University Studies Abroad

USAC

About

USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing an unforgettable experience. Each program is designed to help you grow into an engaged citizen of the world—not only through academic experiences, but also through field trips, internships, volunteering, and service learning.

Students can choose from programs in over 50 cities across more than 25 countries, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania. Students can enroll to study abroad with USAC for summer, semester, an entire academic year, or winter session.

Website
usac.edu
Founded
1982

Scholarships

USAC Scholarships

USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid

USAC awards over $2 million in scholarships and discounts each year to assist students with their study abroad expenses.

Value
$500 - $1,000

Reviews

Default avatar
Valerie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Miss it everyday!

I'm forever grateful to have studied abroad with USAC. USAC made the entire process easy to understand and had several procedures that set me up for success in France. My homestay was a perfect match for me, and I cherish having the leveraged cultural and social support. The program directors and instructors undoubtedly had the student's best interest in mind—they provided guidance, recommendations, and material to help students reach their goals while enjoying their summer. Lyon was the perfect place to better my French, and the social atmosphere was generally welcoming. I miss being able to navigate a city as easily as Lyon. I can't wait to go back someday.

Pros
  • Support
  • Affordability
  • Communities
Default avatar
Karalyn
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Summer in San Sebastian

I would definitely recommend studying abroad through USAC. The staff were willing to respond to any questions I had and provide additional information before, during, and after the program. Their number one priority was safety. I appreciated the small class sizes to get one-on-one attention from my professor. This helped my Spanish abilities grow immensely. The excursion days provided opportunities to view historical sites and famous museums in neighboring cities. I am a foodie and this city is fit for royalty. Be sure to pack your camera because everywhere you look is gorgeous! If you are on the fence, take the leap and go for it! You won't regret it!

Default avatar
Luc
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic Program

My study abroad through USAC was everything and more. USAC was aware of student needs and questions, and made sure to answer them thoroughly. Before leaving for France, I felt confident and ready. My instructors were incredible and understanding, my classes interesting and engaging, and my extracurriculars were fun and memorable. I was able to have both the experience to live with a host family and around other students in the program. My French improved from barely functional to confidently proficient. I learned so much, meet some really one-of-a-kind people, and traveled with friends I still keep in touch with. I loved the care and consideration of the program coordinators. Really a program I couldn't recommend more.

Default avatar
Jared
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Go to Chiang Mai!!!

Attending USAC's Chiang Mai study abroad program was one of the best decisions I could've made during my undergrad years. There is nothing about my experience that I wish was a little bit different. From the classes to the excursions to the incredible staff at USAC Chiang Mai, every aspect of this program was top-notch. I developed friendships (from the US and Thailand) that I know will last a lifetime, and the memories I made continue to bring me joy and inspire me to embark on more adventures far, far away from home.

Pros
  • Facilitated Excursions
  • Tight-Knit Program
  • Amazing Food
Default avatar
Leah
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The most beautiful place to live!

Verona is beautiful and the school is located in a great area near the city center. Although the housing is a bit far from the school, I loved getting to bike, walk, or bus through the beautiful streets. The locals were very kind and my USAC group was amazing! Verona is the perfect size, and feels very safe. It is close to other places in Europe, we went to new cities every weekend! I’ve made life-long friends through this program, and would recommend to anyone looking for an affordable, yet amazing study abroad program!

Pros
  • Good location
  • Beautiful and supportive community
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Housing far from school
  • Smaller city

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I had already done the one French study abroad that was available directly through my home university, and I only needed a few more credits to get my French minor. After doing some research online, I found that USAC had the most affordable programs. I was back and forth between their Lyon and Pau programs, but I had studied in Grenoble the summer before (which is close to Lyon), and wanted to try a new region.

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

The USAC staff organized a lot for us. They found our host families and gave us their contact information, organized the classes/placed us into appropriate groups, and organized outings like going to Bayonne/Biarritz, hiking in the Pyrenees, river rafting, cheese tasting, and so much more! They even took us downtown during the first few days and showed us where to get a bus pass.

The only thing I organized on my own was any extra travel that I did.

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

I wish I had known just how small of a town Pau was. The summer before, I had lived in Grenoble and went to the University of Grenoble Alpes, which is a giant research institution. Because of that, the city had an accessible metro and great nightlife.

Pau is completely different.

I lived in the suburbs this time around, and the only transportation system was the bus (and the last one from downtown to my house was around 5 pm, so I could never be out later than that). I enjoyed the quiet life in the suburbs, but if it was my first study abroad I would've been a bit disappointed at the lack of nightlife/convenient transportation.

Also, I wish I had known that PAU IS RAINY! I went for the summer session 1 and only had one jacket and one pair of long pants, and I had to wear those clothes every single day! Dress warm!

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

I believe that I had to leave my house by around 7:45 each morning to catch the bus and get to class, but I didn't mind getting up so early. I was normally in class until around noon, unless we had our extra class (survey of art) in the afternoon.

After class, you can do whatever you want. Sometimes I went downtown after class, but most days I would head back to the suburbs and spend time with my host family.

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

Hmm. Again, because of my previous study abroad experience, my biggest fear was that this study abroad wouldn't live up to the last one. I overcame it by trying to make the most of every experience and by doing as much as possible with my host family.

It's true that I didn't experience as much nightlife/life downtown, but I still developed friendships with the other two girls in my area and with my host family. And the area is beautiful - the Pyrenees took my breath away. I still stay in touch with both of my host families to this day and said they would gladly welcome me back!

I left Pau feeling that, although the experience was different from the summer before, it was still fulfilling in its own way.

What was your favorite memory from your study abroad?

It's so hard to pick, but one of my favorite memories was going to the Cirque de Gavarnie in the Pyrenees. We took a bus and went to the zoo, and then drove into the Pyrenees and had lunch. The Pyrenees are misty, lush, and mysterious.

When we started our hike, I couldn't believe how green and lush these mountains were compared to any that I had seen. Getting to the top was incredible, as we saw dozens of waterfalls all falling in the same area.

I will definitely never forget that day!

Staff Interviews

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

Sarah Kapel

Job Title
Program Advisor

Sarah advises students who are planning to study abroad in USAC China, Prague, Haifa, and Bristol programs, and helps them with housing, flights, culture shock, and any other pre-departure questions they may have. She graduated with a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nevada, Reno and studied Visual Design at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. When she's not at work, she loves to hike, ride her bike, and explore local coffee shops.

What is your favorite travel memory?

While in Costa Rica, I loved seeing the local flora and fauna every day. Every morning, I would have a cup of the best café in the world with my host family, and then I would walk to school. I loved how normal it was to see beautiful bromeliads growing on the side of the road and hearing howler monkeys.

On my walks to school in Puntarenas, there were two iguanas that would greet me in the morning. I named them Magenta and Ramses, and they made me smile every day.

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

I have learned to laugh at my mistakes. I started at USAC as a student worker and recently was promoted to a Program Advisor. I used to be very nervous to make a mistake, but working with USAC encouraged me to use those moments as opportunities to learn and grow personally and professionally.

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

I recently received an e-mail from a USAC student who just returned from studying for a semester in China. He thanked USAC for giving him the opportunity to see new parts of the world, meet interesting local people, and learn more about his own culture and heritage.

I love when students have personal connections to our programs because I believe that it enhances their experience, and they gain a greater appreciation for their own heritage.

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

Montevideo, Uruguay. Since this program opened, I have been dreaming of visiting this beautiful oceanside city. I love learning about Latin American culture, and I think that Uruguay would offer a unique experience separate from more traditional locations. The program also has super cool tours and fields trips offered – like visiting Buenos Aires!

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

USAC is unique because we have a lot of heart. All of us have studied abroad or lived abroad so we know how special it can be. I am proud of USAC every day, but we do have a pretty amazing Halloween party each year. I was so proud of my team for decking out in full Harry Potter themed attire this past year.

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

I think it’s really important to support your coworkers.

USAC is a successful company because we are one big family, and we help each other out.

Even though we have hundreds of staff members spread out all over the world, we're able to support each other near and far. Being supportive of one another sponsors a positive work environment.