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Program Reviews

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Jacob
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad for a Good Time ;)

I chose to study abroad for two reasons. First, I'm a German major and was looking to improve my written and oral skills. This program allowed me to live in both Austria and Germany so I was exposed to different dialects of the language. This experience ultimately allowed me to achieve my goal of improve my German as a whole. The second reason, aside from experiencing the vast complexities of the German language, was this program allowed me to live in both a large city, Vienna, and a small town, Marburg. As someone who has grown up and lived in small towns, it was nice to experience the familiarity of Marburg. Vienna brought it's own challenges and lessons as it was my first time getting to experience big city life. Overall, this program not only helped me grow in my academics, but as well as an individual.

What would you improve about this program?
N/A Best experience of life! Wouldn't change a damn thing.
Samantha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BCA Dunedin 2018 Spring Semester

I honestly don't even know where to begin talking about my semester abroad in Dunedin, so I'll do my best to fit everything in here.

I'll start by saying my time abroad through BCA was the by far the most life-altering decision I have ever made. Prior to my time in New Zealand, I had never taken a plane by myself or navigated through airports alone, and I had never even left the country before! After my time abroad, I successfully flew 30+ hours alone and visited 2 different countries; and I CAN'T WAIT to visit more. I've caught the travel bug.

I can honestly say my program director, Ashley Mountfort, was my saving grace every single step of the way. Before I even arrived in New Zealand, Ashley made me feel at ease about the whole process of actually getting there. She answered my (many...many) emails within minutes and was extremely patient and informative. She sent out emails with step-by-step instructions on how the flights/ customs would work, where we should meet when we arrived at the airport, etc. And it only got better after I arrived safely.

Ashley met us at the airport with a bottle of water and chocolate bar for each of us; an absolute saving grace after traveling for nearly 24 hours. She arranged transportation for us to our flats and helped us carry our bags in. She even printed out maps for each of us and highlighted the route to our meeting spot. These were all things that Ashley did which were above & beyond what I expected, and I immediately felt safe and at home because of her actions.

Having a program director as awesome as Ashley made my abroad experience 10x what it would have been without her. Throughout the semester she opened her home and heart to me and the rest of the group. She sent us monthly emails with heaps of info on upcoming events, cheap tickets, volunteer opportunities and activities to do all around Dunedin/New Zealand. She even included secret messages within her emails, and the first few students to respond would win a mini excursion with Ashley to places around Dunedin like bakeries, cafes, and beaches, which she would take us to herself for no charge.

Ashley would plan movie nights and provide snacks for us. She invited us over to her home and cooked us meals, and let us play with her dog and baby (who I fell absolutely in love with!). If any of us needed absolutely anything at all from advice to a ride, Ashley was our go-to.

In New Zealand, I came comfortably out of my comfort zone. I made dozens of new friends and made hundreds of lifetime memories. I don't think I would change anything about BCA except to make sure each group has a program director as incredible as Ashley Mountfort! And possibly to provide a meal stipend to help students manage their money.

Overall, my life has changed for the better after my time in New Zealand through BCA, and I love the person I've become because of it.

Thanks for everything!

P.s. More scholarships to help with the cost of the plane tickets would be great. The flights were EXPENSIVE!! Also, STA was a bit tricky to deal with sometimes.

What would you improve about this program?
More scholarships to help with the cost of the plane tickets would be great. The flights were EXPENSIVE!! Also, STA was a bit tricky to deal with sometimes.

Make sure each group has a program director as incredible as Ashley Mountfort! And possibly to provide a meal stipend to help students manage their money.
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Sydney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nothing a Kiwi can’t do without #8 chicken wire

If you are thinking about this program, go for it. Best decision I ever made in my life. The resident director is so helpful and is really there for you. Also, Otago is an amazing university with amazing opportunities you don’t get in the states. Love the kiwi life! What I miss most about New Zealand are the amazing views, my 50 million friends (baaa), and the amazing people I met. If you like adventure, this is the place to be. I’m counting down the days until I get to go back, as probably any study abroad student says.

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Kimberly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible experience

BCA was an amazing program. The trips, pre semester classes, and support were unparalleled. It was so easy to travel around the country and Daniel (the director of the program) helped me find an amazing internship and host family. I learned so much about the language, the culture and became way better at traveling on my own. I traveled to 12 different cities, bungee jumped, went canyoning and so much more.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing.
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Taylor
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad is eye opening

My Junior year of college I had the opportunity to study abroad in Quito Ecuador on the BCA program. This would be the first time that I ever left the United States on my own and I can honestly say this experience humbled me, shaped me and moved me on the path that I am now. As a part of this program students begin with a month long course in Ecuadorian language and culture, essentially a month before University classes begin the group meets to work on Spanish skills and learn about the History and Culture of Ecuador. I found this to be enlightening and helpful. I was able to brush up on my Spanish skills before starting school and I was able to learn about the social issues and the history of the country I would be living in for the next five months. We then began classes and I had the amazing opportunity to take classes with Ecuadorian students, take art classes and have an internship count as credit. This program integrated me with Ecuadorian students and as a part of my internship I was able to do an ethnography comparing public and private elementary schools in Ecuador. While I was living in Ecuador I lived with a host family which gave me the unique experience of really understanding what every day family life is like. This program provider took us on unique excursions that were not just focused on having fun but on learning about the issues that face the country, on being sustainable and justice. I truly felt like I learnt and grew immensely. As a result of studying on this program I became enamored with the idea of equal exchange tourism, or the idea of travel that is beneficial to all parties both guest and host which led me to teach abroad as I now have a passion for learning about and really exploring other cultures. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who wants to be challenged.

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Micaela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Cheltenham, UoG

The BCA program was wonderful and the program staff were super helpful and supportive in everything from accommodations to traveling to medical needs. Cheltenham is a fun and safe town where everything is easy to get to. My only complaint is about the course I was studying because the modules weren’t interesting and the lecturers not that helpful. However, I liked the creative writing classes; it was the psychology ones that were unhelpful. I also made lifelong friendships with other students at the University of Gloucestershire. I was able to travel with them to different countries, go to the cinema, go out to various bars and MooMoo club rooms. I’ve even traveled back to England (Cheltenham) to visit my friends and boyfriend that I met while studying abroad. Definitely recommend this program to any potential student.

What would you improve about this program?
With the excursions, have some specific places but also give the students free time and not be so rushed.
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Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ecua Travels

I cannot think of a better, more holistic study abroad experience than BCA Quito. The combination of host families, academic setting, and excellent programming makes this truly a journey for all types. My cohort's diversity of interests and personalities were all accommodated spectacularly. The year I spent in Quito is undoubtedly my favorite travel experience.

Aside from it being an all around awesome program, what I think sets BCA Quito apart is the degree to which you are encouraged to critically reflect on your experiences as a traveler in a foreign country and your place in an increasingly complicated world. Our visit to the rapidly disappearing Amazon rainforest stands out in this respect. Daniel Bryan, the program director, allowed us to take in all of the joys of such an exciting place and group of people, and put the trip in context of being advocates for economic, social, and environmental justice.

In short, study abroad in Quito, you won't regret it.

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Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best possible study abroad experience for me

I can go on and on about how lovely my experience in Dunedin was with the BCA crew. Even before I left the United States, I already felt so much support from Ashley and Jan, the program coordinators. Upon arrival, there was a perfect amount of activity, orientation, bonding, help, etc. BCA did a VERY good job setting me up for life in New Zealand, and I felt very little confusion. The coordinators made themselves regularly available, and we became very good friends. It felt like we were a family-- it wasn't just professional. It seemed like they genuinely wanted me to be as happy and comfortable as possible. I appreciate the experiences I had on the trip. It was absolutely ideal, largely in part because of BCA's wholehearted support. I had no idea this program would be so worthwhile, so I consider myself extremely lucky to have applied with it. Hands down the best experience of my life. Even though I was on the other side of the planet from my regular support system, I still never felt alone. I can't recommend it enough.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can't think of anything. It truly was ideal for me.
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James
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Italy: Away from Crowds and Up in the Clouds

To say that I enjoyed my adventures in northern Italy would certainly be an understatement. I had always wanted to explore Europe in some part but never had a viable opportunity, especially since I’m averse to crowds and highly popular tourist areas. Initially, I stumbled upon this program by chance, a random email from a professor I had in the past. Thinking it couldn’t hurt to sign up on BCA to just get some information, I was delighted in their quick responses.

The more I looked into Trentino, the more I got excited. Having traveled a fair amount, I lean more towards areas that are less touristy, where the locals live and break bread. I found exactly that in Trentino, namely in Nago-Torbole. The program heavily focused on the history and food production of northern Italy which easily fit along my Environmental Science degree but also kept the focus away from areas that were overcrowded like Milan or Venice. The program creators Juri and Manola were the absolute best guides I could have ever hoped for and gave me a real sense of the people who live in Italy, even without knowing much of the language.

The highlight of my morning was waking up to the beautiful garden of Agritur Stefenelli, an agriculturally focused bed and breakfast. The Stefenellis themselves were absolutely lovely individuals, so friendly and quite caring. The first 3 weeks of the program had my group staying at Agritur Stefenelli and exploring the area around Nago-Torbole and experiencing the pride and hard work that goes into the amazing wine, cheese, olive oil, cheese, breads, and did I mention the cheese? Everything that goes into the local production is absolutely fascinating, especially due to the many locations we visited including a dairy farm nestled high in the mountains.

The history and museum aspects of the program were also very cool. While a lot of the program is in more secluded areas, there is ample opportunity to visit larger, more popular towns and cities-especially sense public transportation is completely covered within Trentino. I could walk 100 meters in any direction and see a building that was 600 years old, remnants of WW1 and WW2 battles, or even religious landmarks that have survived an unfathomable amount world events. Having the perspective from the class lessons made every location’s story very tangible.

During the last week, we hiked all around the mountains, with breathtaking views and experiences that I will never forget. The secluded mountain house we stayed in was the perfect place to wind down and reflect on the past 3 weeks. The natural beauty of the Italian Alps and Dolomites is without compare.

There is so much more I want to say but really this is something you have to experience for yourself. I can’t think of a more unique program that has such rare and educational opportunities. I truly wish to return as soon as I can.

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Internship Life in Chennai
Marc
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenging Fulfillment

India is tough. Period. Especially for those of us who are so used to Western amenities. New experiences await, like using a bucket for taking a shower and doing laundry, coexisting with all sorts of animal friends, and more culinary flare than your Uncle Fieri's spice-rack. Putting aside the lack of municipal garbage disposal and flooding, the streets are fun to explore and highly chaotic for those that love to live in the moment. Public Transportation in Chennai is efficient and very cheap; I used the suburban train almost every day for commuting. Unless your academia is Social Work, a good chunk of your time will be spent exploring Chennai with new friends, all of whom I met were originally from the College (lone student abroad). Anupama Pai, the current director, is also amazing and easy to speak. Just be on time for things (unlike some of us). As long as you are ready for the constant sweating and a nuance of gender norms, BCA Chennai is a terrific program!
Disclaimer: I studied Political Science, that [2] under academia would be an [8] for Social Work.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe more emphasis can be put on exploring the city, because the college is in a suburb, Tambaram, and some students never get to see the urban center as much as they should. Much is left to be desired in attempting to learn the local language, Tamil, especially due to the college's language department and how they operate with foreign students, but this matter is a work in progress.
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