn that mathematics is an artistic endeavor which requires both imagination and creativity.  Although students will be challenged, the overriding theme of the course is to gain an appreciation for mathematics and to discover the power of mathematical thinking in their everyday life.


United Arab Emirates - Dubai

ISYE 410: Human Factors Engineering
Professor: Dr. Bradley Chase
Core Curriculum Information: N/A
Major/Minor/Concentration: Elective for Industrial and Systems Engineering major, take as an Engineering elective or possible elective in other majors

This course has a broad appeal and can draw interest from all of engineering, as well as psychology and other social sciences. Topics such as Industrial Ergonomics and even Cognitive Ergonomics allow for drawing from experts outside the US and outside the context of the US-based Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Tours and the incorporation of local guest speakers can enhance the students learning and provide some global context. Human Factors engineering is the discipline that takes into account human strength and limitations in the design of interactive systems that involve people, tools, technology, and work environments, to ensure safety, effectiveness, and ease of use. A human factors engineer examines a particular activity, product, or task in terms of its component tasks, and then assesses the physical demands, skill demands, mental workload, team dynamics, aspects of the work environment (e.g. adequate lighting, limited noise, or other distractions), to interact with technology or complete a task in a safe and efficient manner).

MENG 360: Fluid Mechanics
Professor: Dr. Imane Khalil
Core Curriculum Information: N/A

Basic laws of fluid mechanics with applications to engineering problems, including dimensional analysis and similitude, boundary layer analysis, internal and external flows, and turbomachinery analysis.

THRS 388: The World of the Bible: Then and Now
Professor: Dr. Florence Gillman
Core Curriculum Information: FTRI (Theological and Religious Inquiry)

This course is a survey of the significant geographical, historical, religious and cultural material significant for Judaism, Christianity and ultimately Islam since the second and third millennia BCE.  When taught from the ideal location of Dubai, the world of the Bible and these three monotheistic religions arising within it, the relevant terrain is literally under our feet.  This course will study select major locations and texts (regarding e.g. sites, routes, events and archaeological data) throughout the Arabian peninsula, Red Sea region, as well as in Egypt (esp. the Sinai), Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. The locations, history and stories of the biblical and Quranic literature will be studied and then brought into dialogue with the general Islamization by visiting many sites. 

Uganda - Mbarara

CHEM 356: Water Quality and Public Health in the Developing World
Professor: Dr. James Bolender
Core Curriculum Information: FDG1 (Global Diversity Level 1)
Major/Minor/Concentration: Upper Division elective for Chemistry/Biochemistry 

Access to clean water is a global issue.  We, in the United States, have seen the tragic consequences of lead in the water supply in Flint, Michigan.  This course will explore the issues associated with access to clean water in the country of Uganda, where only 10% of the populace has access to municipal water supplies.  We will travel to Uganda in January of 2017 and work with water quality scientists and technicians from the Ugandan National Water and Sewerage Corporation in the capital city of Kampala.  We will sample and analyze water from various locations around Lake Victoria (the head waters of the Nile) to see, first hand, the issues NWSC faces in delivering clean water to the populace.  We will then move to the southwestern region of Uganda, near the city of Mbarara, where we will work with colleagues from the Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital and Washington State University – Vancouver, to explore issues relating public health and access to clean water.  We will collect samples from natural water sources (lakes, rivers, swamps, and boreholes) that the local populace uses for their day-to-day survival.  Several of these water sources are suspected of having high concentrations of various heavy metals, including lead, and can have a significant impact on public health. 
Students taking this class will become familiar with the physical, chemical, and biological parameters that define water quality, and will analyze these parameters in the field.  Students will integrate this data with the public health data collected by our colleagues to assist Ugandans in making wise water choices.   The challenge that we face is assisting our colleagues in this endeavor in a culturally appropriate way.  Are you up to that challenge?


ENGR 110: The Design of Coffee
Professor: Dr. Truc Ngo
Core Curriculum Information: ESTI (Science and Technological Inquiry)

ENGR 110 teaches students the engineering and science principles behind the coffee making process. It also covers the production of coffee, starting from growing the beans, harvesting to processing and exporting. Vietnam is the 2nd largest coffee bean producer in the world, after Brazil. Coffee production has grown at a very fast pace within the last 10 years, and continued to rise in the world market. By visiting the coffee farms in Vietnam, students will learn about the local farming practices, how the coffee industry has affected the local economy, environment and community. Students will also learn about the Vietnamese culture, and how it has helped shape the development of coffee tradition in Vietnam.

Students will spend approximately 10 days in Vietnam during the first portion of the course. They will then return to the U.S. and finish the remaining of the course on USD campus during Intersession.

U.S. - Park City: Sundance Film Festival 

COMM 433: American Independent Cinema
Professors: Dr. Roger Pace & Dr. Eric Pierson
Core Curriculum Information: N/A
Major/Minor/Concentration: Communication Studies

This course, offered at the Sundance Film Festival, is an intense examination of the independent film industry during the Festival.  Students will engage the films and filmmakers firsthand through a series of lectures, screenings, panels, and small group discussions.  Classes are conducted in a conference room in the hotel.  There are a series of brief mandatory meetings in the Fall prior to departure.  Prerequisite: A strong interest in film.

University of San Diego students have an opportunity to immerse themselves in local communities while abroad and gain valuable experience through service learning and community building activities. Some of our study abroad programs include service learning and community building as a key component of the program; in other programs, service opportunities are optional but available.

Please see below for more information about ways to engage at a deeper level within the community while you are abroad.

Service Learning and Community Building Programs Abroad (short-term programs)



USD sends students to Jamaica approximately two times per year in an effort to maintain what has become a remarkable connection between the USD campus community and the locals who live in Duncans, Jamaica on the island's northern coast. In addition to earning course credit while abroad, students have the opportunity to engage in service within the community at local schools, learning centers and in rural neighborhoods. The community of Duncans holds a special place in the heart of many USD students, staff and faculty. Click here to learn more about the Jamaica program.

South Africa

Join USD for this study abroad opportunity that offers students a unique opportunity to visit South Africa and to learn more about its history, politics, and culture. As a country that has emerged from apartheid rule, the study of South African politics and history will enable students to think critically about the legacy of authoritarian rule, democratization, and race and ethnic reconciliation. The academic component will be supplemented with opportunities to engage with South African communities, such as black townships and the rural village of Makuleke. These experiences will introduce students to different cultural traditions and practices that they can share with friends and family. Click here to see the USD South Africa program in action.

Semester Abroad Programs with Opportunities for Service and Community Building

Information coming soon.