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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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Reviews

96%
based on 27 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 16 - 27 of 27
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JPStull
9/10

The greatest 4 months of my 21years

Unequivocally the greatest experience. EuroLearn provided a 4 day orientation in London that proved boring and valuable. After that there was a three week orientation at Swansea that was only international students. That was cool getting to know the Americans before everybody got there. I still see some of them time to time. Swansea has epic nightlife on Wind Street and the Kingsway. Three hour train from London, then a 90min flight to almost anywhere in Europe. Get the young person's rail card for sure, it pays for itself quickly. Be sure to check out the Welsh National Museums as well as the local ones. They are a great foundation to construction your own definition of "welshness", which is something that escapes most people...even the Welsh!

Yes, I recommend this program
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daniel
9/10

Wollongong has everything you need

The University of Wollongong is in an ideal location no matter what you do for fun. For those that like to surf, Wollongong has some of the best beaches in Australia located just minutes away from most of the housing communities. Like to hike/climb/explore? The city is located between the ocean and the mountains with tons of trails to hike and rock climbing routes. The city's public transportation is very efficient and has a free bus that runs until 10 on weekdays and 8 on weekends that gets you to uni and downtown. The nightlife is great with tons of clubs and pubs depending on what you prefer and the dorms provide safe transportation to and from these venues. You can also get to Sydney easily if you like the large city scene and going out at night is not hard because you can take the train back as late as 4am. The school system is also one of the top in the world and the staff is extremely helpful for internationals and make sure you understand how things may be different than you are used to. The only down part to my experience was the first 2 weeks I was here(end of July) it rained almost every day and was cold but the locals said it was the worst winter they've ever had. Since then it has been paradise! Definitely consider UOW if you want to get away from the large cities like Sydney but still want to have all the activities conveniently close.

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

Unforgettable

My summer in Beppu was an unforgettable experience. The program is only 8 weeks long, but it was more than enough time to learn the beautiful language, befriend students and locals, and experience a new culture.

The program emphasizes intensive Japanese language classes with twelve 95 minute class sessions each week. Although this sounds daunting, it was actually quite feasible. Class levels are split into four groups depending on your language proficiency, and the individual class sizes are small enough that the teachers can assess your progress better. The teachers themselves are amazing. We spent as much time laughing as we did learning.

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) is unique because it is composed of so many international students. Sometimes it may seem difficult to practice the language skills you are learning, but the program does assign you an APU buddy to provide support and a friend with whom you can practice. There are also your dorm-mates! We lived in the dorm buildings, which made it very convenient to get to classes. If you hang around the lounge, there's always someone new to meet.

And as with any university, you're more guaranteed to make friends when you become involved in the student organizations, or 'circles.' Don't be afraid to check them out in the beginning!

It is also possible to practice Japanese within downtown Beppu as you shop or explore the night scene. The locals are quite accustomed to foreigners thanks to the university, and everyone I met was welcoming and so polite even when I accidentally annihilated their language. Going downtown takes about 30-40 minutes by bus, and trips can become expensive. Buy the triple tickets to save money!

Most of my language skills were put to practice just to eat though. Food can be purchased at the university cafeteria, where you can select from Japanese, Western, or the current week's ethnic selection; the co-op, which functions like a convenience store; nearby supermarkets if you'd prefer cooking your own meals (there are kitchens in the dorms); and of course, restaurants. Japanese ramen- not the instant you survive on in college- is delicious and addicting. And cheap!

Aside from language study, the program will provide cultural experiences as well. We had a weekend trip in Nagasaki, learned about calligraphy and the tea ceremony, and spent a weekend in the rural community with a host family. I enjoyed every minute of these activities. Your appreciation of the people, their history, and their lively culture grows exponentially each time.

If I could do anything differently, it would have been to check the weather conditions. The program pamphlet will warn you that June is the rainy season, and it wasn't kidding. Bring a sturdy umbrella! And remember that this is island weather: it will be hot and humid. Pack accordingly!

In the end, I wish I had more than 8 weeks. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Yes, I recommend this program
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hrichards
9/10

Program Desription Not Accurate

Overall, I had a great time in Chengdu! I love the city and the people I met during the program really made the trip amazing. I would go back to China in a heartbeat, maybe a few different cities, but I can see myself spending more time learning the language possibly working there.

Best parts about this program:
The friends I made (cheesy I know, but they are amazing people).
The food! Oh my god, Sichuan food and Chinese food in general is the greatest in the world, and I am severely craving ShanDong jian bing!
Lui Ming. I hope he continues to teach the program in further years. He was the professor for some of the cultural classes, and he was the most honest and honorable professor.
Night life. The campus is ridiculously close to bar street, and little bar street so it makes the weekends super fun - definitely stop and get street skewers and play with a monkey on your way back.
Our Mandarin professor. Honestly dont know her name, we had a rough start, but by the end of the program that class was my favorite!
Cost of living. You can live like a king in China for really cheap! Im pretty sure on the of guys that went actually only spent like $400 while he was over there. (I may have broken the bank a little bit more haha)
The 'Tibetan' village trip. Absolutely a great time!

Worst parts about this program:
Some of the random lectures, i.e. environmental issues, international business. These were long, circular lectures. Most of us walked away from these wondering why we sat through it. Most had NOTHING to do with China.
Dawn, the university rep. She wasnt the nicest person in the world and didnt always tell us everything. She also might have copped an attitude with us a few times.
The misleading information given to us when we signed up. You dont stay in a university dorm, you stay in a hotel on campus. You dont go to a Tibetan village, you go to a BaiMa village, etc.
The weather. Okay this isnt really the worst thing about the program, but I definitely wasnt the most prepared for Chengdu weather. It rained A LOT, and it was super humid. I am not used to humidity at all so it took quite a while to get used to.

About the Tibetan village trip: This was one of the best nights I had during the entire trip. Sucked that we spent something like 11 hours getting there (7 hours driving, then the rest was lunch and stops because there was construction cramping our style and causing rock slides in the road) but only 14 hours, including sleep time, at the actual village. We danced with locals and had a goat roast and overall it was a great time. Unfortunately, we did not go to a Tibetan village. We went to a BaiMa village. They are not Tibetan. I don't know why AsiaLearn advertises it as Tibetan, and I don't know why the university representative led us to believe they were Tibetan until so close to the actual trip. Sometimes they can be grouped with ethnic Tibetans because they are a minority group but they do not even practice Tibetan Buddhism, but rather BaiMa. A person in my group even asked our Tibetan studies professor if they were Tibetan and he just said, "They don't think so."

I think everyone that did this summer program was let down. We felt a lot of the activities were falsely advertised. A couple of quick examples: One weekend the University representative explained the weekend would include a trip to the Leshan Giant Buddha, then an hour drive to Mount Emei, where we would stay on the mountain in a monastery and wake up the next day at 4am to watch monks chanting. After we would continue up the mountain to the giat golden Buddha. Unfortunately, we were misled. We stayed in Emei Shan City, which is not on the mountain at all, we stayed at a local hotel then walked to the monastery at 4am, where we all felt very intrusive walking around while the monks prepared the chant. We stayed for only about 20 min...

I dont want to discourage anyone from doing this, I just want them to know that the program was a little different than what we were led to believe. I had a great time. The city is a lot of fun and Chinese are really welcoming of Americans. Chinese students always want to hang out and practice their English and older people get a kick out of it if you arent Chinese. As far as safety goes, China is safest country I have been to. Cab drivers are extremely honest, and actually everyone is extremely honest when it comes to money. That doesnt mean people wont try and over charge you for a souvenir, but it does mean they will always give you your change. At night, I felt just as safe as during the daylight.

China is an amazing country that is rich in history and culture. It is beautiful in its own way and I would love to go back and travel more. Especially since that means I can eat more of my favorite foods like Beijing duck.

Yes, I recommend this program
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HappyMemories
10/10

What a Whirlwind of Experiences!

My only complaints would have to be the bug bites are super itchy (be sure to have calamine lotion!), and the fact that there are 2 dryers on a floor and they don't work well. That's easily solve if you bring hangers and just hang things around your room. The R.A.s are very friendly and helpful. I recommend trying to do homework in the lobby or lounge area of your floor where you can work in groups, get things done faster, meet a lot of great people, and hang out with said individuals. It's a great way to make friends!

Class moves fast, but the professors aren't dictators. They're actually really nice, and they're often not too much older than the class, so they can relate to their students well. We have a great time in class and their teaching techniques really make it enjoyable. Cafeteria food is awesome, especially the Ethnic Food line! Joining a circle is another great way to make friends, stay active, and practicing your speaking/listening skills (one of my favorites was salsa circle :D)

Yes, I recommend this program
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zk97
10/10

An amazing experience from beginning to end

What an amazing experience! It was especially convenient that the program was only 8 weeks during the summer, because if it had been longer I don't know if I would of had the chance to go abroad. I that with a grain of salt however, as I will truly miss all of the people I met through the program.

While I don't feel the program was incredibly difficult, I still learned a lot, and because I wasn't kept busy with homework 24/7 I had many opportunities to travel, meet new people, and truly experience life in Japan.

I lived on campus which was nice for class, but made it tough to get into the city of Beppu. There is a direct bus which is timely, but it got to be a little expensive. Also if you go during June, don't forget an umbrella. They don't call it the rainy season for nothin'.

Overall I had an amazing experience, and I recommend this program for anyone of any language ability to try this program.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jessica
10/10

Eye-opening Experience!

Attending the Challenge New Zealand course was what I hoped would be a life-changing experience, and it certainly was. My health had gone downhill and I wasn't really sure where I was going in life and going to New Zealand changed all of that. As a group, we climbed to the top of Mount Tongariro, and that was the highlight of the trip for me. It pushed my body to limits I had no idea even existed (I thought for sure, because of my health problems, that my body was going to crumble and I was never going to make it to the top). I learned so much about myself and how much I was truly capable of doing and since then I have been accepted to an amazing school, moved into my own apartment and am realizing how much life has to offer. Anyone, of any age, could most definitely benefit from this program. New Zealand is a gorgeous country full of learning experiences.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Anna
10/10

Kiwis Love Adventure

This trip was a life changing experience for me. It was jam packed with adventure which also challenged us both physically and mental. Both of the instructors were a blast. I would highly recommend this course for people who love adventure.

Yes, I recommend this program
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mmidgett
8/10

Ultimate Australian Experience

I've been home for over a month now and I still think about my Australian experience every day. The location--Cairns in Tropical North Queensland--is amazing and has everything you could possibly want: pristine beaches, excellent mountain hiking, a lively night life, a relaxed atmosphere and of course, the Great Barrier Reef. We were housed at the student lodge across the street from the university and the students there welcomed the five of us Australearn students and included us in all of their activities, taking us out, showing us around town, inviting us to their beach bon fires. I made more friends, and close ones at that, than I ever thought possible in 3 weeks. The class, though not quite what I was expecting academically, was really interesting and I learned a lot about community development on our 4 day camping trip into the bush; we visited an aboriginal community as well as Cooktown, the first non-indigenous settlement in Australia. It definitely brought me closer to the other students in the class, as well as to the other four Australearn students. In addition to the field trip, we also had the opportunity of visiting a sea turtle rehabilitation center. If I had to pick the one best thing about this program, it's that it gives you so many opportunities that a normal tourist would never have.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Katie
10/10

Once in a Lifetime

I arrived in the UK with two suitcases, enough for a cab to my residence and apprehension for the semester to come. Once finished unpacking, I scrambled together all the courage I had and knocked on someone's door; it was the best decision I could have made. Instantly the people in my hall took me around, showed me the ropes and became a wonderful core group of friends that I would go out with, stay in with, and ultimately spend most of my experience abroad with. There was so much to do and see, and it was so easy to get to other countries in the European Union that I was able to explore and really come to see other cultures and new places.

The most difficult part of the experience though, was definitely academic. The different styles of teaching promoted a much more independent style of learning which I was definitely not accustomed to. Once I did get used to the lecture and tutorial class structure, I was still faced with a lot of outside reading and learning to accomplish what I did. The Eurolearn staff prepared us that our grades may not be as high as we generally achieve. Being very a conscientious student, my grades would have seriously shocked me had it not been for their warning and I'm so glad they gave me that warning. Though challenged greatly academically, I learned so much about my subject (mathematics) that makes me want to study further in fields of mathematics that I didn't know existed.

My study abroad experience at the University of Manchester was incredible and unforgettable. The Eurolearn staff was so helpful in preparing us for the changes in academics and social life that the transition was much smoother than I ever could have imagined. I made friends that I will keep forever, memories that I will always have to look fondly upon and an academic experience like nothing I've ever had before. I would encourage all students considering a study abroad experience to go. The experience changes your life in such a positive way. I have gained so much independence, confidence, and perspective that I am now realizing a world of opportunities that await me.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Steingraber
9/10

Learn About Yourself Internationally

I found this to be a great way to grow in many aspects of my life. It is a great way to interact with people from another country and gain valuable experience that can be applied directly into the work field.I was able to work with a variety of businessman as well as a variety of students. One of the highlights was working with the Uni Snow Games. This was an awesome event to be a part of.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Meliss4232
10/10

Sweet As!

I studied abroad with AustraLearn for a year at the University of Waikato in 2004-2005. The university was full of friendy students and staff and the local to international student ratio gave me an outstanding chance to live and learn with local students.

I was the only U.S. student in my housing (1 American, 23 Kiwi's) so I was able to make friends quickly.

Hamilton is a great city for a semester abroad. It's location is ideal for travel, 1.5 hours south of Auckland, 1 hour from Rotorua, 45 minutes east or west to the beach... The proximity of Hamilton to all of these amazing locations made me want to travel every weekend.

AustraLearn was great when it came to setting up my program, their on-site orientation was a lot of fun and gave me a chance to meet other students before I set foot on campus. My AustraLearn advisor was friendly and always available to help me with my million questions.

I would reccommend this university and AustraLearn to anyone thinking about going to New Zealand!

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...