Application and Eligibility
If I want to apply for more than one program, do I have to send in multiple applications?
No, you can complete just one application and indicate an additional program. If the programs are in different locations, there is a $200 deposit required per program location. The deposits are applied towards your program balance.
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 together. Your application is evaluated once all application materials are received.
Do I have to send in an official transcript?
Yes. We must receive an official transcript from each university attended. We cannot accept unofficial or student-generated transcripts. For most programs, an official e-transcript can be accepted. Please confirm this with your Program Manager.
Is my deposit refundable?
No, your $200 application deposit is non-refundable once submitted. However, it may be deferred to another program if you have to cancel. Contact your Program Manager for more information.
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 during 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.
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 certain ISA program locations. . 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 can be made to the GPA requirement. For most programs, an academic letter of recommendation and a letter of intent will be required of any student who does not meet the GPA requirement. Submitting these additional materials does not guarantee acceptance. In addition, certain programs will not be able to accept a student who does not meet the GPA requirement. Please contact the appropriate Program Manager for details.
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 check on this possibility.
Can I also participate in an internship or volunteer while I am abroad?
Yes! You can enroll in a full-time internship or service-learning program, or participate in an internship or service-learning program and enroll in academic
courses at a host university abroad.
What happens after I'm accepted?
You will receive an acceptance email and have access to additional forms in your portal to complete by the due date.
What are the housing options available?
There are many different housing options and they vary by location. Please reference the Housing
tab on each program location for details.
What if I don't have my flight booked before the Final Forms and Payment due date?
Your flight itinerary and travel form should be submitted no later than 4 weeks prior to the start date of your program, and this due date will be reflected in your portal. If you submit it after this due date, 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?
No, ISA does not arrange group flights. Once accepted, the "How to Book Your Flight" form, located in your ISA student portal, will provide instructions for booking your flight. Do not book your flight before you have access to this form. Flights will be an additional cost and 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 or j-term programs. Intensive month or J-term students and students arriving on a day other than the specified arrival day and time should find their own transportation from the airport or call the ISA office to see if it is possible to arrange 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, and either arrive on the same day or the following day, depending on their program location. You should not book any airfare until you can review the ?How to Book Your Flight Form? in your ISA portal. Students departing from outside the U.S. should make sure that they are arriving on the correct day to their program location. Reach out to your Program Manager with questions.
Can I arrive late? Can I arrive early?
Late arrival for the ISA program dates, without advance permission from ISA, is not allowed. All orientation meetings on-site are mandatory. Early arrivals are permitted, but students are responsible for their own lodging for any additional days as well as transportation costs.
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. Make sure you do not overstay your visa (if applicable). You will finish your classes and all group activities on the day prior to the last day of your program. If you stay in your host country after your program dates to travel you may extend your insurance coverage for $25 per week, up to four weeks. Please contact your Program Manger 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; however, there are some program locations where drop-off is included. Please reference the How to Book Your Flight Form in your ISA portal 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 cannot pre-approve early departures.
Passports and Visas
Do I have to have a passport to study abroad?
Yes, all ISA program locations require that you have a passport to travel. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with your local consulate 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. This process can take between 4-8 weeks, so be sure to apply early! You can choose to pay for expedited processing to ensure it arrives on time.
Can I still send in the application even though I don't currently have a passport?
Yes, your passport information is not required to apply to an ISA program. However, please make sure to apply or renew your passport immediately as you will need to submit a copy to ISA, either during the application process or by the final forms and payment due date, depending on your program requirements.
My passport will expire shortly after my program ends. Is this a problem?
Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled return date. It is your responsibility to be aware of the entry and exit requirements for your program country. We would encourage you to renew your passport if it will expire shortly after your program end date to avoid any issues with being allowed entry.
Do I need a visa for my program?
Many ISA programs do require a visa, but not all. Please contact your ISA Site Specialist for details and you can visit the country's consulate website for details. If a visa is required for your program, you are responsible for securing it.
Payment, Withdrawals and Refunds
Does ISA accept credit cards?
Yes, credit cards may be used for any portion of the program price (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover). 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 $25 fee, and payment installments will be arranged with the final payment no later than two weeks before the start date of the program.
Does ISA charge late fees?
If payment is not arranged by the Final Forms and Payment due date, a late payment fee of $50 may be assessed. For students on financial aid, a good faith payment is required by the Final Forms and Payment due date in order to guarantee a student's place 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?
Yes, the payment for the Academic Year program is required by the Year program?s due date. This secures your participation in both semesters, and typically the Year program is discounted compared to signing up for both semesters separately.
If I withdraw, what kind of refund will I receive?
Please refer to the Cancellation Policy both on our website and the ISA 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. 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 (located in your ISA portal). Your home university will either disburse the aid directly to ISA or to you, for you 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 any out of pocket balance. If you'd like to arrange 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. This amount varies per program, and you can find it here under the Good Faith Payments section. Please note the Good Faith Payment is not an additional fee; once paid, it is applied towards your overall balance. A Good Faith Payment is collected from all students using financial aid, even if the financial aid will cover the entire program balance. Payments can be made online through the 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 they receive confirmation that the student is on-site and enrolled in classes. The Verification of Award form is essential in allowing ISA to defer payment until aid is disbursed, even if it's after your program starts. Keep in mind that all financial aid must be disbursed and balances must be covered no later than midway through 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 Verification of Award (VOA) form covering the full program balance, plus the good faith payment (and housing deposit, if applicable); 2) A completed VOA covering part of the program balance, plus an out of pocket payment greater than or equal to the good faith payment; or 3) A completed VOA covering part of the program balance, and a payment plan arranged for the remaining out of pocket balance.