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ISA (International Studies Abroad)

Why choose ISA (International Studies Abroad)?

As a leader in international education for over thirty years, ISA is dedicated to providing university and college level students 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, and the Pacific. Our worldwide team provides high-quality experiences for university students at an affordable price. Each year thousands of students participate in ISA programs, including; Internships & Service-Learning, Veritas Christian Study Abroad, and EuroScholars undergraduate research.


ISA Scholarships

ISA by WorldStrides Diversity Scholarship

This scholarship is offered for summer and semester programs and is intended for students with identities historically underserved in education abroad. This can include, but is not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, Alaskan Native, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, LGBTQIA+, First-Generation College Students, U.S. Military Veterans, students with disabilities, and/or students at Minority-Serving Institutions.

$2,500 - $5,000

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

Our team at ISA is committed to providing exceptional support through identity-focused advising and resources for students, university partners, and ISA staff. We have developed our ISA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to help serve all students and stakeholders, particularly the needs of underrepresented student populations. Our country-specific diversity pages offer information about the societies and cultural history of ISA destinations. This information can be used to start your reflection about how your intersecting identities relate to the host community context.

LGBTQIA+ Support

Our team at ISA is committed to providing exceptional support through identity-focused advising and resources for students, university partners, and ISA staff. We have developed our ISA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to help serve all students and stakeholders. Our country-specific diversity pages offer information about the societies and cultural history of ISA destinations. This information can be used to start your reflection about how your intersecting identities relate to the host community context.

Neurodivergent Support

ISA is committed to facilitating quality programming to students with varying levels of neurodivergence. Our Health & Safety team is available to answer questions about insurance and medication, as well as provide students with materials on overseas access to support.

Accessibility Support

ISA is committed to facilitating quality programming to students with varying levels of accessibility. With our wide portfolio of program types and locations we’re confident there is a suitable and accessible program for each student. Accommodations abroad can be complex and take time, so those with accessibility needs should inform ISA of any accommodations requests as early as possible in the advising process. Please contact with questions or for more information.



We have partnered with Fill it Forward to engage team members and program participants in waste reduction practices. The goal is to encourage the elimination of single-use waste. Every QR code scan shows the impact of reusable bottles and unlocks a donation to environmental impact groups.

Ethical Impact

WorldStrides, a global organization, is committed to educate and serve communities worldwide. Our commitment is fueled by the passion of our team members and partners to make experiential learning accessible, while also being socially, environmentally, and ethically responsible. Together, we accomplish this by investing in initiatives to promote inclusion, diversity, and sustainability.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Florence, Italy - Fall '22

My semester in Florence was nothing short of amazing! Instead of staying in student housing, I chose the homestay option so that I could be fully immersed in the Italian culture. I took fashion design, leather handbag construction, clothing construction and styling classes, and what better place to learn fashion than the Home of Fashion?! I was truly in heaven with all of the fashion, food, and history. Traveling with friends and family to Rome, Pisa, Venice, Milan, and more put the cherry on top

What was your funniest moment?
My mom and aunt came to visit me for a week before Thanksgiving, and we traveled to San Gimignano to do a Vespa Wine Tour. Our tour guides made this excursion so fun! We rode the vespas through the hills of San Gimignano, did wine tasting and ate pasta with a beautiful view, and had a mini concert with the other group and our guides on the way back to the hotel. This day was one I will never forget!
  • Quality of life
  • City pace
  • Access to luxury
  • Pickpocketers
  • Exchange interest
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Yes, I recommend this program

So Amazing

I absolutely loved my program in Paris!!! ISA set us up so well to get to know Paris and get acquainted. They were so nice and fun, and really cared about us and helped us whenever we needed literally anything. They got to know us and had fun and joked around with us it more like they wanted to be our friends instead of just "chaperones". They encouraged us to get outside of our comfort zones and really immerse ourselves in the experience. I always recommend ISA to anyone wanting to go abroad!!!

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was when we were on an overnight trip and the told us that if we were late to the bus we would have to sing on the mic. My friends and I were late so we had to sing and my friend Ariana sang a song from spongebob and it was so funny the staff with us went and watched the movie it was from and we talked about it and laughed about it throughout the whole program and it was just such a funny moment.
  • getting to see so many new places and things i never would've seen before
  • getting to travel around europe
  • wishing family and friends were there with me
  • wanting to do so much in such a short time
  • nothing else
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Yes, I recommend this program

I may go study my masters!

I loved my time abroad in Florence. As someone with italian heritage, I fell in love with the culture, lifestyle, and language in Italy in a more tangible way living and studying there. My Nonno encouraged me to study in Florence, specifically, because they have incredible programs encouraging artistry and education, and the views, history and architecture surrounding you in the city are simply incredible.

Florence is more like a small town, than a big city. It feels like you're in a place you know and love, and you get to experience the everyday lifestyle of a Florentine as you stroll the streets, eat pasta, (and other regional dishes like bistecca fiorentina, lampredotto, tartufo, etc) drink one euro cappuccinos, connect with the locals, and visit the markets. It genuinely felt like a dream almost everyday.

I always felt safe walking alone to and from my apartment near Ponte Vecchio, and appreciated the easy access, and consistent business of the city around me as I ventured out on my own.

I was quick to make friends, and my only encouragement would be to branch outside of the American friends you will automatically create in your program! I connected with a friend and her friends, who were locals from Florence at a nearby restaurant, and continued to meet European students that I wouldn't otherwise have met if not for living in Italy at the same time. I opted for the Italian Language program that ISA offered, and they partnered me with an Italian student to work on my language skills and offer assistance in English as we learned together.

Florence hold a deeply special place in my heart, and I still have friends and owners in the city who I stay in contact with. I loved it so much so that I am considering going back to the University I studied at through ISA to get my masters in Visual Media!

If you're hesitating, go live 'la dolce vita'; I promise you will only grow and experience the beauty of a lifestyle entirely different than your own, and consistently find yourself beaming with the joy of living abroad and all the adventures ahead of you.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Ah, lampredotto. I was extremely hesitant to try, only because I had a good idea of what it would taste like from previous meals I had eaten, but it's almost like you never had the true experience if you don't try it. It's basically cow intestine, but a "panino", so a sandwich with meat, sauce and bread. Don't be afraid, just at least give it a go to understand some of the poor food styles that still linger throughout the culture of the city today.
  • convenient access all over the city
  • the food!!!
  • kindness and generosity of the locals
  • Sometimes Florence felt small but only because I didn't go beyond the city center often
  • My classes were exciting and interesting, but some I chose lacked rigor/challenge
  • honestly nothing!
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Yes, I recommend this program


I found the EuroScholars program to be incredibly beneficial to my academics and overall worldview. The research project I completed was engaging and challenging, and so many of the skills I developed there have directly translated to back in the States. My fellow international students, many of whom were from different programs, were fun and genuine and incredibly diverse. The program support by Usha Mohunlol was extensive and I always knew who to ask for help. Housing could have been of higher quality, but it was satisfactory given the great location and lack of quality housing in my city. I highly recommend the program to anyone who vies research as their desired career.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderfully invigorating

This trip was everything. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone constantly while knowing that I was supported and safe. Our directors were readily available and truly wanted to make the experience the best possible for each one of us. Any problems were handled swiftly, calmly, and remarkably. They worked hard to plan fun trips for the group to bond, adventure, and learn. Classes were intellectually challenging yet rewarding and a great opportunity to make Greek friends. (Some were quite boring like any class can be, and still a good opportunity to make friends!) In terms of living situations, dorming with seven other people was challenging and thankfully my roommates worked hard to create a fulfilling dynamic. We bonded over our fears, goals, and desire for adventure. I always felt safe and or had resources to get safe quickly allowing me to explore the neighborhood and Athens. Every day was a chance to explore my new environment and in turn, myself. I am so thankful and will remember my time in Greece forever :) Highly highly recommend.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would go on more solo trips within Greece. Looking back, I flew to other countries and utilized public transport a little bit in Athens but I did not venture much into my home away from home. Given the opportunity to live in Athens again, I would push myself to explore closer destinations and utilize public transportation much more. Seeing nearby cities and natural phenomena. Specifically, I never saw Meteora and I really wish I had. I say solo trips because I had many ideas planned with others but they never came to fruition, so I would change this by challenging myself to do solo trips. The few solo adventures I did were my most meaningful, impactful moments.
  • Public Transportation
  • Planned activities by directors
  • Hospitality of Athens
  • Athens is not a very green city which was hard for me, a nature lover
  • Many room mates, hard to get alone time if needed
  • School clubs were a little overwhelming to join and I consider myself extroverted


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

Would you believe me if I said finding this program started with a deck of tarot cards, a scrying crystal, and a world map? Well, it did. That and a random desire to go to the closest place to middle earth that I could find. It just so happened, once I took the initial steps of interacting with my university's education abroad office, that ISA was the first third-party program that could make such an abroad experience a reality. With a desperate desire for a change, I jumped towards ISA.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My home university helped point me towards ISA. All I knew at the time was that I wanted to go to New Zealand, so getting introduced to a third-party who could make it happen was quite a leg up. They also processed my requests for getting course credit. That way I wouldn't have to worry about my classes not being transferable to my home university.

The ISA program did a lot in answering my numerous questions and in settling any fears I had about whether or not I'd make the right deadlines, if the forms I filled out were correct, and whether or not I was a valid applicant for financial scholarships.

Don't get me wrong, I did plenty of paperwork and planning on my end. Especially in getting my VISA and plane tickets, selecting classes that would work well with my degree, and ensuring all forms were submitted on time (as well as payments). But ISA was an added comfort since they put up with my slew of pestering nervous questions.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Abroad, the classes will be graded differently or perhaps even more thoroughly than you're used to. The important part is for you to strike a balance. Do your best but don't get so wrapped up and nervous about doing things wrong that you don't explore. Messing up is 100% okay. Necessary, even. The point is to learn, enjoy, and grow as a person.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

You're talking to the queen of college hermits. My average day (in-between the epic things like horseback riding up Battle Hill or taste-testing at the Wellington Chocolate Factory) may seem mundane to many. But there are wonders in the small day-to-day things, too.

During a uni day I'd wake up early, usually before my roommates, and mix up a cup of instant coffee with breakfast. Then I'd walk from 'The Cube' (the+ housing complex where the international students are housed with the new uni students. I lived on the top floor, and you'd bet I could feel the wind sway the building) to Massey University. I'd complete my day's classes, with a good coffee break just before lunch, and once done I'd head back to the Cube to put away my stuff. From then on, it depended on how much homework I had to get done. I'd work a bit longer, cook, talk to my roommates, etc.

No matter what was going on, I would conclude my day with a walk down to the water. Sometimes, I'd take Cuba Street where I'd meet all sorts of characters and see people walking about. Other times I meandered. One way or another I'd make it to the ocean and get to look out at the white sailboats and the water that had so many emotions of color depending on the weather. For a girl who had spent most of her life in swampy, mosquito filled woods, it's certainly a sight to behold!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was that my experience wouldn't bring change. That it wouldn't be all transforming and adventurous. I am pretty much the human manifestation of a tortoise. I can get shelled up and quiet. All at once, I wanted to be different.

I'm still the girl who loves sticking her nose in a book and taking long walks with no destination in sight. I'm still quiet and strange and often in my head. But I'm not JUST those things. By going abroad, I learned that it is important to love not just the environment. It is also important that you love you as a person in that environment. I'm still the tortoise. Going abroad just helped me appreciate my shell.

The thing about going abroad is that you may change locations, but you don't change who you are. By going to New Zealand, I got to see movie-worthy scenery, met people from all over the place, and experienced how capable I was in caring for myself. Most importantly, I learned to better love me.

What are some things that you regret while abroad?

  • I never tried whitebait or the NZ green lipped mussels.
  • I didn't go to the bottom of the South Island nor see glow worms.
  • Having to lug a power strip ~18,000 miles in total because the voltage is different in NZ, and trying to use a US power strip blew out the apartment's electricity twice before I realized what was going on.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Allison Ferris

Job Title
Resident Director
Allison has lived in New Zealand for five years and has worked for ISA for over two years. She has lived in three of seven continents and dreams of visiting Antarctica in her lifetime.
Allison Ferris

What is your favorite travel memory?

If I had to choose from volumes of memories, I would say that my favourite (so far) would be the cherry blossom season in Korea. Coming from East Coast Canada, our summers are relatively short and we are known for excessive amounts of snow. So in Korea, when I saw all these cherry blossom trees that were chock full of blooms and drifted down with the wind like snow falling softly to the ground, I felt at peace with the choices I'd made, nostalgic for home and mesmerized by a beauty I'd never seen before.

I remember roaming the streets or the park near my apartment just absorbing the fragrance from the blooms or taking photos.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Running ISA's Bridging Cultures Programme opened my eyes to the rich heritage of Māori, the first people in New Zealand. Over many BCPs, I have had the privilege to better understand te Reo-Māori language, waiata-songs and the importance of whānau-family which is not necessarily limited to your relatives.

I also understand that my country has a lot of room for growth in incorporating our First Nations people's heritage and culture, beyond a day of recognition or a few keywords and/or phrases. No country is perfect; however, New Zealand has arguably done a remarkable job in acknowledging failures of the past, while fulfilling promises made to the people.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I'll never forget the bundle of energy that is Josh; an enigmatic combination of intelligence and excitement that made for a very exciting semester. Josh came to NZ and brought his love of airplanes with him, so what was the very first thing he did when arriving in the country? He managed to get himself the best seat on the plane...the pilot's seat..on the AirNZ long-haul flight to Auckland. Although it was largely for a photo-op, as soon as I heard the story, I knew then I had someone special in my cohort. Josh would later go on to correctly identify the aircraft model based on the sound of the engine while in air.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Hands down, I'd jump at the chance for the ISA Galway summer programme - Irish studies at the National U of Ireland. Not only would this satisfy my dream to get to Europe, but it would also be an opportunity to learn about my family's history in Ireland. Way back when, longer than I'd care to admit, I researched our family genealogy, and I would love to find our family crest that I discovered so many years ago.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I came to New Zealand as an international student; although older than the students that sign up with our company, I still wish that I had ISA to help navigate some tricky things that came up and just to answer questions as I had them. I always communicate with our students that we are available when they need us and sometimes that is days or even weeks into their semester. I am very proud of how my team and I are available to students and we always ensure students' questions are put up the chain until we get them an answer.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

A successful company delivers on the promises they make; ISA offers students a quality experience in countries across the globe and employs on-site staff to maximize that experience. In order to deliver on those promises, a successful company must be comprised of people who are actively committed to the job they signed up for. Here in the Pacific, the on-site staff have extensive experience in education and/or studied abroad themselves. Knowledge combined with passion equals a standard of care for our students from pre-departure to arrival and success at their site.