Student-Athletes Abroad is committed to actively
promoting respect for the culture and values of our host communities.
The work completed through our internships directly impacts at the local level. Students leave their experience with an understanding of the mutually beneficial relationships we have with our local partners. See examples below.
Australia: We partner with Disability Sports Australia (DSA) and work with disabled athletes in a variety of capacities at the local, regional, national, and international level. We work together to promote the Australian culture and helping to further the opportunities for their disabled athletes. DSA also welcomes U.S. disabled college athletes to participate in this internship program.
Australia Internship Page
Costa Rica: We work with organizations such as Special Olympics Costa Rica, where we integrate fully with this unique community and the children they serve. Five of our full-time staff in Costa Rica are native Costa Ricans who competed in Division 1 athletics. Most also played on the Costa Rica national teams and have strong local ties to the communities with which we work.
San Jose Internship Page / Flamingo Internship Page
South Africa: These are grassroots organizations that use sport as the carrot to draw youth and local community members away from drugs and violence. They also teach the values of teamwork, following the rules of the game, and highlight opportunities for their lives outside of what they may be able to imagine.Our Resident Director in Cape Town previously worked for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (based out of the Sport Science Institute of South Africa) and leverages her experiences and expertise as a local to provide cultural support, community understanding, and program improvements on a regular basis.
South Africa Internship Page
Spain: We coordinate with local organizations who either host the interns directly or work to place the interns in businesses and nonprofit agencies.They provide continual support throughout the program, sharing their expertise to educate our students on what it means to be an intern. They also guide them through studying, living, and working in another country.
Spain Internship Page
Thailand: We partner with Sports Camps Australia (SCA) to work with athletes coming together from all over East Asia for a high-level multi-sport competition in Phuket. Students learn from the Australian team about event planning and operations, while also working alongside youth and coaching staff from elite schools around Asia. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about sports management and event planning by working on the ground at a local level, while simultaneously serving as ambassadors of their university to high school athletes from all over Asia, who may have aspirations of attending college in the United States.
Thailand Internship Page
Internships 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 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.