Application and Eligibility
If I want to apply for more than one program, do I have to send in multiple applications?
No; if you are applying for consecutive programs, please fill out the Program Information section of the application accordingly, providing information from all programs you will participate in. You will, however, need to submit 2 deposits of $200 each.
Can my application, deposit, and transcript arrive separately, or do they have to be sent together?
Application materials may arrive separately (and in any order) and do not have to be sent all together. However, your application will not be evaluated until all materials have been received.
Do I have to send in an official transcript?
Yes. We must receive an official transcript from your home university. We cannot accept unofficial or student generated transcripts.
Is my deposit refundable?
No. Your $200 application deposit is non-refundable once submitted.
Does the Credit Verification section on page 4 of the application have to be signed by my university study abroad office or admissions office?
The Credit Verification section does need to be signed by your university. ISA includes this portion in the application process to encourage students to begin working with their U.S. university's study abroad office and familiarizing themselves with their specific requirements and policies. If a student does not have this signed, they should attach a note of explanation. Acceptance is determined on an individual basis.
Can I participate in a program right out of high school?
Yes, ISA has Gap Year programs where recent high school graduates can participate in ISA programs along side regular ISA participants. To get more information on Gap Year approved programs, please visit the Gap Year section of the website.
Can I participate in a program if I have already graduated/am a graduate student?
It may be possible depending on the program. Please contact the appropriate Program Manager to see if acceptance is possible. There will most likely be additional requirements for the application process.
My GPA does not meet the minimum requirement. Can I still apply?
Exceptions may be made to the GPA requirements. An academic letter of recommendation and a letter of intent will be required of any student who does not meet the GPA requirement for most programs. Please contact the appropriate Program Manager for details. Please note that submitting these items does not guarantee admission to the program. Programs at the Pompeu Fabra University and the Autonomous University in Barcelona, Spain; the Univeristy of El Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic; King's College in London, England and the University of Hyderabad in Hyderabad, India will not admit students who do not meet the GPA requirement.
It is after the application deadline. Can I still apply?
ISA may be able to accept applications after the application deadline. Please contact the appropriate program manager to see if this is possible. A $150 late fee will apply.
Can I also participate in an internship or volunteer while I am abroad?
What happens after I'm accepted?
You will receive an acceptance email and an email that will give you a username and password to your ISA student portal. Please note that the ISA given password will expire after 5 days.
When will I receive my acceptance packet?
You will not receive an acceptance packet in the mail. Instead you will receive access to your on-line ISA student portal, where you can view forms and payment information that pertain to your program.
What are the housing options available?
There are many different housing options and they vary from site to site. Please reference the housing
section under each program on the website for details.
What if I don't have my flight booked before the Final Forms and Payment due date?
Your flight form and itinerary are due 4 weeks prior to the start date of your program. If we receive the information any later than that, we may not be able to arrange for you to be picked up at the airport.
Does ISA arrange group flights? Is this included in the price of the program?
ISA facilitates group flights through STA for programs in the Pacific Region. Please refer to the "How to Book Your Flight" form located in your ISA student portal for tips to help you purchase your airline ticket and/or for details on how to participate in the group flight. Flights are not included in the program price.
Will I be picked up at the airport upon arrival?
Airport transfer is included for all students arriving on the specified arrival date and timeframe (see below for more info about this date) with the exception of the intensive month programs. Intensive month students, J-Term students and students arriving on a day other than the specified arrival day should find their own transportation from the airport or call the ISA office to see if it is possible to arrange an airport pick-up for an extra fee.
What day should I depart from the U.S.?
All students should depart the U.S. on their program start date, which is listed on the ISA website, catalogue and student portal. Depending on where you are flying, you will either arrive that same day (i.e. Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Peru) or the next day (i.e. Asia, Europe, Middle East or North Africa, and most of South America). You will receive more detailed flight information guidelines in your student portal. If you depart from anywhere other than the U.S., please check with ISA before you confirm your flights.
Can I arrive late? Can I arrive early?
Late arrival for the ISA program dates, without advance permission from ISA, is not permissible. In addition, orientation meetings on-site are mandatory. Early arrivals are permitted, but students are responsible for their own lodging and airport pick-up.
What day should I depart at the end of the program?
You should make arrangements to return to the U.S. on the last day of the program, unless you want to extend your stay in your host country for personal travel. You will finish your classes and all group activities on the day prior to the last day of the program listed in the ISA catalogue and on the website. If you stay in your host country longer, to travel on your own, you may extend your medical insurance coverage for $25 per week, up to four weeks. Please contact your program manger before the Final Forms and Payment due date to discuss this option.
Will I be taken to the airport upon departure of the host country?
All ISA students are responsible for making their way independently to the airport at the end of their program with the following exceptions: the summer program in Salamanca and the semester, academic year and summer programs in Chile, Colombia, Jordan and Morocco. ISA will offer return airport transportation for these programs ONLY on the designated departure date and to the designated airport. Please contact your appropriate program manager for details.
Can I leave the program a day early?
ISA requires that students remain in the program until the end of classes and/or final exams, and will not pre-approve early departures.
Passports and Visas
Do I have to have a passport to study abroad?
Yes, all ISA program countries require that you have a passport. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with your local consulate for advice regarding traveling/studying in another country.
How do I apply for a passport?
You can find passport applications and detailed information on how to apply on the webpage of the U.S. State Department: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. Generally, post offices and sometimes courthouses serve as passport application sites. This process can take up to 10 weeks, so be sure to apply early!
Can I still send in the application even though I don't have a passport yet?
Yes; just leave that section of the application blank, and send us a copy of your passport when you do receive it.
My passport will expire shortly after my program ends. Is this a problem?
Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least 3 months after you are scheduled to return. It is your responsibility to be aware of the entry requirements for your program country.
Do I need a visa for my program?
Many ISA programs do require a visa. Please contact ISA and the country's consulate website (links can be found on the ISA website) for details. Please note that if a visa is required for your program, you are responsible for securing your own visa.
Payment, Withdrawals and Refunds
Does ISA accept credit cards?
Yes, credit cards may be used for any portion of the program price (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). All program fees can also be paid by personal check, cashier's check, or money order.
Does ISA have payment plans available?
To arrange a payment plan, please contact the ISA office prior to the payment due date. There is a $150 fee, and monthly installments will be arranged with the final payment at least two weeks prior to the start date of the program.
Does ISA charge late fees?
If the program is not paid in full by the Final Forms and Payment due date, a late fee of $150 is incurred. For students on financial aid, at the very minimum a good faith payment is required by the Final Forms and Payment due date in order to guarantee a student's placement in the program. If the program is not paid in full by the Final Forms and Payment due date, a late fee of $150 is incurred. For students on financial aid, at the very minimum a good faith payment is required by the Final Forms and Payment due date in order to guarantee a student's placement in the program. Please see the Paying With Financial Aid section of the website.
If I participate in an academic year program, do I have to pay for the entire year all at once?
In order to receive the discounted year price (versus the sum of the two semester prices), the academic year needs to be paid in full by the Final Forms and Payment due date.
If I withdraw, what kind of refund will I receive?
Please refer to the "Cancellation Policy" located on the program Application.
Can I use my federal and institutional financial aid towards my study abroad program?
This is determined by your home university. Your first step is to speak with your home university's financial aid office and let them know you?re going abroad. Then, they can assist in determining which aid is available to you and whether it?s transferable to your program. Please keep in mind your home university must process the financial aid and list the awards on your Verification of Award form in order to defer payment of those aid until it is disbursed. Your home university will either disburse the aid directly to ISA or to you in order to make payment to ISA.
What if my university cannot complete my Verification of Award by the final forms and payment deadline?
If your US university cannot package your aid or complete the VOA form by your final forms and payment deadline, ISA can create a payment plan for your current program balance. Upon receipt of your VOA, pay plan installment amounts can be adjusted to reflect your out of pocket balance. If you'd like to pursue a payment plan, you can contact your Program Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the Good Faith Payment?
The Good Faith Payment is the minimum amount due to ISA by your final forms and payment deadline, in order for ISA to continue making program arrangements on your behalf. Please note this is not an additional fee; the Good Faith Payment will be applied toward your overall balance. A Good Faith Payment is collected from all students, even if the financial aid covers the entire program balance. Payments can be made online through your student portal.
What if my financial aid funds won't be released until after my program starts?
It's quite common for universities not to release financial aid funds until the university received confirmation that the student is on-site and enrolled in classes. The Verification of Award form is essential in allowing ISA to defer funds until they are disbursed, even if it's after your program starts. Keep in mind that all financial aid must be disbursed before the mid-point of your program.
What is the timeline for paying with financial aid?
By the final forms and payment deadline, ISA should either have full payment, or one of the following options should be arranged: 1) A completed VOA form covering the full program balance, plus a good faith payment (and housing deposit if applicable); 2) A completed VOA covering part of the program balance, plus an out of pocket balance greater than or equal to the good faith payment; or 3) a completed VOA covering part of the program balance, plus a payment plan for the remaining out of pocket balance.