International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Mission Statement

Our Mission and Commitments to our Students

ISA's mission is to provide high-quality education abroad opportunities to U.S. and Canadian university students at an affordable price.

Our commitment to each student distinguishes ISA among study abroad providers. We are available to assist students, parents, and university faculty and advisors throughout the study abroad process, from choosing the appropriate program to completing the application process and participating successfully in the study abroad experience.

ISA is committed to providing students with educational opportunities that promote learning in and out of the classroom. ISA offers students a wide range of academic settings, campus cultures and extracurricular options through an established network of reputable host institutions.

ISA is committed to promoting cultural discovery through knowledgeable and professional on-site staff and an array of activities, excursions, housing options and support services for all of its students.

ISA is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its students throughout their time abroad. In accordance with NAFSA recommendations an our Department of Health, Safety, and Security, ISA's code of conduct details clear guidelines designed to empower students to behave in a manner that decreases their risk and enriches their study abroad experience. In case of an emergency, ISA staff is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

ISA is committed to facilitating language acquisition for those seeking to advance their proficiency. In addition to language courses, ISA provides on-site tutoring at select sites and the option to add an Intensive Month program prior to semester or summer programs to accelerate language acquisition. Students are also encouraged to adhere to the ISA Office Language Pledge by promising to only speak the host country language when interacting with staff and fellow students.

ISA is committed to providing unparalleled customer service through a dedicated and knowledgeable team of more than 250 U.S. and international staff members. This enables ISA to individually respond to each student's personal, professional or academic need our students may have.

We recognize that we play an important role in the worldwide effort of international educators to increase awareness of cultures and societies outside of each student's national boundaries. Our programs are designed to maximize our participants' learning abroad, and we understand that undergraduate students need support and expert guidance before, during and after their time abroad. ISA is a Global Partner of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and supports NAFSA's efforts to advance international education and exchange.

Why Choose ISA?

One of the first impressions that we hope students will have of ISA is our service-oriented attitude towards study abroad. We are here to help each student throughout the entire study abroad process. From a student's initial contact with an ISA representative, we hope that he or she will quickly realize how important each individual is to us. We take each student's requests very seriously, and we are able to be flexible in order to meet his or her specific needs.

ISA believes that by studying abroad, students not only witness another culture, but they also experience the culture by living a new way of life. We hope that students will gain a cultural understanding and personal independence that can only be achieved by living and studying in another country. Furthermore, we hope that students will continue to reap the benefits of study abroad by encouraging cultural understanding in their own communities. We recognize that this enlightening experience is becoming an increasingly precious asset as we encourage our students to become sensitive, responsible and contributing members of today's expanding global community.

The Bridging Cultures Program and Discovery Model

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.

A primary objective of all ISA programs is to facilitate the learning and development of program participants. We rely on host universities to provide quality instruction in the classroom, but ISA is the main facilitator of learning outside of the classroom. Our efforts to promote student learning are shaped by a teaching & learning framework we call the ISA Discovery Model.

According to this model, student learning and development is organized into five areas of discovery: 1. Intercultural 2. Historical, 3. Sociopolitical, 4. Professional, and 5. Environmental

Throughout the duration of ISA programs, we provide participants the opportunity to pursue these five areas of discovery. ISA excursions and cultural activities are most important among these opportunities. Each excursion and cultural activity is designed to help participants reach a specific set of learning objectives. In addition to the ISA cultural activities and excursions, we also point students towards non-ISA sponsored events and opportunities that will facilitate discovery in one or more of the five areas of discovery.