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Programs and Reviews
USAC is a non-profit organization made up of 33 U.S. member universities that has provided quality and affordable study abroad programs for almost 30 years. USAC currently offers programs in 24 countries at 39 program sites and provides a broad spectrum of assistance with housing, visa assistance, academics, field trips, internships, field study courses and more from the point you apply, your arrival and stay, to your transcript and re-entry.
What position do you hold at USAC? What has been your career path so far?
Michael: East Coast Regional University Relations Coordinator. My career in Study Abroad started back in the spring of 2002. At the time I was a student at California, State University, Chico and was participating in the USAC Torino, Italy program and a group of faculty/staff came for a site assessment visit. In that group was my Study Abroad Advisor from my home university, Tasha Dev. The Resident Director, Dr. Alyssa Nota, had asked for volunteers to show our housing to the visitors and to participate in a roundtable discussion. During that visit, Tasha Dev asked me if I would be interested in student worker position in the office at Chico when I returned. I started at a student worker doing 10 hours per week, and by graduation two years later, I was working 20 hours or more. Shortly after graduation I was approached for a more permanent position as Assistant Study Abroad Adviser, eventually moving up to become the Study Abroad Adviser and after eight years working at Chico State, I left for my current position at USAC.
Did YOU study abroad? If so, where did you go and what inspired you to go?!
Michael: I participated in the USAC program in Torino, Italy during the Spring of 2002. I studied abroad as during my second semester of sophomore year. I had always wanted to study abroad and being half Italian, Italy was always where I wanted to go. I chose the Torino program because of a conversation I had with a family friend who had studied in Torino and met his wife there. He had told me about what a great city it was and how it wasn't overrun with tourists and that I would get a taste of "real" Italy, which is exactly what I wanted.
What about the future of the industry? How do you think study abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?
Michael: In my 10 years in the industry, I have seen numbers increase, more and more destinations popping up and more providers popping up. I think the most exciting thing I have seen is that more and more students are studying abroad in less traditional locations like India, Thailand, China, etc. I think this will continue as more and more students see the benefits of these non-traditional locations both in the career paths but also for their wallets. I am also hopeful that over the coming years as more universities are internationalizing their curriculums and promoting study abroad more, we are going to see higher numbers of students and a more educated, culturally aware generation of leaders.
Describe what "study abroad" means to you in 3 words or less.
Michael: Adventure, self-awareness/discovery, and knowledge. (I'm half Italian, I can't do anything in three words or less)