HHS 350 Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs for Instructor-Led HHS 350 programs

What is HHS 350?

HHS 350: Applied International Health & Human Services is a 3-unit upper division general education course which satisfies the Explorations Area B (Social & Behavioral Sciences) requirement, cultural diversity requirement, and CHHS International Experience requirement. It is a full semester, online course that has an international component during winter, spring, or summer break. The lecture component of this course is just like any other course, with weekly readings and discussions, writing assignments and exams.

Students MUST travel abroad before or during the same semester they are enrolled in the course.

Students enrolled in HHS 350 during the Fall semester travel during the Summer prior to the beginning of the semester.

Students enrolled in HHS 350 during the Spring semester travel during Winter before the beginning of the semester or during Spring Break.

How can I participate in HHS 350?

Spring Semester Course:

Winter or Spring Break Instructor-Led Program: APPLICATION REQUIRED. Detailed information can be found HERE 

I couldn't get a space in HHS 350 this semester, now what?

Students are encouraged to look at all HHS 350 sections prior to the application date to determine which sections are of interest and within their budget. It can be very competitive to receive a space in HHS 350, so students who are more flexible may have a better chance of securing a space in the course.

If you are scheduled to graduate that semester, and did not receive a space in the course, the CHHS International Coordinator can assist in looking for other possible programs.

It is encouraged to start planning as early as possible to allow enough time to secure a space in the course or to allow time to find a program other than HHS 350 to satisfy your international experience.

When does the HHS 350 course meet?

HHS 350 is an online course. However, each section will have required in-person, pre-departure meetings. Check the CHHS website for the most up-to-date information.

What is the course fee associated with HHS 350?

The course fee for HHS 350 differs from section to section or country to country. This course fee can be seen as a “lab fee” or “activity fee.” This fee includes things like accommodations, meals, in country transportation, mandatory international health insurance, activities, museum entry, speaker fees, and other program components.

The course fee does not include airfare or any personal expenses (such as travel visas, passports, souvenirs, etc.)

Note: Registration fees for the 3-unit course are not included in this fee. Registration fees are an additional cost, which are a part of your semester tuition costs.

Do I need to speak a foreign language?

Foreign language ability is not required to participate in HHS 350. If you are traveling to Costa Rica, Cuba, or Spain, Spanish can be extremely helpful and often times contributes to a more positive experience for students. However, translators are provided for all program activities.

Where do we stay while we're there?

Each program is set up differently for accommodations. Typically students stay in a hotel, student hostel, or university dorm accommodation. These are typically in double or quad rooms.

Students traveling to Costa Rica, Spain, and Cuba will be staying with a host family with one to two other SDSU students from the program.

Can we pick our roommate?

Many programs allow students the option to choose their own roommate, if they know someone else participating in the program.

Is there free time during the time abroad to explore on our own?

Due to the short amount of time students are abroad, the itineraries are packed pretty tightly. We hope to provide students with a comprehensive time abroad. Some sections do allow for free afternoons or evenings as a part of the itinerary to allow students to choose their own activities. Further information and tips will be provided to students for this time.

Can my family/friends come with me?

Unless a student is registered in the course, additional guests/family are not permitted to travel with the group.

Do we fly together as a group or do we arrange our own airfare?

Group flights are seldom organized as an optional part of the course. Typically, students are free to make their own arrangements regarding their flights after they have been accepted into the program. Students are not allowed to purchase their flights before they are accepted into the program and guidelines regarding arrival/departure times and airports will be given at the beginning of the course. Many students will end up flying on the same flights or speak with one another to plan flights.

I have a health concern or dietary restriction, can that be accommodated?

We are able to accommodate many dietary restrictions and health concerns on many of our programs. If you have a specific concern, please contact the CHHS International Coordinator prior to registering in the course to determine which country would be best for you.

I received the AS Study Abroad Scholarship/Dean's Travel Scholarship. How will I receive that?

AS Study Abroad Scholarship/Dean’s Travel Scholarship: once a student has registered for the course, they will be confirmed with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS). The funds would then be disbursed to their student account. If they have any outstanding charges on their account, the money would go towards that first. For any questions about scholarships, contact the OFAS.

FAQs for the Spring 2018 Instructor-Led HHS 350 programs

What information will I need to apply to the Spring 2018 programs? 

Once the application opens, students will complete a Google Form with their personal information (name, RedID, email, major, phone, graduation date). You will be able to pick 2 destinations for the Spring program: 1st choice and 2nd choice (travel will occur during the Winter or Spring Break). It should take no longer than a couple of minutes to fill out the application. STUDENTS SHOULD ONLY APPLY TO THE PROGRAM ONCE! If a student applies to the program twice, the second application will be considered at the time it was submitted. It’s better to apply once and apply early for the best shot at getting into the program. No essay is required for the application.

How do I know if my application was received?

Once you click the SUBMIT button, you will see a screen that states “HHS 350 Spring 2018 APPLICATION. Your response has been recorded.” 

How are participants selected for the program?

Space goes to those that apply to the program first and CHHS students graduating in May 2018 will be given priority for the Winter and Spring Break programs. Those graduating in August 2018 will be given the next priority. Students must have already applied for May or August 2018 graduation in Webportal to be given priority consideration.  PLEASE NOTE: HHS 350 programs fill FAST. Be sure to apply as soon as possible once the applications open! 

What happens after I'm accepted into the program?

Students that are accepted into the HHS 350 program will be added to a Blackboard course where they will find information about paying the program fee, Spring 2018 course registration (students will receive a hidden schedule number), and flight details. PLEASE NOTE: flight details will not be distributed until after October 10, after students have paid their program fee. Students will be given detailed information about mandatory flight arrival and departure times and are not allowed to purchase flights beforehand.

Is there a waitlist if I don't get into either of my 2 choices?

Yes, students that apply, and do not get accepted into the program, will automatically be added to a waitlist for both of their top 2 choices.

When will I hear if I got in from the waitlist?

Students should expect to hear if they received a spot in one of the programs by 4 pm, October 12.

Current seats available and number of applicants for HHS 350 Spring 2018 destinations

HHS 350 Destinations Approximate number of available spots What % of students applied as their first choice destination
HHS 350 – Bali: Healthcare Education Volunteer Program (Winter break) 60 23.6%
HHS 350 – Costa Rica                  (Winter break)  36 9.2%
HHS 350 – Spain (Winter break) 40 9.4%
HHS 350 – Japan (Spring break) 30 25.8%
HHS 350 – Italy (Spring break) 60 32%
Total number of applicants (final)    490


FAQs for the Spring 2018 Instructor-Led HHS 350 programs

Who are my Group Leaders for HHS 350 - Bali: Healthcare Education Volunteer Program (Winter break)?

HHS 350 – Bali: Healthcare Education Volunteer Program (Winter break): Chris Kjonaas, M.A.

Chris Kjonaas is the Associate Director for International Engagement in the Division of Academic Engagement & Student Achievement. Her role includes campus-wide assessment of student learning outcomes from study abroad, advising for international graduate school fellowships, and study abroad programming for students in the Weber Honors College and Compact Scholars Program.  Chris’ own undergraduate international experiences in Japan, Guatemala, and Venezuela motivated her to pursue a career International Education.  She began as a study abroad advisor in the SDSU International Student Center, and has now worked for a total of 8 years at SDSU, with a brief break in the middle to complete Master’s in International Relations in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and fieldwork in Northern Ireland.  She has led SDSU student programs to Mexico, Finland, and Costa Rica.   Fun facts: In addition to her love for travel, Chris is an avid cyclist, musician, and foreign language enthusiast.

Teresa Love, Ph.D.

    Dr. Love is the Community Engagement and Intercultural Education Program Manager for Hostelling International USA (HIUSA). Her Ph.D. is in Higher Education Administration and her M.S. and B.S. are in Tourism, Hospitality and Special Events.
      Dr. Love taught at the university level for 13 years before moving into non-profit management. As a professor, she led her students on study abroad programs to France and the Bahamas. She continues to work with study abroad students through the HIUSA Explore The World travel scholarship program and Lessons From Abroad conference.
      A San Diego native, Dr. Love has lived in six U.S. states and traveled to over 15 countries. Currently, she teaches intercultural communication workshops to the HIUSA staff across the country and her work takes her on the road for about 12 weeks a year.
     Dr. Love enjoys helping people discover their passion and finding ways to incorporate intercultural understanding into their daily lives. She spends time with her daughter and their pets, snorkeling anywhere she can, and keeping up with pop culture.

Colleen Conniff, M.A.

Colleen has been the Assistant Director for Scholarships in the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for over ten years.  She is responsible for overseeing all scholarship operations at SDSU, including management of the Associated Students Study Abroad Scholarship.  Colleen has also worked at SDSU in the College of Health and Human Services’ Dean’s Office, as an instructor for Freshmen Success Seminars, and with the Center for Behavioral Teratology.  Colleen earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology from the University of Washington.  In her free time, Colleen enjoys traveling, distance running, live music, dancing, and trying new restaurants.



Claire Norberg

     Claire Norberg has been a staff member in the College of Health and Human Services Dean’s Office for more than 10 years and this will be her third time leading students abroad for HHS 350. Formerly she was a group leader in the Spain and Ireland programs. Claire has worked extensively with students in her support roles for the Health and Human Services College Council and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
     As part of her own study abroad experience at SDSU, Claire visited two cities in India – Mumbai and Bhubaneswar – to conduct an environmental air quality study on particulate matter. 
     Claire is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys camping, hiking, backpacking, and going for motorcycle rides. Though she is a San Diego native who loves her home town, she is thrilled to explore new places, meet new people, and experience new cultures, landscapes, and foods. Claire loves adventure in all forms!


Who are my Group Leaders for HHS 350 - Costa Rica (Winter break)?

HHS 350 – Costa Rica (Winter break): Martha Enciso, Ed.D.

Dr. Enciso is the Associate Director of the San Diego State University Weber Honors College. She assists in recruiting underrepresented students, mentoring, teaching, and in scholar development in high impact practices. She has experience working in international education, fellowships/scholarships, student retention, cultural centers, and diversity initiatives involving first generation students, transfer students, and underrepresented students. Dr. Enciso previously worked at the University of Southern California at the Office of Academic and International Fellowships and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Masters of Education programs at the USC Rossier School of Education. She enjoys traveling, listening to live music, dancing, and is a life long learner. 


Sharon Penny, M.S.

Sharon has a long history as an Aztec. She received her bachelor of arts degree in Journalism and then a master of science degree in Mass Communication in 1997 from San Diego State University. She returned to her alma mater as a staff member in 1998, working as the director of Communications Services in the Division of Student Affairs. There she oversaw all publications and websites for the Division. She received the Top 25 Presidential award in 2000, and a Vice Presidential award in 2011. She taught University Seminar for four years. Sharon retired from SDSU in 2013, but returned on a part-time basis in early 2016, serving in her former role as interim director. In July 2017, she moved to the Vice President for Student Affairs office working on special communications projects for the Vice President. A San Diego native, Sharon loves to travel, reading, gardening, music, and she is a seasoned writer and photographer. She loves spending time with her family, friends, and her two dogs, Pedro and Augie. This will be her first trip to Costa Rica.

Who are my Group Leaders for HHS 350 - Spain (Winter break)?

HHS 350 – Spain (Winter break): Jessica Robinson, Ed.D., MSW

Dr. Robinson is the Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Health and Human Services. Dr. Robinson has more than 16 years of experience in social work administration, program development, and grant writing for programs involving at-risk and underserved populations. Dr. Robinson was also a lecturer, the Undergraduate Curriculum Coordinator and Student Advisor in the School of Social Work at SDSU for several years before moving into her current roles. A San Diego native, Jessica earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Master’s in Administrative Social Work, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University-she truly is an Aztec 4 Life! When not at work Dr. Robinson enjoys cooking/baking, running, and spending time with her wonderful husband and two fantastic kids.


Jason Ramirez, M.A

Jason serves as the Advisor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator for School of Nursing’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.  He is a trained academic counselor with over 10 years of experience in public education formerly serving as an advisor for the School of Social Work at CSU San Bernardino, high school counselor for GEAR UP Inland Empire, and academic counselor and mentor for students in foster youth.  Jason’s professional interests include preparing students for admission to post-secondary education, providing guidance during the transition process to university life, and assisting students to degree completion.  He thrives off of helping students maximize their potential in academics and in future professions.  Jason is in the final stages of completing his doctoral education at the University of Southern California where he is studying Educational Leadership and concentrating on higher education administration.  During his free time Jason is a total foodie and can be found at San Diego’s many eateries, snapping photographs of nature and friends, and napping.  Spain is the eighth HHS 350 program Jason will lead and he’s as excited as ever to explore the beautiful city of Madrid with CHHS students.

Who are my Group Leaders for HHS 350 - Japan (Spring break)?

HHS 350 – Japan (Spring break): Coming soon!

Who are my Group Leaders for HHS 350 - Italy (Spring break)?

HHS 350 – Italy (Spring break): Kristen Emory, PhD 

Dr. Kristen Emory is the Director and Advisor of the Undergraduate Program in the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) at San Diego State University (SDSU); as well as a lecturer in the GSPH and College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) and the GSPH at SDSU. She is trained sociologist and health behaviorist and utilizes this foundation to better understand and reduce health disparities among young, vulnerable, and diverse populations across the globe.  Her primary research interests are in the field health disparities, focusing on substance use among diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations as well as the role new technology and social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) play in shaping health communications, health beliefs, and health behaviors. She also works directly on international health disparity projects in the US, El Salvador and Mexico. Dr. Emory is the instructor for the HHS 350 course, as well as a group leader on many of the travels. She is passionate about the role global travel plays in increasing empathy, understanding and kindness; as well as decreasing social and health disparities across populations. Fun Facts: In her free time, Dr. Emory loves to travel! When travel is not possible, you can find her outside painting, reading, learning the accordion or enjoying time with her favorite people. 
Phil Hoog, M.A.
Phil serves as an Advisor in the Faculty-Led Study Abroad office in the College of Extended Studies. He is also a part-time instructor for the Anthropology Department within the College of Arts and Letters. Phil has over five years of experience advising for study abroad programs at SDSU, having worked both at the International Student Center as well as his current role in Faculty-Led Study Abroad. In his tenure at SDSU, he has helped thousands of SDSU students prepare for their study abroad programs, assisting them with everything from discovering what study abroad is to navigating through the application and study abroad process. Phil most enjoys teaching students about cultural norms and adjustments as well as life in another culture. He holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University and has over 10 years of experience working at museums, including the San Diego Museum of Man where he served as Curator and Exhibits Manager. He’s worked with Native American tribes across the U.S. dealing with issues of repatriation, cultural heritage, and general education through exhibits and pubic events. In his free time, Phil enjoys being out in nature, relaxing at the beach, exercising at the ARC, traveling, and hanging out with friends. He’s excited to co-lead the HHS 350 program in Italy since he studied abroad in Rome, Italy back when he was a junior during his undergrad experience.
 Francisco Velazquez, M.A
Frankie currently serves as the Assistant Director for New Student and Parent Programs and is a proud alumnus of San Diego State University. He earned his bachelor’s in Psychology (2008) and his master’s in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Student Affairs (2010) both from SDSU and is a proud Aztec for Life! Previous to his current role, Frankie spent his first few years as a professional working in Residence Life at various institutions across the U.S., including the University of Maryland, College Park and California State University, Fullerton before returning to his alma mater. Frankie really enjoys supporting the development of college students as they transition to SDSU and they begin to get involved and make SDSU their home for the next four or two years. San Diego State is an institution that grants students opportunities to have an international experience and take part in a high-impact practice during their undergraduate career, which Frankie believes is a transformational experience that every student should have. Outside of work, Frankie enjoys running, food, and being a tourist in San Diego. Italy is the fifth HHS 350 program Frankie will co-lead and looking forward to traveling with another fantastic group of SDSU students. Get excited and And go Aztecs!

FAQs for the Fall 2018 Instructor-Led HHS 350 programs

What is the registration process for HHS 350?

Fall Semester Course

  • Summer Instructor-Led Program: APPLICATION REQUIRED. Detailed information can be found HERE 

Who are my Group Leaders for HHS 350 - Fall (with summer travel)?

HHS 350 – Japan (summer break): TBD

HHS 350 – Ireland (summer break): TBD