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Whether it's your first time abroad or you're a seasoned expat, ISA aims to provide quality study abroad programs spanning the globe for students all over the world. As one of the largest study abroad providers on the market, the ISA alumni network page is dedicated to programs that have come and gone, but still hold a special place in the hearts of their participants.

Alumni of programs no longer in session are encouraged to leave a review of their past experience with ISA. To view alumni reviews, click on the "Ratings and Reviews" tab below. For more information about ISA and for a current list of all available programs, check out the ISA website or the fabulous ISA profile on Go Overseas!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 27 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 27
Default avatar
Eduardo
9/10

Summer at Tsinghua

When I first decided that I wanted to study abroad, I was not sure of where I might want to go. My choices were France, Italy, and China. My goal was to learn a 3rd language, as I already speak English and Spanish. Ultimately, I took a chance and went with China because visiting the great wall was always a dream of mine. This summer language program in Beijing was not only packed with intense language learning, but also with what seemed like never ending options of what to do after class. Beijing is a huge and vibrant city full of culture, and history. I had no previous travel experience, and I did not know how to speak any Mandarin. I was amazed at the quality of the university to which we were given access to. Tsinghua University is a top university not only in China, but in the world. Every time people would ask me where I studied, they all reacted with amazement. Unfortunately, with a popular university there also comes some negatives. We were not allowed to stay on campus due to lack of space, and so had to stay at a hotel for the duration of the program. Studying in Beijing widened my view of the world, and left me with a thirst for travel.

How can this program be improved?
Going back to the ISA website I found that this program is not currently available. I hope this program can be reinstated so that others can benefit from the opportunity of studying in Beijing and Tsinghua. With that in mind, if the issue of dormitory space could be resolved, the program would be even better.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jacob
10/10

I love Chengdu

If you are at all interested in China, I highly recommend Chengdu. Everything about the program was great, the location, university, classes, and social environment were all ideal for having a good international experiences. The University is very large and has tons of international students from all around the world as well as plenty of locals who are eager to make friends. The classes were intimate and the English taught classes were informative and fun. The class structure was surprisingly similar to college classes in the United States, perhaps just a bit less rigorous than at my school in the U.S. Just show up, take notes, do the homework, and some studying for the test and everything should go great. I felt as though it were very easy to manage a full semester worth of credits while still exploring everything China had to offer. Which is great, because Chengdu is an amazing city and Sichuan University is in a great location downtown. There are lots of good music venues, clubs, and bars that are all within walking distance of the school. With all the different international and local friends you will make its hard to not have something to do on the weekends. ISA takes pretty good care to get adjusted and the resident staff can help you take care of anything you might need. The program also includes a variety of excursions which were some of my biggest highlights from the trip.

How can this program be improved?
I wouldn't have minded an excursion that took us out of Sichuan Province. Chengdu is amazing and exploring Sichuan was really fun but I feel like China had more things to offer than I could experience in 4 months.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Casey
9/10

Semester in Santo Domingo

The DR is one of the chillest, most relaxing places in the world, and Santo Domingo is no exception. My four months there were the best of my life. I loved my homestay situation! My host mom was great. She was a great cook, and a majority of the other students in my group were either in the same apartment complex as me, or within a block of me. We were also very close to the colonial city, which is the place in Santo Domingo to go for entertainment. The university was good. Classes were pretty easy, and there are a lot of students who speak English, so if your Spanish isn't great, don't be turned away! There were a few students in my group who knew no Spanish going in, and by the end they could understand conversations just about as well as me, and I completed my minor in Spanish while I was there. I'm just gonna let you know about a few of the things that surprised me or that I didn't see coming. One is that Santo Domingo is a really populous city, but it's not a big city. Like, there aren't big buildings with bright lights and all that jazz, but it's still a great place with a ton to do. Also, even though SD is right on the coast, the nearest swimable beach is still about an hr guagua ride away, which is only like 2 bucks. My group and I ended up going every other weekend. The beaches are beautiful. My walk to campus was about 20-25 minutes, but keep in mind the temps will be around 90 and the humidity is always high. Also, be prepared for street harassment if you're a woman. Catcalling, whistling, and staring at women is all very normal in the DR, especially if you're alone or with other girls. You'll get used to it though. It's only dangerous if you're alone at night. How are you with mosquitoes? All the girls in my group were constantly being eaten alive. I don't think I was bit the whole time I was there, though. I hope this helps! Let me know about any questions that maybe I didn't answer for you!

How can this program be improved?
The ISA office isn't located on campus. It was about a 15 minute walk out of the way.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Emily
10/10

ISA Staff is the BEST

Honestly, one of the best and most impressive parts of my study abroad experience with International Studies Abroad was the staff that was there to help me. I don't know what I would have done without them! They helped me with trains, planes, money, hostels, events, and so much more. They even spent hours helping me plan a trip with my boyfriend after the program!

How can this program be improved?
Going to San Sebastian instead of Santander for our beach excursion.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Abigail
9/10

My Time in Belfast

The Spring semester I spent in Belfast was one of the best experiences of my life. The other students I lived with in the dorm varied from locals to a guy from Turkey, and we all became the best of friends. Also, the ISA's on-site staff was available anytime I needed, took us on amazing outings and trips. I would highly recommend this program to anyone going abroad.

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

James Clark ELAP Experiences

My ISA-ELAP experiences were great. Each day, I went into work and enjoyed learning what went on in the employees daily lives. It was great to interact with them through my language skills and talk to them about how it differs in America. Overall it was a great experience.

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

My Thoughts

Some difficulties I encountered included my own fears of teaching, and my age. I had a certain thought process which made me think that, because I am not fluent in Korean, or because I have never taught before, I would not be able to communicate to the students as well as I'd like. Teaching English, for me, was a bit difficult. It is nothing like teaching dance, you actually have to teach someone how to speak, and you have to explain to them why certain things are said the way they are said.

An example of this is when one of my students asked me what YOLO means. Though it is slang, I still felt the need to explain it. In Korea, as I heard, there is no such expression in slang. It is just used as a phrase when you talk about deep things such as "It has always been my dream to be a dancer, well I may as well try. You only live once." It is not used as an acronym in every day life. Another example was when a student asked me what "Lates" means. {Lates as in "see you later," or "later" in the "goodbye" or "see you soon" sense.} One of his other teachers dismissed the class and said "lates" to indicate that they would see each other soon. It was not as difficult to explain as YOLO, because YOLO was both an acronym and used for simple things. "Lates" was just a shortened version of "see you later/later."

My age was also of worry to me because most of my students were older than me by a few years. I had a few students which were my age and maybe one or two that were younger. I feared my age because I knew that in Korea even a year can make a difference within a relationship. So I kept quiet about my age. My students behaved in a respectable manner as expected in a proper student/teacher relationship, until a student came across my passport. Word circulated between classes and the students behaved a bit differently. They acted cutesy and childlike. They did not in anyway misbehave nor did they talk in a rude sense they just acted almost childlike. But it made things a little simpler and I grew closer to them quicker. So I am actually more thankful that this happened.

How can this program be improved?
Sadly, I cannot choose one thing. I have two things that I'd change. The first thing that didn't appeal to me was the partner teaching that I experienced. I wish I could have taught on my own. Teaching with a partner was not my favorite thing simply because my partner and I did not get along too well. There was a time where she took a marker and drew on my face with it, and another time where she kicked me in my thigh. These situations all happened with the students in the room with us. I was humiliated and disrespected all at once. The other thing was the shortness of students. I only had between 3 and eight students per class. I wish the classes would have been bigger. However, now that I re-read this paragraph, I realize these are not ISA things, these were the university's choices. Still, I felt the need to voice that for the future students, and for the mere fact that ISA may have a way of approaching Konkuk about this and they may have a potential influence on Konkuk to change the program slightly. The only thing I would change about ISA is the cost. The previous year when I wanted to apply the cost was about 1,600USD, but this summer it was almost 2,600USD which was a little hard to pay along with the plane ticket. But if I had to do it over, I would because it is very very worth it.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Zoey
10/10

How China Changed My Life

China was my first foray into international life, and I couldn't have picked a better country or study abroad program. Globalinks made sure that my day-to-day experience was exactly what I wanted. My mornings consisted of challenging classes catered to my interests, and my afternoons and evenings exploring the city and even going on excursions with both students from my program and other international students. I was able to really immerse myself in Chinese culture, both traditional and modern, and had numerous opportunities to practice the language. I don't even know where to begin with the food...I know a lot of students have that as a concern when thinking about studying abroad. They tend to wonder "what will I eat?" But if I can only have one response to that, it would be, "what WON'T you eat?!" I still crave Chinese street food to this day.

How can this program be improved?
I wish there had been a little bit more overseas staff support. The person that was supposed to be in charge of helping us out and taking us on excursions in the city we lived in was MIA most of the time. Other than that, I don't really have any complaints.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alisa
9/10

Best Decision of My Life!

I can not explain how enormously India has influenced my life in a small 'review bubble'. ISA did a great job with my pre-departure orientations. They have AMAZING support in America and in India. I spent 4.5 months in beautiful India and I am in complete love with the country. I met the most amazing friends I have ever had in Hyderabad- we still talk daily, even a year later! India is a curious place... it is dirty, crowded, busy, loud, hot, etc. but at the same time, it is completely magical... I have never felt so at peace in my life. During the week, I would go to school, go into the city with friends, hang out, play with my adopted street dog, and do homework. During weekends, we would all travel together around the country. The relaxed class structure allowed us to do this easily. ISA also made their trips extremely easy and stress free, but it was still fun to explore on our own. Luckily, our on-site advisor would help us with anything we needed (like setting up train tickets, sharing advice as to where to go, etc.) I have never known more beautiful people then I did in India. I have never seen a more beautiful place then I did in India (Munnar, to be exact). There are numerous opportunities to volunteer too! NGO's are plentiful and easy to sign up for. I taught at a migrant school down the street from my hostel and, even now, I think of my students every day. It was such an amazing experience. I can't wait to go back!

How can this program be improved?
Safety is definitely an issue in India, as it is in every other country, but sometimes we didn't even feel safe in our hostel (and it was considered the most secure on campus!)
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
lfreud
9/10

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This experience was absolutely fabulous for me and all of the other American friends that I met in Wollongong! I stayed in a housing unit called "Keiraview". At first I didn't know if I would like where I was living because it wasn't as nice as some of the other places to live, but it turns out that it was the best place I could have asked for! Each individual has their own room and bathroom in Keiraview and you share a kitchen with 7 others on your floor. It was great having my own room and bathroom because all I had to worry about was my own mess and I didn't have to wait to use the bathroom! I met so many wonderful people living in Keiraview because they make sure that many activities are planned for meeting and visiting with other individuals! A few other nice things about living in Keiraview were that it was located within walking distance from all of the shopping, dance clubs and beaches! It also has a uni bus that stops directly outside of Keiraview, which is not true for most of the other living units. I loved every aspect of my stay in Wollongong! Definitely a fantastic choice!

How can this program be improved?
The unfortunate part about going to the University of Wollongong was the fact that it is a very prestigious school and the classes can be very difficult if you end up with the wrong professors, which for a number of my classes I did. Make sure you don't take too many difficult classes at once because getting use to the schooling in Australia, along with the tough classes, makes the experience that much worse!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
ktmt
10/10

Best 6 months of my life!

Studying abroad at Lancaster University was phenomenal. Not a day goes by where I do not think back on my time there. The area is beautiful and conveniently located for travel throughout the UK. I was able to hop on a train and be in Scotland in about 2 hours or London in 3. The classes were really fascinating. A lot of the classes are centered around independent learning, so you need to be motivated and diligent.

How can this program be improved?
One of the only complaints I had was that most of the coursework came during the last weeks of the semester. So it felt a bit crammed. Other than that, I don't have complaints.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
CRick
9/10

Wollongong and Shoalhaven Campuses

Wollongong is a metropolitan town, close to Sydney and beautiful Jervis Bay, Berry and Gerroa/Gerringong. As I am based at the Shoalhaven campus in Nowra, I only spend 1 day a week at the Wollongong campus. The Shoalhaven campus is small but offers free parking and kangaroos! The Wollongong campus has excellent amenities (food, UniBar, sporting facilities) and a wide range of clubs/societies to join. There are many resources for International students, including planned outings and adventures to take part in to help you make friends and explore Australia. The town itself is easy to navigate with many ethnic restaurants, night clubs and of course North Gong Beach.

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

Study Abroad in Swansea, Wales!

I had the best experience of my life in Swansea! The staff at GlobalLinks and Swansea's study abroad centre helped to make students at home right away!

I lived in Hendrefoelan Student Village in a house with 9 other students (2 from US, 4 from Wales, 3 from England), which was only a short bus ride or about a 1.5 walk from the main campus. The orientation program and field trips were a great chance to meet the other American students before classes started and the GlobalLinks program in Manchester was also very informative and a lot of fun!

I had an amazing experience overall and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people, traveling, experiencing the epic night life on Wind Street (Yates, Odyssey, Oceana), and taking classes across the street from the beach! I definitely recommend living in the student village and London is only 3 hours away by train. If you want to travel, I recommend getting a Young Person's railcard and also to book train tickets way in advance. Finally, definitely explore the Gower Peninsula. Buses leave from the Quadrant and from the bus stop at the bottom of the student village and go all the way to Rhossili. Caswell Bay, Three Cliffs Bay, Oxwich Beach, and Rhossili were my favorites. There is a wicked long break in April so plan ahead to do lots of traveling then!

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

The experience of a lifetime

Being able to live with Japanese host families, and see so many different places in Japan during such a short period of time is amazing.
I got to speak a lot of Japanese, learn so much about the culture, eat amazing home cooked meals every day from my host families and share and compare my experiences with people from all over the world.
I'd definitely recommend this program for anyone who's interested in learning more about Japan and make friends from all over the world.

I have friends from Uzbekistan now. I never thought that would happen.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Mertz028
10/10

Perfect

The University of Waikato is an extremely diverse school with students from all over the world. Living on campus was both convenient and played a large role in the number of friends I was able to meet. Nearly every other international student also lived on campus and we formed a large network of friends. Also, living on campus made it easy to meet kiwis that I normally would not have met. During the week I would normally go to my classes, work out at the campus gym (and take one of the many AWESOME work out classes offered), and see all of my friends every single day. Typically 1 or 2 nights a week we would go into the bars in town or take a friday off to travel. Hamilton is probably the best location on the north Island. It is close enough to Auckland (1.5 hours) that it is possible to take day trips there, only 45 minutes from Raglan which has amazing surfing and black sand beaches, and centrally located to every other destination on the North Island (no more than 5 or 6 hours drive). While Hamilton is a 45 minute plane ride or an 8 hour drive + ferry ride from the South Island, we took our 2 week fall break to go to the south island. It was AMAZING. New Zealand is the most beautiful country in the world and truly impossible to describe. You have to see it with your own eyes.

Yes, I recommend this program

About ISA (International Studies Abroad)

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...