ISA (International Studies Abroad)


As a leader in international education for over twenty-five years, ISA is dedicated to providing university level students with the opportunity to discover, learn, and enjoy a way of life other than their own. ISA offers a diverse portfolio of education abroad programs across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and the Pacific. Our worldwide team continuously seeks to provide high-quality experiences for university students at an affordable price. Each year thousands of students participate in ISA programs, including; ISA Custom Programs, Service-Learning & Internships, Veritas Christian Study Abroad, EuroScholars undergraduate research, Degrees Abroad and ISA High School. ISA distinguishes itself by maintaining its commitment to each individual student and its comprehensive on-site support offered through resident staff in nearly seventy-five program locations around the world.

Programs from ISA

Program Reviews

  • Robert
    Age: 25-30
    Boston, MA
    College of Charleston
    Semester Abroad in Meknes, Morocco

    This was an amazing experience. The staff are incredibly helpful. The professors are knowledgeable and also understand that a lot of the learning and growth during a semester abroad take place outside of the classroom. The student housing was an amazing 9th floor apartment with a stunning view of the city. I loved living there however I wish there were more home-stays available so that I could be even more immersed in Moroccan life. Meknes is a great city to live in. It is historically and cultural significant without the tourist traps and touts that other more visited cities have.

    How could this program be improved?

    More home-stay options or living among other Moroccan students would be great. It would be great is some of the Moroccan students who study or are proficient in English were involved in the classes.

    This was the sunset view from the apartment ISA placed me in. It from the edge of the New City looking out to the Old City.
    A camel ride near Merzouga. It was one of the optional cultural immersion activities.
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  • Rory
    Age: 19-24
    Fanwood, New Jersey
    University of Pittsburgh
    The Trip of a Lifetime

    The staff at ISA was incredible. Every program says their staff will be there for you, but will they really? About two months into my program I came down with a fever. It wasn't a big deal and my host mom took me to the doctor immediately. Three days later, ISA staff called me and asked me how I was doing, if my asthma was effected, and if I needed any further help or treatment. I didn't even tell them I was sick, and never had any asthma issues. Yet they knew, and were kind enough to reach out to me before I may have needed help instead of waiting until after I had a problem.

    They checked in one more time a few days later and this showed me that they really do care for their students and are there to support them.

    How could this program be improved?

    This program offered a spring break trip to Morocco, but you had to sign up for the trip before the semester started. At this point in time, you haven't met anybody from your program and are not aware of what our future friends would want to do. I would suggest giving the students to weeks or so to make friends and then have the deadline to sign up for this trip.

    ISA has their own inter mural soccer league and you can play with locals as well. First place!
    The view of Barcelona from the bunkers.
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  • Samantha
    Age: 19-24
    Washington, DC
    Elon University
    Living in San Jose, Costa Rica for 4 months!

    These four months were a BLAST! ISA does a great job at ensuring that all of the participants stay safe and have a great time. The classes were a good challenge but not too time consuming. I never felt like they were getting in the way of my study abroad experience.

    I had the opportunity to do an amazing internship with Fundacion Rahab, an NGO that helps women who were the victims of sex trafficking. This is a field that I have always been extremely interested in, so getting this opportunity was pretty big for me. I did a lot of fundraising for Fundacion, in addition to working on their budget. I became pretty close with the founder, and one day after my work was done she took me along to meeting she had with the Chilean ambassador and his wife!

    ISA plans a few included weekend excursions which were a little nicer than our other weekends, which were usually spent in $15/night hostels (completely our choice). The included excursions were at three or four star hotels, and were a good way to get to know other students on the program.

    I would have liked more activities that helped the program immerse more in the Costa Rican culture. In retrospect, I wish I had made more local friends but wasn't quite old enough at the time to have the confidence it takes to branch out like that. Additionally, I had a pretty tough home stay situation that I wish had been fixed earlier. My roommate and I reached out to ISA about our complaints, and no serious steps were taken to address them. Finally, we were moved out our final week for a few days. The good news is I don't think they'll be using that host home anymore, and no one else seemed to have any issues with host homes.

    Overall, such a fun four months. ISA definitely understands the types of students that are coming to Costa Rica for a semester abroad and does a great job catering the experience to them.

    How could this program be improved?

    I would have ISA check in on host homes throughout the program.

    A view from my neighborhood.
    Arenal Volcano
    Video Review:
    This is a video about my internship with Fundacion Rahab!
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  • Will
    Age: 31-50
    Columbus, Ohio
    Ohio State University
    Que Tal - the new way to say What's Up?

    I originally signed up to do a program in Spain with one of my college friends. She backed out a few months before we were supposed to go. I thought about backing out too, but decided to just go through with it. I was nervous, to say the least. I didn't know anyone and my Spanish wasn't that great. Thanks to ISA, I had the experience of a lifetime.

    The ISA program put me in positions to meet other people. I made friends that I still talk to today. They helped me review areas of Spanish that were weak so I could keep up with my classes. More importantly, they helped my build the confidence to enjoy living in another country.

    How could this program be improved?

    Finding my group at the airport (on the first day) was difficult. I went to the bathroom before finding the group and almost missed the bus. Some kind of check in or instruction would have been helpful.

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  • Emma
    Age: 19-24
    Castleton, Vermont
    Castleton State College
    ISA Summed Up

    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.

    ISA Wellington group at the top of Mount Eden during the Bridging Cultures program.
    Sitting with some New Zealand Fur Seals during our safari!
    Messing around with Gandalf at the weta workshops :)
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