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HSEC 797
Study Abroad

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An international experience is required for students in the Graduate Program in Homeland Security.  The recommended pathways as a graduate student at San Diego State University are outlined in the 2023-2024 HSEC Study Abroad Guide. These include (1) participation in a short winter or summer faculty-led Global Seminar, or (2) enrollment in a minimum of 3-units on another approved SDSU program during the summer or winter, or an (3) independent study abroad that you organize and register for approval with SDSU. The “Program Types” page in Aztecs Abroad contains a summary of the various types of programs available.


Regardless of the option you choose, study abroad for HSEC requires enrollment in a graduate-level course numbered 500 and above, a minimum of 45 academic contact hours in another country, immersion in another culture (through activities and experiences), and several other process and procedural requirements. The path to study abroad involves working with the Global Education Office and your Graduate Advisor. 

Several weekend trips can also be undertaken to expose students to the challenges and opportunities with the US-Mexico border region.  Mexicali is the closest city to which we can travel (CSU interpretation of the State Department Travel Advisories), so instruction is done with colleagues and experts in Mexicali, in Federal Law Enforcement, and in collaboration with faculty at the SDSU Imperial Valley Campus.  Weekend trips to Mexicali enable students to experience Baja and at very affordable prices and in context of a weekly working environment.  Schedules of multiple trips will be provided as they are finalized.

Study Abroad (3 units). All homeland security graduate students are required to complete a homeland security-related study abroad experience.

The HSEC Program emphasizes international and comparative approaches to the concept of homeland security. To that end, short- or long-term study abroad is required for all students in the Homeland Security Graduate Program at this time. We have a variety of options for study abroad that keep in mind the time and financial constraints of both full-time and part-time and working and non-working students. Our Program and SDSU have a significant network of international partners to make study abroad in one’s area of interest a practical reality. Of particular note are our unique programs in Baja California, other parts of Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the UK.  Individual students are welcome to construct their own study abroad and have gone to countries such as Mongolia, Thailand, China, India, Ukraine, Turkey, and many more. Working with the Graduate Advisor, it is possible to construct a host of such study options.

We are working to develop major Study Abroad efforts in Vietnam and Indonesia as ways of bringing tools to assist the governments in better preparing for disasters, such as the major typhoon that hit the Philippines in 2013 did so much damage.  By using the Homeland Security graduate students as mentors and problem solvers, we hope to be able to join the US and other countries together to be better prepared for both disasters and long-term changes such as the impacts of what is labeled "Climate Change" or resilience or sustainability---words expressing complex goals in the future that we hope to contribute mapping, sensor networks, and data fusion as ways to understand what is occurring and help make appropriate decisions.