We prioritize student learning through the
design and management of all of our programs.
Immersive learning opportunities with an emphasis on developing intercultural competence, cross-cultural understanding, language acquisition, and professional skills applicable to any industry.
Building mutually beneficial partnerships abroad: Students working with our international partners on service learning projects and internships understand the reciprocity behind these relationships and their value added to the work or project.
All SAA interns are required to critically reflect upon daily duties and experiences to optimize academic and professional development. The weekly journals are also critical to processing the complex intercultural experience during the short time-frame.
Internship Programs for Academic Credit
All internship locations utilize our internship syllabus, created by our Director of Academics, Dr. Marissa Floyd
Our internship syllabus focuses on both the academic and professional development of students, with weekly reflective journaling, weekly meetings to monitor student progress, a mid-term paper, final presentation, final reflection paper, and general expectations laid out for the students.
In our South Africa location, students work with sport-for-development NGOs and conduct a thorough needs assessment and gap analysis to steer the direction of their projects. Each morning, students work individually and in groups in a high-tech lab where they have access to libraries, donor groups, and various resources. In the afternoon, they work directly with their internship organization either in a professional work setting, or out in the field. The culmination of their internship is a final presentation and product for the NGO, which will further the success of the organization by addressing an identified need or gap area and providing suggestions for implementation.
Across all of our internships, the professional expectation is that students are working in an environment that will help them become critical thinkers and globally minded citizens, and that this international experience will prove as invaluable in whichever track they take upon graduation.
School of Record
Portland State University (PSU) acts as Student-Athletes Abroad’s official School of Record.
About Portland State University
Portland State University (PSU) was founded in 1946 and is a public research institution located in the southwest University district of Downtown Portland. For three years in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Portland State among the nation's top 10 "most innovative" colleges in America.
Introduction to our Director of Academics
Dr. Marissa Floyd
Marissa has a Ph.D in Relational Communication, Culture, and Sport and has held teaching positions at the University of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of New Mexico. Her research focuses on athlete identity and sport culture and her background includes student-athlete support services within the University of Denver athletic department. Marissa specializes in curricular development, service-learning, and community relations. She has coordinated core curriculum, first-year learning communities, and assessment for her past departments. Given her expertise and history, she has worked to make sure our programs are focusing on the student and their professional and academic development.