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.

NOTE: the status of SYE Abroad 2021 is being determined. All enrolled students will be emailed with updates. 

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)



The University of San Diego offers several short-term programs during the summer 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. 

SUMMER 2021 - Applications will open after Thanksgiving 

Below is a list of the planned courses and program locations for Summer 2021:

Location Course(s) Professor(s) Cost
Australia - Science Program
August 1 - 20

EOSC 111:Geosciences Abroad: Australia!

EOSC 494: Tropical Ecology & Resource Management

Dr. Beth O'Shea

Dr. Nathalie Reyns/Dr. Steven Searcy
Australia - Business Program
July 12 - 30
MKTG 480:Advanced Marketing Project Dr. Colin Campbell $5450 

Austria - Salzburg
May 27 - June 18

GERM 201/GERM 394: Third Semester German/German Immersion Dr. Christiane Staninger   $5350
June 1 - 20
BIOL 112L: Ecology and Environmental Science Dr. Nicole Danos  $5350
England - London
July 19 - August 6

ARTV 101/302/403: Drawing in London: Meditations on the History of Culture Through the Art of a City

COMM 380: International Media

ELEC 422: Mechatronics Engineering

ENGL 367: London Plays in Production


MATH 494: Cryptography & War: How Mathematicians Saved Democracy

SOCI 473: Sustainability: Sociological Perspectives


Dr. John Halaka

Dr. Eric Pierson

Dr. Ernie Kim

Dr. Cynthia Caywood/Dr. David Hay

Dr. Cameron Parker

Dr. Julia Cantzler

$5650 (ENGL only)

$5450 (other courses) 

France - Paris
May 31 - June 18 (All other courses)

May 31 - June 25 (FREN course only)

DSCI 303: Operations Management

FREN 300: Advanced French Conversation

PHIL 331: Biomedical Ethics

PSYC/NEUR 494: Sensation and Perception: The Sights and Sounds of Paris

Dr. Sandy Shi

Dr. Sylvie Ngilla-McGraw

Dr. Gary Jones

Dr. Rachel Blaser

$6050 (FREN only)

$5650 (other courses)

Hawaii - Honolulu
July 25 - August 7

POLS 494/594: International Disaster Response and Humanitarian Assistance

Dr. David Shirk


Italy - Rome
June 14 - July 4

COMP 494: Data Mining

FINA 405: International Financial Management

MGMT 409: International Comparative Management

PSYC 364: Sport Psychology

THRS 361: Jesus and Justice  

Dr. Eric Jiang

Dr. Barbara Bliss

Dr. Johanna Hunsaker/Dr. Phil Hunsaker

Dr. Nadav Goldschmied

Dr. Karen Teel


Italy - Salerno
May 31 - June 25

ITAL 201: Third Semester Italian

Dr. Antonio Iannotta



Australia - Science Program

EOSC 111:Geosciences Abroad: Australia!
Professor: Dr. Beth O'Shea
Core: Science & Technological Inquiry (ESTI)
Course Description: What makes Australia so dry and flat? How do we know that the oldest piece of rock, found in the outback, is actually 4 billion years old? In this course students will learn the basics of geology: minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, geological time; and how processes on the surface of the Earth have shaped Australia’s landscape compared to what they observe in the California landscape. To satisfy the ESTI component of the core curriculum, the lab portion of this course will involve local bush walks to observe geologic features such as sand dunes, rock formations, waterholes, and ancient volcanic plugs; as well as visits to the world’s largest sand island (Fraser Island- home to dingoes) and volcanic World Heritage sites, where aboriginal interpretations of the land formation are contrasted with geologic interpretation. Students will be encouraged to make links between geologic processes they observe in the local community and how these processes connect to their major or their daily life. For example, a real estate major can discuss the role of coastal sand erosion on the market price of oceanfront homes in Noosa Waters, or an English major might draw distinctions between the recording of geologic time preserved in the ‘text’ of the rock record versus interpretation presented in ancient texts. The goal of this course is to use the Australian environment as a local laboratory and allow students to make connections on this local scale that they can apply globally; by employing and understanding the role of geology (science) in their daily lives.

EOSC 494: Tropical Ecology & Resource Management
Professor(s): Dr. Nathalie Reyns & Dr. Steven Searcy
Core: Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice (DISJ)
Course Description: Coming soon!

Australia - Business

MKTG 480: Advanced Marketing Project
Professor: Dr. Colin Campbell
Course Description: In this course students will visit a range of different local and international companies in Australia to learn about their marketing strategies, as well as the Australian business environment. At the same time, students will also be working in consulting teams to apply their new knowledge and solve a problem posed by a local company. The course will culminate in a major presentation to the client firm.


GERM 201/GERM 394: Third Semester German/German Immersion
Professor: Dr. Christiane Staninger
Core: Second Language Competency (CSLA) for GERM 201 only
Course Description: This course completes the introduction of the basic structures of the language, with continuing emphasis on communicative proficiency. At this level students are encouraged to participate in community service-learning and/or cultural activities within the German-speaking community and while in Salzburg, students will experience direct immersion in the life and culture of German-speaking people.


BIOL 112L: Ecology and Environmental Science
Professor: Dr. Nicole Danos
Core: Science & Technological Inquiry (ESTI)
Course Description: Investigation of the natural environment and the relationship of its biotic and abiotic components. Topics will include the ecosystem concept, population growth and regulation, and our modification of the environment. Laboratory will include field trips in and around Nicosia, Cyprus.


ARTV 101/302/403: Drawing in London - Meditations on the History of Culture Through the Art of a City
Professor: Dr. John Halaka
Core: Artistic Inquiry (EARI) for ARTV 101 only
Course Description: London’s museums have long held some of the greatest art treasures in the world and have helped to shape a multitude of thriving, diverse and co-existing art cultures in that city. Through an immersive engagement with London’s diverse and dynamic contemporary visual cultures as well as its historical artistic treasures that span most of human history, this course will offer students an opportunity to develop a rich, unique and critical investigation of the art of drawing by intimately analyzing works of art selected from London’s astoundingly varied collections of images and objects.

COMM 380: International Media
Professor: Dr. Eric Pierson
Core: Global Diversitly Level 2 (FDG2)
Course Description:This upper division elective provides students an opportunity for an in-depth analysis and examination of media systems in a particular region of the world and/or transnational connections around a particular international cultural practice. Topics will vary according to the instructor and interest. The central theme of this course in London will be British Media Systems. 

ELEC 422: Mechatronics Engineering
Professor: Dr. Ernie Kim
Course Description: Mechatronics was coined to describe the integration of mechanical, electrical, and computer technologies into the design of complex products. Although products have long included all three components, traditional design methods viewed them as separate, independently realized aspects of the design. Mechatronics emphasizes global optimization by integrating these three components of the design process. Mechatronics can be found in manufacturing systems, energy and in consumer products. At the forefront of technology, mechatronics graduates transfer trending technological achievements to optimize products or create solutions.  In all, there are over 4000 Higher Education Institutions in Europe offering a wide range of courses at Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate level indicating high global demand. This course is an introduction to mechatronics as a discipline and covers fundamentals of mechatronic systems. The emphasis will be on the interplay of the constituent disciplines (mechanics-electronics-software- control) in design of modern products and systems. The content will include: ways of integration of mechanics- electronics-software, fundamentals of modeling of engineering processes, systems identification, sensors, actuators, power processing in mechatronic systems, control of closed-loop mechatronic systems, and its implementation.  Prerequisites: MATH 310, ENGR 102, ELEC 201, and ELEC 310 or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 367: London Plays in Production
Professor(s): Dr. Cynthia Caywood & Dr. David Hay
Core: Artistic Inquiry (EARI) and Advanced Integration (CINT)
Course Description: This course has been offered frequently in the London Summer Program since the program’s inception in 2003.  Considering that London is the English-speaking world’s theatre capital, the course offers a unique opportunity for USD students to experience the great diversity of London theatre Given the several months closure of London venues over the course of the COVID pandemic, the theatrical community will be back in full creative force, energized and ready to perform. Over the three weeks of the course, students usually see seven plays. We book our “season” to reflect a wide variety of theatre and theatrical forms.  Over the 15 years we have offered the course, we have studied classical plays and modern classics; Shakespeare in a variety of venues; contemporary and new plays; global theatre; musicals; off West-End experimental productions; and West End hits. We also include field trips that give context to what the students are reading and seeing.  A backstage tour of the Royal National Theatre and a visit to the Theatre museum are a regular part of our course. This course counts for the English Major and Minor and for the Theatre Minor. It is flagged for both Literary and Artistic Inquiry in the Core and has been approved for Advanced Integration.

MATH 494: Cryptography & War: How Mathematicians Saved Democracy
Professor: Dr. Cameron Parker
Course Description: In London we will cover the exciting field of creating and breaking ciphers, from its early wartime origins through its current everyday use in the internet age. Our focus will include number theory, group theory, probability, statistics and information theory. We will take several excursion around the Londond area, focusing on World War II and the devastaing effects it had on the city and its citizens. This will remind us that the problems we are working on are not just interesting abstract questions, but were solved by people under great stress at a time when their very way of life was being challenged. 

SOCI 473: Sustainability in the UK - Sociological Perspectives
Professor:Dr. Julia Cantzler
Core: Advanced Integration (CINT)
Course Description:This course explores multiple definitions and framings of sustainability and applies them to specific case studies on climate change, urbanization, environmental activism, food, and tourism in England and Europe. As we immerse ourselves in London’s social and political life, students will grapple with such topics as: decarbonizing the British economy, the environmental implications of Brexit, London as a “green city,” as well as sustainable industries in England, including urban farming, up-cycled fashion and eco-friendly taxis, to name a few.


DSCI 303: Operations Management
Professor: Dr. Sandy Shi
Course Description: 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.

FREN 300: Advanced French Conversation
Professor: Dr. Sylvie Ngilla-Mcgraw
Core:Oral Communication Competency (CORL)
Course Description: This course focuses on oral competence and a mastery of conversation in various contexts: discussions, debates, oral presentations, pronunciation exercise, practice of various speech functions, improv', interviews, and reading.

PHIL 331: Biomedical Ethics
Professor: Dr. Gary Jones
Core: Ethical Inquiry (FETI)
Course Description: A systematic examination of ethical principles as they apply to issues in medicine and scientific research, that is: mercy killing; abortion; experimentation on human subjects; allocation of scarce medical resources; organ transplants; and behavior modification. Moral obligations connected with the roles of nurse, doctor, etc., will receive special attention.

PSYC/NEUR 494: Sensation and Perception: The Sights and Sounds of Paris
Professor: Dr. Rachel Blaser
Course Description: Coming soon!


POLS494/595: International Disaster Response and Humanitarian Assistance
Professor: Dr. David Shirk
Course Description: 
This course examines the problem of natural disasters, crises, and catastrophic events, and the political and policy responses to these phenomena. These issues have been especially relevant in recent years, given the onset of COVID-19, record setting wildfires, and a growing number of killer storms around the world. In this course, students will learn about multiple different types of manmade and natural hazards, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, nuclear disasters, pandemics, and famines. Students will also learn about the political, economic, and societal factors that contribute to human vulnerability to hazards, such as poverty, corruption, a lack of preparedness, political polarization, and other issues of governance. Students will examine the strategies and practices employed to mitigate hazards and their effects, as well as the ethical dilemmas and moral hazards involved in disaster relief efforts. Finally, and most important, students will have the opportunity to consider the human toll and other implications of catastrophic events while studying these issues in a place where there are numerous disaster response agencies and experts working to address these issues: Hawaii. Hawaii is located at the center of the world’s most disaster prone region—the Pacific Rim / “Ring of Fire”)—and hosts several sites and agencies related to natural disasters and disaster preparedness. The island chain is not only subject to natural disasters, but is itself a result of repeated volcanic eruptions and seismic shifts over millions of years, and is therefore literally a moving disaster zone. Honolulu, where the class will be centered, is a member of 100 Resilient Cities network, which is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation to help cities manage the shocks—earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.—and stresses that contemporary global cities face. Among the relevant agencies located in Honolulu are the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, the Pacific Disaster Center, the Pacific Regional Training Center, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, FEMA, and the Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency (a.k.a., Honolulu Resiliency Office). The course will end in Hilo on the “big island” of Hawaii, which is home to Volcano National Park and the Pacific Tsunami Museum.

Italy - Rome

COMP 494 Data Mining
Professor:Dr. Eric Jiang
Course Description: Data mining is a new interdisciplinary field of computer science and represents a process of analyzing and extracting patterns embedded in large amounts of data by using various methods from machine learning, statistics and database management. With the rapid proliferation of the Internet and advances of computing technology, data mining has become an increasingly important tool of transforming large quantities of digital data into meaningful and actionable information in many areas including business and finance, health care, security, science and higher education. The course provides a comprehensive introduction to data mining with a primary focus on fundamental concepts, algorithms and applications of association analysis, classification and clustering modeling. It will also discuss ethical issues related to data mining and advanced data mining models.  As information technology serves as the backbone for almost all aspects of the modern world, offering this course in a city like Rome will also provide students an opportunity to think critically about the implications of technology on the human condition and to observe how technology affects other cultures and people’s lives. This course satisfies a 3-unit upper-division elective in computer science (COMP), electrical engineering (ELEC), industrial and systems engineering (ISYE), or a 3-unit upper-division tech elective in mechanical engineering (MENG).

FINA 405: International Financial Management
Professor: Dr. Barbara Bliss
Course Description: An introduction to the problems facing the financial management of international companies. Topics include foreign exchange exposure management, financing trade, foreign direct investments, international accounting and control, and working capital management.

MGMT 409: International Comparative Management
Professor(s): Dr. Johanna Hunsaker & Dr. Phillip Hunsaker
Course Description: Addresses the dilemmas and opportunities that managers face as they work in multicultural and global environments. The main objective of the course is to increase the effectiveness of managers/employees in identifying, understanding, and managing the cultural components of organizational dynamics. Focuses on the relationships between cultural values and the practice of managing people. 

PSYC 364: Sport Psychology
Professor: Dr. Nadav Goldschmied
Course Description:This course examines the psychological factors influencing the experience of sports. Topics include theoretical basis of competition, motivation, group dynamics, aggression, fan behavior, and social facilitation.

THRS 361: Jesus and Justice  
Professor: Dr. Karen Teel
Core: Theological & Religious Inquiry (FTRI) and Global Diversity Level 2 (FDG2)
Course Description: A critical investigation of the person and ministry of Jesus in light of Scripture, the Christian tradition, and contemporary concerns. Emphasis on how members of groups traditionally underrepresented in society interpret Jesus’ life and message.

Italy - Salerno

ITAL 201: Third Semester Italian
Professor: Dr. Antonio Iannotta
Core: Second Language Competency (CSLA)
Course Description: Completes the introduction of the basic structures of the language, with continuing emphasis on communicative proficiency and cultural awareness. At this level students may be encouraged to participate in community service-learning and/or cultural activities within the Italian speaking community.

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.


Regrettably, the short-term, faculty-led courses abroad for Intersession 2021 have been cancelled. USD hopes to be able to offer short-term courses abroad in Summer 2021



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.