What is a
You will work with the local church and ministries while you earn college credit toward your degree! Serving others in the host community for a semester or summer program gives unique immersion and perspective of your host culture. You will get a broader understanding of the joys and challenges of cross-cultural ministry beyond the experience of a short-term mission trip.
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.
Ground transportation is provided from the airport for students who arrive during the ISA designated arrival date and time and at the appropriate airport.
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.
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.
Upon completion of an ISA program, the student's host university will issue an official transcript with all coursework taken abroad. ISA's Academic Records Department will process and forward the official transcript to the appropriate office at the student's home university, and a photocopy will be sent to the student's permanent home address for their records. Additionally, ISA will provide a cover letter to accompany the transcript with important academic information, including: the host university's grading system and recommended U.S. letter grade equivalencies, translated course titles, and credit conversion recommendations.
Organized excursions are included with each program to complement the academic component of the student's study abroad experience. These complementary experiences are designed to engage student learning outside of the classroom in the five areas of the Discovery Model. Transportation and guided tours are included as well as hotel accommodations and breakfast during multi-day excursions. Additional optional excursions may be offered during each program that are not included in the program cost, but provide students other opportunities for discovery.
*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.
The full-time resident staff assists students with all aspects of their experience abroad. The resident staff provides support during official course registration and arranges the Bridging Cultures Program orientation, excursions, weekly meetings, cultural activities, and much more. Staff members are trained to ensure the well-being of each program participant and are dedicated to facilitating a positive and meaningful study abroad experience.
*For Spain programs over 90 days, ISA's Site Specialists can assist in the delivery of all necessary paperwork required to obtain the student visa. The Visa Service fee varies per consulate. Please visit the Student Visa and Embassy page specific to your program location.
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.
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.
Computer and Internet Access
"The missions mentor and the experience at a local church easily were the most valuable. I find it so important to be around people from the culture you're studying. I learned how to love the local church. Over the past few weeks, they have become my family. They reminded me that when we have Jesus in common, we have everything in common."
Kat P. UMHB
"It was incredible to see the ways God used me in moments that I didn't expect. Today, for instance, I went to Subway for lunch. There were absolutely no tables left open and it was raining outside so I just went and asked an elderly lady if I could sit with her. After a brief conversation we got onto the subject of church and the differences between French and English worship. It was so interesting and amazing to see how God had orchestrated my day (the rain, the tables, my boldness in sitting with a total stranger, etc.) for this moment. There are so many other examples of this and it has been an amazing experience!"
Allie D. Oklahoma State University
"I loved Veritas because it gave me a safe place to be open and honest with the thoughts and emotions I was experiencing during my time abroad. I had a place where I knew I was loved and cared for and I cared for each person in the Veritas group so much! It was definitely much-needed community and really fun as well."
Sydney L. Point Loma Nazarene
"Veritas has helped me grow in my spiritual faith and as an individual. Prior to coming to Korea, I was very dependent on my family. Every circumstance was an opportunity for me to grow here. I know God was behind everything and I could trust him every step of the way."
Alicia V. University of Northwestern-St. Paul