Frequently Asked Questions

Application & Admissions

What does the admissions process entail?

The admissions process consists of the following steps: 1. Submit Online Application Form (including short essay responses). 2. Phone Interview with an SAA Program Staff (15-20 minute phone call). 3. Admissions notification via email (5-7 business days after your interview). 4. Register for your selected program and place your initial deposit. 5. Notify your university & study abroad office of your plans to attend SAA. 6. Register for academic credit (if desired) either through Portland State University or through your home institution.

When is the application deadline?

Our application cycle operates on a rolling basis. We recommend submitting your application as soon as you know you're interested in order to be considered for your top choice program.

What are you looking for during the interview?

During the admissions process, we just want to get to know you better as an applicant. We will ask about your overall interest in SAA programs and why you chose to apply for the specific program/ destination indicated on your application. The interview is meant to be an informal conversation, so it is also a great opportunity to ask questions.

Do I need to speak the native language of my chosen destination?

No, you do not need to speak the native language of your selected program destination. For Costa Rica and Spain programs, Spanish language skills are helpful for day-to-day life and conversation but are not essential for your internship and your effectiveness in your work environment.

Do I have to be a college athlete to apply?

No. Our programs are designed with athletes in mind; however, enrollment is open to all college students!

Health & Safety

Do I need any vaccines or additional shots to travel abroad?

No, you do not need any vaccines or shots to travel to any of our program locations. Consult your physician for any specific individual reccommendations prior to traveling. Students traveling to South Africa: If you have a stopover in other countries in Africa, please ask us about any vaccines required to enter those countries, and learn more by visiting:

What if I have allergies or dietary restrictions?

We collect allergy/dietary restriction information through our registration portal for all students traveling abroad. If your accommodations include provided meals, we will share the dietary restriction and allergy information with the appropriate parties abroad.

What happens if I become sick or injured?

If you become sick or injured while abroad, you should alert our in-country program staff. All students are enrolled in our international health insurance coverage through GeoBlue, so treatment for illness and injuries while abroad will be covered.

What is the staff presence like abroad?

Each program has at least 1 staff member present for the entire program, either from the U.S. staff team, or one of our local staff members (in Costa Rica and South Africa programs). Our in-country staff are available 24/7 and strive to make your experience abroad as amazing as possible!

About Our Programs

What is a project-based internship?

Several of our internship program locations offer 'project-based' internships rather than a traditional placement model: The SAA Project-Based Internship allows for our students to collaborate with their host company by designing and implementing an independent project that addresses both the student’s learning goals and professional interests, as well as respond to a gap area identified through a comprehensive needs assessment discussion with key stakeholders within the company/organization. Keeping the needs and desired focus areas of the company in mind, each individual student will be placed according to their background and professional skill sets and will be required to utilize their skills and expertise to design and implement a self-directed project, under the supervision of the in-country SAA staff member.

Can I get academic credit for my internship program?

Yes, absolutely! All internship programs offer the option to receive academic credit, either by enrolling in our SAA Internship course for credit (as a supplement to your internship program), or registering for credit directly through your university. If you choose to enroll in the SAA internship course, you will register for academic credit through our affiliate institution, Portland State University. A $750 fee will be added to your program cost for a PSU transcript.

Can I use my financial aid?

You should speak to the Financial Aid office at your university to learn if any of your financial aid package can be transferred and applied to the cost of your SAA program. Most students are able to use some part of their financial aid towards a summer study abroad program, especially if they are receiving academic credit for the program.

How does the internship placement process work?

Once you are accepted to an SAA program, you will have the opportunity to schedule a call with the program director for your country. During this initial call, your program director will ask about your interest areas and preferred industry for your SAA internship. We do our best to match you with an internship site as soon as possible, but sometimes placements are not known until about 6 weeks before the start of your program.

Can I speak to an alum about their experience?

Yes, please visit our Alumni Testimonials page and complete the inquiry form to be connected with a recent program alum.

How does the sport component of the programs work?

We strive to deliver the opportunity for every student-athlete to play their sport of competition while abroad, either by practicing wtih local teams, joining pick-up games, or scrimmaging with other student-athletes on the program or in their destination city. If you are interested in playing with a local team a few times a week, please let our program staff know. Please note that some sports do not have international competition/representation, but we will do our best to find ways for all student-athletes to engage in sport while abroad. Aside from joining local teams and practices, all SAA program participants will have access to a gym facility while abroad for daily workouts and training sessions. We find that most students are able to complete their summer workouts/training packets by using our gym facilities and typically find a few SAA 'workout buddies' to keep them accountable.

Accepted Student Questions

How much is the deposit?

The initial deposit to secure your spot in the program is $250. Instructions on how to place your deposit are included in the admissions letter. Please email if you have any additional questions.

Where do I go to register for my program of admission?

You will register via our online registration platform, which is also where you go to place your program deposit.

When will I find out where I am interning?

All students will have the opportunity to speak to their in-country program director after they have been admitted to learn more about the internship options available. The program director will also learn more about your personal and professional interest areas and your major/relevant coursework in order to complete the internship matching process. We strive to notify students as soon as possible about their internship location. All programs will share internship information prior to departure, no later than 4-6 weeks prior to your program start date.

How does flight booking work?

You are responsible for booking your international flights individually. Our enrollment team will provide flight booking guidelines via email. Once you book your flights, we ask that you provide a copy of your flight itinerary to our registration portal for our recordkeeping. Further inquiries about flight booking should be directed to

How do I schedule a call with my Program Director?

You may schedule a call with any of our program staff at anytime. Follow this link to connect with the appropriate staff member.