ISA Alumni Network

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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!

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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

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.56 Rating
based on 27 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 27
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Eduardo
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Jacob
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Casey
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
The ISA office isn't located on campus. It was about a 15 minute walk out of the way.
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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
Going to San Sebastian instead of Santander for our beach excursion.
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Abigail
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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

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.

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Mina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Zoey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.