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Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program

Freedom to Choose / Freedom to Create / Freedom to Travel

Study Abroad


Why Study Abroad?

In order for the United States to remain a leader in science and technology, an educated workforce is needed capable of working in an international research environment and in a global market. By participating in study abroad, students can acquire the international experience they need to compete in the job market, while gaining valuable cross-cultural skills. In addition, such international experience promotes flexibility, autonomy, leadership skills, innovation, maturity, ambition, and independence; qualities which are often in high demand by employers.

Interested in Studying Abroad?

Are you a LAES student and interested in or even just thinking about studying abroad? Please contact David Gillette, Michael Haungs, and Luna Larsen ASAP!

A Major/Support Course Substitution Form or updated Concentration Declaration Form will need to be filled out and approved for the respective program prior to going abroad. 

Note: Make sure to include when and where you are planning on studying abroad, along with the course and program. 

Apply for a LAES Travel Grant

The LAES Program is offering $1,200 travel grants to students participating in Cal Poly-approved programs. (Students with financial needs can apply for up to $1,500.) All students must have a cumulative or term GPA of 3.0 prior to going abroad. You can apply through the Cal Poly Scholarships link in your Portal. 

Note: Please contact David Gillette, Michael Haungs, and Luna Larsen if you are interested in studying abroad and to find out more information about applying for the travel grant.

Note: Once approved for your Study Abroad program, please email your acceptance letter to Luna Larsen at to confirm your trip abroad. 

Application Deadlines

TERM of travel Decision period deadlines
Travel in Winter, Spring, Summer October October 1st - November 15th
Travel in Spring, Summer, Fall December December 1st - January 15th
Travel in Fall, Winter, Spring May May 1st - June 15th

LAES Students Abroad 

Check out what LAES students had to say about their experience studying abroad!

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Melina Van Oers 

"Studying abroad provided me with an opportunity to grow both academically and as a person. Being at college is like being in a bubble- going abroad let’s you get out of that bubble as you are taught through a completely different perspective. I took a Nordic crime fiction class that counted as a GE. There’s nothing like that at Cal poly. Classes also extended their learning into the city. For example, my contemporary art class toured different art across the city. The education was focused on giving you a chance to learn about the culture and the history of the city which for me was a new take on learn by doing. I’ve never gone to the mission for example for any classes at poly."

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Robyn Pan 

"Studying abroad was always a dream of mine to experience in college and through the LAES program, I was able to fulfill it! I learned a lot while abroad in Shanghai, China, about culture, my future, and about myself. Being a part of the LAES program opened many opportunities for me while abroad. My teachers were interested in hearing about my major and I was able to network and work for a local Chinese company because they were interested in what I had to offer as a LAES student. The people that I met and the memories I made were all unforgettable!"

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Edward Yi

"Studying abroad enhanced my Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies education simply because of exposure. The cultural exposure you receive while studying abroad broadens your perspective as you learn more about the various cultures and views. This has helped me understand where individuals from different cultures are rooted from and offers a fresh perspective, while simultaneously improving my global communication skills."

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Amanda Santana 

"I am so grateful for my abroad experience! I improved my skills on establishing rapport with people despite cultural and linguistic barriers. Simply traveling to a new environment is one thing but living and adapting in one is a very enriching and challenging experience. I continuously forecasted open-minded solutions involving conflicting viewpoints, a skill very critical to interdisciplinary study. I am more confident in my ability to integrate ideas on a wide spectrum with more creativity and clarity, and apply it to my liberal arts and engineering education as well as my future career."                                                                                                                                         

Study Abroad Contact

To learn more about Cal Poly's study abroad program options, requirements, and deadlines, visit Cal Poly Study Abroad or contact them below:

Cal Poly International Center

Building 52, Room E32

(805) 756-1477

Global Perspectives Courses

LAES strongly encourages students to spend three-to-six months studying and/or working abroad. However, the program does permit flexibility by allowing students to fulfill the 8 upper-division units requirement by taking Cal Poly global perspectives courses in lieu of going abroad.  Students may select the following courses from the catalog:

ANT 312 Intro to Cultural Resources Management GEOG 308 Global Geography (D5/UD-D) PHIL 320 Asian Philosophy (C4/UD-C)
ANT 325 Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (D5/UD-D) GEOG 370 Geography of Latin America (D5/UD-D) POLS 324 International Relations Theory
ANT 330 Indigenous South Americans (D5/UD-D) GEOG 380 Geography of the Caribbean (D5/UD-D) POLS 325 Global Political Issues (D5/UD-D)
ANT 360 Human Cultural Adaptations (D5/UD-D) GEOG 414 Global & Regional Climatology POLS 332 World Food Systems
ANT 401 Culture & Health HIST 306 Witch-Hunt in Europe, 1400-1800 (D5/UD-D) POLS 380 Religion & Politics in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
ANT 402 Nutritional Anthropology HIST 308 Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (D5/UD-D) POLS 426 International Organizations & Law
ANT 415 Native American Cultures (USCP) HIST 309 Cultures of West Africa & the African Diaspora (D5/UD-D) POLS 427 Politics of the Global Economy
ART 317 Asian Art Survey HIST 310 East Asian Culture & Civilization (D5/UD-D) POLS 429 Issues & Topics in International Relations
ART 318 Asian Art Topics: National, Religious, & Intellectual Movement HIST 314 Middle East PSY 465 Cross-Cultural International Psychology
COMS 316 Intercultural Communication (D5/UD-D,USCP) HIST 316 Modern East Asia (D5/UD-D) RELS 301 Religions of Asia (C4/UD-C)
COMS 319 Critical Cultural Studies & Communication HIST 319 Modern South & Southeast Asia (D5/UD-D) SOC 309 World System & Its Problems
ENGR 350 Global Environment (B7/UD-B) HIST 338 Modern Latin America (D5/UD-D) SOC 315 Global Race & Ethnic Relations (D5/UD-D)
ENGL 459 Significant World Writers HIST 416 Modern Japan SOC 350 Social Organization of Modern Japan
ES 300 Chicano/a Non-Fiction Literature (C4/UD-C,USCP) HIST 417 20th Century China TH 390 Global Theatre & Performance (C4/UD-C)
ES 320 African American Cultural Images (D5/UD-D,USCP) ISLA 310 Humanities in World Cultures UNIV 332 World Food Systems
ES 321 Native American Cultural Images (D5/UD-D,USCP) ISLA 350 Global Environment (B7/UD-B) UNIV 350 Global Environment (B7/UD-B)
ES 322 Asian American Cultural Images (D5/UD-D,USCP) JOUR 401 Global Communication UNIV 391 Appropriate Technology for World's People: Development (D5/UD-D)
ES 323 Mexican American Cultural Images (D5/UD-D,USCP)

LAES 411 Global

Synthesis in Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies

UNIV 392 Appropriate Technology for World's People: Design (B7/UD-B)
ES 325 Sex & Gender in African American Communities (USCP)


WGS 320 Women in Global Perspective (D5/UD-D)
ES 326 Native American Architecture/Place (C4/UD-C,USCP)


WGS 351 Gender, Race, Class, Nation in Global Engineering, Technology & Intl Development (D5/UD-D)

ES 330 Chinese American Experience (D5/UD-D,USCP)



ES 335 Filipina/o American Experience (D5/UD-D,USCP)



ES 340 Cultural Prod/Ethnicity (C4/UD-C)




To learn more about Cal Poly's study abroad program options, requirements, and deadlines, visit the study abroad page.                    

Cal Poly International Center

Building 52, Room E32

(805) 756-1477

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