The UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies Dare. Dream. Do. campaign showcases individuals who have achieved—or are working toward—personal and professional goals through DES programs and certificates. It highlights the built-in breadth, variety and scope of the division’s programs by featuring students and alums who dare to dream and do. This profile is the first in a series of eight that will debut through 2024 as part of the campaign.
More than 940,000 international students studied abroad in the United States over the past academic year, according to a recent report from the Institute of International Education. UC San Diego is consistently a top education destination for international students—and it’s not just because of the weather.
Born and raised in Germany, Teresa Seitle-Martinez is one of many international students who have benefited from international programs at UC San Diego. In 2018, Teresa was enrolled in the International School of Management (ISM) in Munich, Germany working toward her bachelor’s degree in communications and marketing management. She had studied abroad before—as a high-school foreign exchange student in Ohio and later as a college student in Paris—so she knew well the value of a study-abroad experience.
When she learned about the UC San Diego University and Professional Studies (UPS) program, Teresa’s interest was piqued. At the time, she didn’t know anyone in the area. But a relative who had lived in San Diego for a time raved about the region’s ideal climate and the friendliness of its people.
Spurred on by curiosity, Teresa started researching several different study-abroad programs. In her analysis, UC San Diego kept coming out on top. She was intrigued by the high-quality courses and experienced faculty who would be guiding her journey if she decided to proceed with her application to the UPS program at UC San Diego.
UC San Diego offers a wide range of courses for international students through the UPS program. Students can choose from a wide range of courses in literature, academic writing, marine biology, aerospace engineering, theater / dance, visual arts and much more.
When Teresa realized she could easily transfer UC San Diego credits to her home institution back in Munich, it was the tipping point in her decision. She took a leap of faith and applied to UC San Diego’s UPS program. Teresa was accepted and moved to San Diego in the summer of 2018 in preparation for the fall semester that year.
Teresa looked forward to the variety of courses she could take at the university’s main campus and through its Division of Extended Studies. She quickly learned that the UPS program was an academic stepping stone that would provide insight into a wide range of professional opportunities. She expanded her network, making friends and acquaintances tied to her field of study across the globe.
Through the experience, Teresa realized how critical it is to create a global network in today’s society. Being a part of the UPS program helped her form lasting bonds spanning the globe. “I have expanded my network by meeting a lot of like-minded people—students and teachers—who I keep in touch with,” says Teresa. “My first goal with the UPS program was to succeed professionally. But I see now how it also impacted me personally because I gained a different view on objectives and applying things I've learned,” she added.
International students appreciate the agility UC San Diego offers when it comes to earning and transferring their study-abroad credits through the UPS program. After Teresa completed her bachelor’s degree, she even returned to UC San Diego in 2021 to earn credits toward her master’s degree in strategic marketing management.
After completing her study abroad semester at UC San Diego, Teresa was hired on as an intern with the marketing department at the university’s Division of Extended Studies in 2019. Today, with her formal education behind her (at least for now), Teresa works in finance, specializing in options trading. She is also in the process of pursuing her real estate license. “The knowledge in marketing I gained during my studies is helping me a lot in this career,” she says.
Teresa moved to Los Angeles in early 2022 after getting married. While her current plans are to remain in Los Angeles, San Diego has a special place in Teresa’s heart, and she hopes to have an opportunity to return to America’s Finest City in the future.
“UPS was a great program for me. I liked the variety of courses students could take at the main campus and through the university’s Division of Extended Studies, which offers opportunities to enroll in courses in other fields you are interested in—like graphic and web design, video editing and photography, for example,” Teresa shared.
If you are a high-achieving university student or professional interested in taking a full-time schedule of credit-bearing classes at UC San Diego or UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies while studying alongside American university students, the University and Professional Studies program might be right for you. Visit the University and Professional Studies webpage or reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.