What is a
Comprehensive Advising and Support
A team of helpful ISA staff members guides students through the entire study abroad process from application through reentry. The Program Advisors help students with choosing a program to best fit their academic and cultural objectives. Once a program is selected, students then work with the talented team of Program Managers for the application and financial logistics while the seasoned Site Specialists guide students through academic, cultural and functional aspects of their programs.
The personal and individual nature of advising is supplemented by plentiful web-based materials. The ISA online orientation is a fresh, user-friendly layout that assists in program preparation specifically tailored to each program location. Students can further develop personal and academic goals by viewing the ISA student blog, :60 on Study Abroad Video series or the Culture Corner on each city specific page of the website.
Additionally, the ISA Student Portal, an online interface allowing students the ability to upload supplemental program documents and receive valuable information regarding their study abroad program, was developed to assist students with program expectations and includes important pre-departure information on various topics related to their experience abroad.
Airport reception is not provided for Intensive Month or J-Term programs.
Housing & Meals
The amount of meals and frequency of laundry services vary per location. Meals and laundry services are provided with most homestays. For more details, please refer to the housing information for that particular program.
Tuition at the Host University
Tuition and administrative fees at the host university are included in the program price. Classes are held at the host university and are taught by local and/or visiting faculty. Some classes will have additional fees that are not included in the program price.
Excursions & Cultural Activities
*Excursions are not included for Intensive Month or J-Term programs.
A Blanket Accident and Sickness Policy is included in the price and covers the program participant while abroad for the official on-site period of program. This is not an optional benefit; every ISA participant will be covered by this policy. A full description of coverage can be found on the ISA website.
We recommend that all program participants maintain comprehensive health insurance while abroad. This is particularly important if you have any pre-existing conditions, but is also beneficial if you have an injury or illness while abroad and require further treatment upon your return home. Consult with your current insurance provider to confirm coverage policies while traveling abroad.
Students will have access to many of the resources and facilities at the host university. ISA resident staff members will hold office hours either at the host university or at another pre-determined location in the city each week.
Orientation: Pre-Departure, On-Site & Academic
The Bridging Cultures Program (BCP) encompasses the ISA on-site orientation delivered to all students in the first days of their ISA program, with key improvements in areas related to goal setting, intercultural awareness, diversity and professional development. For a number of reasons, the first days that follow a student's arrival on site offer us some of the best opportunities to effectively transmit information to program participants. While the pre-departure orientations that students receive from ISA and their home universities are also important, students are typically more ready to focus on their study abroad experience when they arrive at their host country. The BCP is designed to help ISA make the most of this important opportunity to educate students, and to give students the tools that will facilitate discovery and learning during their program. The BCP is an important introduction to a new culture, a new home and a new experience. The BCP is designed to prepare students for a successful, positive and rewarding experience that will influence the rest of their lives.
Health, Safety and Security (HSS) for ISA students is jointly managed by our resident staff and HSS team. This team works to monitor risk at program locations, respond to any crises that may arise and develop policies to further ensure the health, safety and security of students abroad with ISA. HSS also facilitates an in-house on-call system with a U.S.-based employee and manager who are on-call and available in case of emergency 24-7.
ISA regular office hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:00am - 7:00pm and Friday, 7:00am - 5:00pm Central Time. For students or parents who need assistance in an emergency situation outside of the regular office hours, please call the ISA office at 512-480-8522 to access the ISA emergency contact information for that particular week. Students who experience an emergency while abroad will also have access to on-site staff 24-hour emergency assistance.
"The ISA staff are always willing to help you if you’re completely lost (and they also won’t mind if you stop in for a visit every once in a while), but in general, the first thing you realize is how much assistance you were getting from your study abroad program. You’ll inevitably have to renew your visa, and you won’t have the handy slideshow to walk you through the French websites or a team of experts sending you the exact documents that you need and making all your appointments for you."
"I think it is important for all exchange students to know that it is hard to move countries no matter how 'similar' you may think they may be. As I have found, no amount of prior research can really prepare you for the emotional journey of adjusting to life in a different culture. You have to jump in with both feet and be patient with yourself as well as others. As long as you keep an open mind and are willing to learn, your experience will be a rewarding one!"
"Spain has a beautiful culture, and I fell in love with it. The language is fluid, the art and architecture are stunning, the food is delicious, and the people are charming and caring. But what made my experience unique, and turned these intangible ideas into tangible memories, were the people that surrounded me and molded the environment I lived in."