ISA (International Studies Abroad)

Provider

ISA distinguishes itself as a study abroad provider by its commitment to each individual student. ISA services are available to students, parents, faculty and advisers throughout the study abroad process. In addition to the ISA team in the U.S., ISA offers study abroad students constant support through resident directors available in study abroad locations globally.
Everyone at ISA is proud to be a part of offering a high quality study abroad experience to American and Canadian college students at an affordable price. We recognize that we play an important role in the worldwide effort of international educators to increase awareness of cultures and societies outside of each student's national boundaries. Our programs are designed to maximize our participants' learning abroad, and we understand that most college students need support and expert guidance before, during and after their time abroad.

Programs from ISA

Program Reviews

  • Emma
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Castleton, Vermont
    Castleton State College
    ISA Summed Up
    08/28/2015

    Before arriving in New Zealand the staff at ISA helped keep me organized with all of the documents required to go overseas for the semester. They were definitely really good at making sure things were in on time too, and they were super flexible and understanding when situations came up. There was also a resource pack provided before going abroad that was filled with helpful tips, even what streets to go to when exploring Wellington! I felt prepared because of how much information ISA provided prior to my travels.

    When I first arrived to the Auckland airport there was someone from ISA waiting with a sign to direct all of the students to the right place, which made me feel very comfortable from the start. The trip started in Auckland for a "Bridging Cultures" portion. Basically, we all spent the first few days together exploring Auckland and Rotorua while adjusting to our new "home," New Zealand. It was a great bonding experience that I truly will remember for a lifetime. After this ended we finally made our way down to Wellington, where I was studying for the semester.

    Upon arriving in New Zealand we then started to get to know our University. Once we were all settled in we started having occasional "excursions" that are included in the ISA program price. Our first excursion was a seal coast safari, it was super exciting and I developed a newfound love for New Zealand fur seals! Other excursions included a sleepover at the Wellington zoo, a private tour of the weta workshop, and a visit to Matiu/Somes Island. Our ISA Resident Director (RD) is the person who set all of these excursions up and went on them with us, she was also the person we could go to if we needed anything. ISA also provided us with a 24 hour free emergency line, that I thankfully never had to use (but it's good to know it was an option). They definitely offered a lot of support while we were there and were really understanding with culture shock and all of that good stuff (they even educated us on how to deal with it).

    When we were all getting ready to depart we had a nice goodbye dinner purchased by ISA and it was a good chance to see everyone together one last time before heading home. Our RD also made sure she knew everyones travel plans to be sure she knew when we were supposed to be leaving and going home.

    After arriving back home I have received emails from ISA checking up on how everything was and informing me on more opportunities they offer for going abroad for things such as internships and service-learning. My RD also sent me a nice email saying goodbye and that she's always here if I need anything. ISA has also kept me up-to-date on my transcript and when it should arrive at my home University and they provided us with alumni resources which include ways to develop a professional profile for my study abroad experience.

    How could this program be improved?

    This program could be improved by having RD's at every University instead of every location. Our RD oversaw three different Universities and her office wasn't on our campus so it could be a hassle. I feel it would be useful for them to have less to oversee so they can get to know the residents better.

    It also would have been nice if the residents had more say in what was done for excursions because we are the ones who actually pay for them. More research should be done for the excursions because the zoo sleepover that we had was actually directed towards younger children so we would have rather done something different--it would have been cool to go somewhere other than in Wellington and been able to explore more of NZ with ISA.

    Photos:
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  • Mayzie
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Richmond, VA
    No need for Sunshine
    08/14/2015

    Modesty. Above all, modesty is what I've found on the campus and within the community of Victoria and Wellington. When you have this characteristic of individuals, it charges a wave of kindness and concern throughout businesses and authoritative figures. I've loved every minute here. The lack of sun is compromised by all the smiling faces.

    How could this program be improved?

    More introduction to the city you'd be staying in, not Auckland.

    Photos:
    Red Rocks
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  • Fabian
    Male
    Los Angeles, CA
    California State- Long Beach
    AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
    07/19/2015

    I've been to Madrid 5 times before and studied abroad with 2 different companies prior to "studying" with ISA and I can honestly say ISA has been the worst company ever. Their policy is if something goes wrong it is your fault. If you find a problem with their substandard housing or education, then it's your problem not their. ISA Madrid and the main staff in Austin are completely useless, rude, and do not care about their students. Unwilling to help you, and in fact hide their shortcoming to make themselves look professional. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!!

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    Response from ISA
    07/28/2015
    Dear Fabian, Thank you for taking the time to review our Madrid program. We are always open to constructive feedback from program participants so that we can continue to improve and provide the best student experience possible. It's truly unfortunate to hear that you felt your experience abroad was inadequate, after all the assistance that ISA has provided to you. While we continue to assist you with ongoing matters, we wish you had shared these concerns while you were abroad, not after you returned home, so that we could have been in a better place to directly address them and help you have a great experience. While you also did not like the host university, historically, ISA students have felt differently. In fact many expressed a sense of pride in being a part of this particular university, with it over 700 years of academic excellence and it being ranked within the top 250 universities in the world according to QS. Again, we appreciate your feedback and will take it into account during the thorough program evaluations we administer each term.
  • Erin
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Grand Forks, North Dakota
    University of Canterbury
    University of Canterbury Spring 2014
    05/06/2015

    Studying in New Zealand through ISA was one of the best decisions I have ever made! ISA provided so many great opportunities to feel comfortable and be prepared. Upon arrival in New Zealand, the Bridging Cultures Program was essential in making me feel safe and ready to be abroad for 5 months. The educational and cultural seminars were lifesavers and I don't know what I would have done had those not been provided. Check ups with our on-site coordinator throughout the semester were pretty cool, a nice chance to debrief with everyone. I met some lifelong friends through ISA and was given some amazing travel options through the program too - I got to go to Australia for spring break! ISA is truly wonderful, affordable, and so helpful in preparing a student to have the experience of his/her life!

    How could this program be improved?

    I would maybe have more interactive opportunities before leaving, perhaps be able to communicate with an alum that has been to the same place or have another webinar session? That really helped! So maybe another internet session while in the midst of applying and doing all of the visa stuff, and then the last webinar session before we leave to go abroad.

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  • Kemin
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Houghton, MI
    Michigan Technological University
    My Summer in Lima, Peru
    05/05/2015

    I would definitely recommend this program. I had an incredible experience combining Study Abroad with Service Learning in El Hospital del Nino while staying with a Peruvian host family. My language skills improved immensely, I gained an appreciation for the Peruvian culture, and met wonderful people from around the world. Study abroad has been a highlight of my college career and a life changing experience. The onsite staff through ISA are absolutely amazing--willing to help out with anything at anytime. I would also suggest signing up for all of the excursions. I went to on trips to the rainforest, to Cusco and Machu Picchu, and to a desert oasis/beach town, and those were highlights of my entire trip.

    How could this program be improved?

    If I could change one thing, I would have gone for an entire semester instead of just a summer program. Two months was much too short, and the summer programs don't provide the same opportunity to meet local students, because the courses are only for ISA students.

    Photos:
    Machu Picchu with the MTU mascot, Blizzard!
    Lima city center
    Machu Picchu
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