What is the application process?
Applications can be submitted on-line by following the
Applications may also be downloaded from our website and should be sent to our ISA Austin office along with the $200 deposit and an official transcript from the participant's U.S. university (any attended).
What do they need to do at their home university in order to study abroad with ISA?
ISA encourages students to work closely with their university's study abroad office and their academic advisor when deciding on a program and selecting classes. A signature from the home university is required on the ISA application for participation in an ISA program.
The home university may be able to provide resources for scholarship opportunities and/or have a distinct approval process for students to follow before participating in an off-campus program. Students need to work with their home university to determine how credits taken abroad will transfer, and also if they are able to use their financial aid on their ISA study abroad program.
What are the due dates for the programs?
Each program has its own application due date and final forms and payment due date. Please visitto view the specific due dates for the program they are interested in.
What resources will my student receive prior to departure?
After the final forms and payment due date, students will be granted access to their ISA Site Specific Orientation Handbook on their ISA Student Portal. This will prove very helpful when deciding what to pack, how much money to take, necessary visa information, what to expect while abroad, etc.
The student should keep a close eye on their ISA Student Portal, as that is where they will find all of their final forms, payment information, housing assignments, final arrival information, etc. Parents will not receive forms or reminders from ISA; all program information will be sent directly to the student.
What is the ISA Student Portal?
All ISA students have access to an on-line account, where they can find all their final forms and payment information. Each student has their own log-in information to access their personal account. Payment (if applicable) can be made via the ISA Student Portal and this is where they will submit all of the forms for the program virtually.
How do their classes transfer back to their home university?
This is completely up to the home university, so students should work with their home university before departure to ensure they know how the credits will transfer upon their return to the U.S.. ISA will provide the home university with the transcript from the host university and a translation with the suggested grades, based off the typical American grading system.
Do they need a visa for their program?
Many ISA programs do require a visa. Please refer to the country'sfor details and contact ISA if you have any questions. Please note that if a visa is required for their program, they are responsible for securing this on their own.
A visa service is offered for select Spanish consulates, so students studying in Spain should contact their ISA Site Specialist for more information.
For programs that require a visa letter, the letter will be mailed to the student's permanent address, so it is important for family to watch for these in the mail, as they are very difficult and costly to replace.
Is Health Insurance included in the program?
Yes, this is included in all ISA programs for the program dates. If a student wants to extend their coverage, they may contact their ISA Program Manager. A full description of coverage can be viewed.
Are there any resources available for booking flights?
Please refer toof the ISA website. Students can also use the information in their Online Orientation on the ISA Student Portal for help with the purchase of an airline ticket. They must read the "How to Book Your Flight Form" on the ISA Student Portal before purchasing their airline ticket.
ISA does not recommend purchasing any airline tickets before the student has been accepted to an ISA program.
What days should they book their flight for?
It is important for students to reference their ISA Student Portal to be sure of the program and flight dates, as it varies by program. Please have your student contact their ISA Program Manager or Site Specialist if there is still any confusion after reading the "How to Book Your Flight Form" on the ISA Student Portal.
Students must arrive on the correct arrival day, during the pick up times, in order to have airport pickup included. Most intensive month programs do not include airport pickup, however please refer to your student's program to confirm this detail.
On-site orientation meetings are mandatory and thus deviation from the ISA program dates is not permissible in most cases.
Where can they access the invoice or receipt for their program?
Students are able to generate a program invoice and review their payment history within their ISA Student Portal account under the Payments & Charges section. If the student will work out payment for the program directly with their university, their Payments & Charges section will indicate this. Otherwise all payment is due to ISA by the final forms and payment due date.
What forms of payment does ISA accept?
All program fees and deposits can be paid by credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), personal check, cashier's check, or money order. Payment cannot be accepted over the phone, however payment can be made on-line through the ISA Student Portal or by faxing the.
How can they pay on-line?
Students can pay through their ISA Student Portal, via credit/debit cards only (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover). They may be used for any portion of the program price.
Students can make a payment by clicking "Make a Payment" in the Payments & Charges section. They need to be sure to add a detailed description as to what they are paying for, so that the ISA Program Manager can balance their account accordingly.
What if they are on financial aid?
ISA accepts financial aid from U.S. universities upon receipt of the ISA Verification of Award and the good faith payment. Please refer to Paying withfor more detailed information on the four different payment options if the student is on financial aid.
Are there scholarships available?
Yes. ISA offers scholarships and there are many study abroad scholarships out there that students can apply for as well. Clickto learn more about the different scholarship opportunities available.
Does ISA have payment plans available?
Yes. 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 due 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. The required good faith payments can be found.
If they participate in an academic year program, do they 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 they withdraw, will they receive a refund?
Please refer to the
How will I know my student has arrived?
We strongly encourage students to call family once they arrive and encourage you to tell your student to do the same. It is a good idea for students to travel with calling cards or a cell phone so they can contact you or ISA should they encounter any delays, and to confirm their arrival in their final destination city. If they do not contact you right away be assured that many students have orientation activities upon arrival that could delay their phone call or e-mail.
How can I stay in touch with my student throughout their stay?
Luckily it is very easy now to stay in touch with the availability of e-mail and on-line calling all over the world. It is a good idea to make sure both you and your student have an on-line calling account set up before departure from the U.S.. Students should not rely on having internet in their living accommodations, and if they do, remember that internet connections abroad are not the same as they are in the US and are often much slower and less reliable. All ISA offices have computers that students can use, in addition to the internet cafes found around most cities. Keep in mind that emails and letters are a great way to help participants with any culture shock they may be going through.
Can I send my student money through ISA?
Depending on the site, ISA can provide a moderate emergency loan for a fee. This is not to be used unless the situation is urgent, and we encourage you to talk to your student before they depart about budgeting and safe money handling while abroad. It is also a good idea to set up a bank account where you can transfer money to your student should they need it.
What can I expect from my student once they arrive on-site?
Everyone reacts to living in another country in different ways. Some students experience heavy culture shock, some have a hard time integrating right away, and some become so engrossed in their experience that they do not stay in close contact with friends/family back home. You are just encouraged to be there for your student should they need support, but also give them the freedom to experience the site where they are living and know they may not be in contact as often as you are used to.
If my student has an issue during their time abroad, what should I do?
Please encourage your student to contact the ISA staff on-site as they are there to help them alleviate any problems.
What can I expect from my student who recently returned from studying abroad?
Keep in mind that regardless of the length of time spent abroad, students sometimes experience some discomfort with family, friends and surroundings upon their return. Life at home has moved on while they were away and they may feel a little out of place while trying to re-adjust. Additionally, the student has grown and changed in a way that is different from his or her peers, and can find that change difficult to explain and understand. This is called "reverse culture shock" and parents are encouraged to be aware of these re-entry feelings.
Students can contact ISA or their university study abroad office to learn about ways to handle re-entry issues, to in international education , or to share their experiences with other students. These are great ways to readjust to life at home.
When will the housing deposit be refunded (if applicable)?
Housing deposits are typically returned between 3 and 8 weeks after the program ends, (if one was made for alternative housing) once it is confirmed with the resident staff that no damages have been made to the student's housing accommodations. This timeline cannot be guaranteed due to several factors, including holidays abroad. ISA does strive to return the housing deposits as soon as possible.
When will the transcript from the program be available?
Depending on the host university, transcripts can take 2-3 months to arrive in Austin. ISA Austin then translates the transcripts and sends the original to the home university that the student indicated on the Transcript and Grade Contestation form. A copy is also sent to their permanent address. Students can check the status of their transcripts
How can my student request additional transcripts?
Please reference the
How can I get a price breakdown of the program for tax purposes?
In order to receive a price breakdown for tax purposes, please e-mail the financial aid department, at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the following information:
-Program Term and Year
-Subject of e-mail "This is a tuition request for tax purposes"