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ISA (International Studies Abroad)

About

As a leader in international education for 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.

Founded
1987
Headquarters

5301 Southwest Parkway
Suite 200
Austin, TX 78735
United States

Scholarships

ISA Scholarships
ISA Scholarships and Financial Aid

ISA is committed to increasing all students’ access to study abroad’s many benefits. We don't let financial hardships to get in the way of a life changing educational experience.

Value
$350 - $2,000

Reviews

Default avatar
Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My title is what the crowd chanted throughout the soccer game. I had such an amazing time in Sevilla. I walked past La Plaza de Espana and Maria Park daily. I could walk everywhere I needed/wanted to go in Sevilla within an hour. I loved walking down every street and hearing about the tales of the city. The ISA staff were so caring and considerate. If I needed anything, they were there to help me. I can not imagine living anywhere else. I was able to visit multiple countries and cities (Portugal, Morocco, Italy, England, and Ireland). I learned so much from the classes and my Spanish improved amazingly beause of my classes and my host family. The food in Sevilla is outstanding. My favorite memory will be going to a soccer game, everyone felt so united .

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have stayed there for a year rather than one semester.
Default avatar
Olivia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

When I landed in Barranquilla it instantly felt like coming home. Colombians are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. There were so many times where I was struggling to communicate/find something and they didn’t hesitate to help me. My resident director was absolutely amazing and so helpful. She was there whenever I needed something whether it was advice or Spanish help. My resident director created such enriching activities and excursions for us to go on that really allowed ourselves to be immersed in the Colombian culture. I made some incredible friends while abroad Colombians and other foreigners. Being fully immersed in a native Spanish speaking country really improved my basic Spanish a lot. My roommate and I had so much fun traveling around Colombia and see what amazing landscapes Colombia had to offer us. I truly recommend ISA to anyone who is considering studying abroad, they treat you like family.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
It was amazing to visit La Guajira Desert in northern Colombia. The desert right next to the beach was unforgettable.
Default avatar
Viviana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This is a program in which they give you all the tools you need to socialize, to go out and have the best time, to learn about yourself and the city that you're in. If you're interested in Marketing, International Relations, Politics, Arts, etc. This program is right for you. I cannot stress how well this program helped me better my french language skills as well as just immersing me in french culture. They show you your potential and your potential future in this city. The staff/interns were so helpful! Bridget was the most helpful and down-to-earth person i've met while abroad. Lille is one of the most lively cities in France other than Paris. This city is for the people that like cities, but want something a bit smaller with less traffic. Lille is unique, and I miss it like a hometown!
In a couple words this program treats you like an adult while giving you so much help at the same time.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring a portable charging brick.
Drink the wine! The chinese dumplings behind the canteen are yummy!
Socialize with your group and go out!
Default avatar
Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

For thirteen weeks I studied and interned in Sydney, Australia. Through my history course I learned about the origin, traditions and culture of Australia. I was able to better understand the practices and ideas of the people. Through my intercultural communication course I learned how to interpret conversations with people from a different country. I was able to apply this through my everyday activities.
During my time abroad I traveled all over the country to Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Queensland, Alice Springs and I even went to New Zealand. With the help of ISA, I felt safe and confident traveling across the country. On weekends, ISA put together trips in Sydney from hiking the Blue Mountains and volunteering in the community. It was a wonderful way to make the most of my time abroad.
Through my internship I was lucky to meet professional businesswomen all across Australia, China and America. As the journalism intern for a marketing business, it was my responsibility to write feature articles, create blog posts and assist with social media. It was such valuable opportunity to gain experience in my field and learn about marketing.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice is to make the most of your time abroad. Save your money to see the most of the country you are in. Plan your time and budget efficiently. Network as much as you can through your internship and get to know your supervisor.
Default avatar
Grant
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Prague resembles the quintessential storybook tale of walking on snow-filled cobblestone streets with a towering castle and cathedral in the background. The picturesque scenery entices you to dive into the history-rich city that began in the 8th Century. The ISA faculty of the host university provided quality insights, tips, guidance, and support throughout the entire program. The activities and events scheduled by the ISA faculty are worth noting for many reasons. Personally, I highly valued the individual freedom offered by ISA that allowed me to explore Prague independently. ISA provides a multifaceted schedule that serves to all interests. To name just a few, it provides means for the fun and friendly environment, the historic expertise for learning, as well as the independence and direction to explore on your own.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Build a video collage of 1-second videos for each day. Doing this allows you to more readily and easily recall the day to day events of your complete time abroad in a fun and original format.

Programs

Displaying 37 - 45 of 81

Alumni Interviews

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

Corlis Fraga

Take a salamander catching, quite corner of Connecticut girl with a big imagination and mix it with an ever present wanderlust. That's Corlis in a nutshell.

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.
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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.

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.

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