Program Specifics

Is ________ possible?

Please contact us with questions and program ideas that you think may be particular or difficult! We are almost always able to create a solution, and we are always happy to try!

What are the housing options?

ISA housing options vary by site. We offer student apartments, homestays, and more.

How does ISA select its host families?

When contracting host families at each site, ISA conducts an extensive application and interview process including a home visit.

  • Applications often result from referrals by current host families, indicating a high level of satisfaction as a result of hosting ISA students.
  • We maintain a very detailed database of all homestays, including family members living in the home, their ages and occupations.
  • Every ISA student that stays with an ISA host family completes a detailed evaluation at the end of their stay so we can assure that conditions within the homestay continue to meet our high expectations.

ISA is well-established at our program sites and we have long-standing relationships with our host families. Host family housing is typically one of the best components of our ISA programs and students frequently comment that their host family has had a positive impact on their experience abroad.

ISA makes every effort to meet housing requests of universities and individual students. There are many competing priorities when matching a student to a host family. Students may have dietary restrictions, pet or other allergies, smoking/non-smoking preferences, or other requirements that ISA must consider when matching the student to an ISA host family.

Are meals included?

In most hotels, breakfast is included daily. At ISA Homestays, two to three meals are included per day. Most of our programs elect to include group Welcome and Farewell Dinners, and some program choose to include additional group meals.

Can I bring my spouse/child?

ISA does permit faculty to bring spouses or family members; however if your university has policies which prohibit the participation of spouses or family members, ISA will comply with your university policies. Should the university permit the accompaniment of faculty members, these accompanying persons are required to submit a waiver of liability.

In addition, if accompanying persons wish to participate in any group activities while on your program, the faculty member will be charged for those additional costs prior to departure.

Faculty members should advise ISA as soon as possible about any accompanying family members and which activities they will participate in; ISA will then invoice the faculty member directly for the associated costs. Additional details about these policies are available upon request.

Where will my class be held?

ISA partners with various host institutions in all of our locations. Typically, ISA will reserve classroom space for your program at a university. Also, most ISA offices abroad have fully-equipped meeting spaces which can be reserved for your program.

Can I have my classroom equipped with _______?

Most likely. We are usually able to secure almost any classroom accommodation or equipment request. Typical audiovisual equipment is included in most classrooms, and we can specify these as necessities when reserving classroom space for your program.

Can my students do a service project?

Yes! ISA Service-Learning is a division of ISA Internships and Service-Learning that offers structured service-learning and group volunteer opportunities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East in a variety of fields. These opportunities yield valuable personal and professional experience. ISA can coordinate with Custom Programs to include a service-learning component in the form of a group project or individual placements.

Participants develop skills such as problem solving, appreciation for community and diversity, the ability to cooperate and collaborate in an international setting, as well as a more intimate understanding of global issues.

Click here for a list of the ISA program sites in which internships and service-learning opportunities for academic credit are abvailable.

Can my students do internships?

Yes! ISA Service-Learning has patered with local NGOs, schools, clinics, and businesses in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle east to provide internship opportunities for students. Internship programs can be offered independently or combined with another custom program.

One of the great things about an ISA Internships Custom Program, is if you choose to co-brand one of our set-date programs or design a custom date internship program for your university, there is no minimum enrollment necessary, unless add-on excursions are built in. All ISA internships are designed to build professional skills and experience as well as provide a real-world experience to enhance classroom learning. 

Participants will participate in a full-time internship in their field that meets their current skill-level and future goals. Participants have the opportunity to develop a Service-Learning Portfolio throughout the program which includes critical reflections, group discussions, weekly journal entries, logs of hours, supervisor evaluation and a certificate of completion. 

Visit the ISA Internships page for information on academic credit options, locations, placement options and eligibility.

What kind of intercultural activities can ISA arrange?

In order to maximize cultural immersion, the ISA program staff develops unique cultural activities. These custom-designed activities invite students to experience the local color of their host city, while learning about the history and culture of their new surroundings. Speaking the native language with locals, tasting the regional cuisine, and partaking in the native traditions are just a few of the ways these cultural activities lead to full appreciation of the program city.

Can I arrive early? Can I depart later?

Some faculty leaders do arrive before their program start date, and/or stay after their program’s departure date in order to travel, experience the culture, or to get set up for academics. ISA can offer some assistance during the days prior to and after your program dates, however, please note that some support services will not be available outside of your official program dates.

When should students arrive?

ISA typically includes airport pick-up and drop-off at the designated airport on the program arrival and departure dates. Early arrivals and late departures are permitted, but in those cases, students are responsible for their own lodging and transportation to and from the airport.

One of the requirements within the ISA online student portal is a form in which students acknowledge that they have read a customized How to Book Your Flight form for your specific program. This form will specify the airport into which they should arrive and from which they should depart, the arrival and departure dates and window of times for ISA airport pick-up and drop-off.

In addition, students will receive a final letter with instructions detailing where to meet their ISA Resident Director for pick-up at the airport.

How does airport transportation work?

After students have claimed their luggage and passed through customs, the ISA Resident Director will meet them holding an ISA sign and wearing an ISA polo. Specific meeting spots arranged and the information distributed to students in the above-mentioned final letter.

Does ISA help with visas?

Yes! For all countries that require a visa, students receive detailed information in their ISA acceptance packets that includes a country-specific description of the student visa application process, a list of required documents, and consular contact information (when applicable). ISA provides students with any required documentation, which may include verification of enrollment, insurance coverage, housing, or full program payment.

ISA Custom Program Managers are trained and knowledgeable of the student visa process for U.S. citizens, and are available to advise students by phone and email about gathering the required documentation, filling out forms, obtaining appointments, and navigating the application process.

Visa requirements for custom programs may be dependent upon program length and students' enrollment status at host universities. Check with your Custom Program Manager and your Study Abroad Office to determine visa requirements for your program.

Learn more about ISA Custom Programs' visa support services.

Does ISA provide health insurance?

A Blanket Accident and Sickness Policy is available. If your university elects to include this policy, it covers the program faculty leader and participants while abroad for the official on-site period of program. We recommend that all program faculty leaders participants maintain comprehensive health insurance while abroad. This is particularly important if a faculty leader or participant has any pre-existing conditions, but is also beneficial if he/she has an injury or illness while abroad and requires further treatment upon his/her return home. ISA recommends faculty leaders and program participants consult with their current insurance provider to confirm coverage policies while traveling abroad.

If your university elects to not include this policy, your university will need to provide proof of insurance to ISA.

The benefits of the Blanket Accident and Sickness policy include the following:

  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • Medical Expenses
  • Repatriation of Remains
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Emergency Reunion
  • Trip Interruption

For a more detailed description of coverage, please refer to the Description of Coverage.

Does ISA provide a cell phone for me and for my students?

Cell phone rentals are not included in the ISA program price; however, ISA offers students and faculty the opportunity to rent cell phones and other mobile devices for the duration of the program through local service providers. ISA will provide information on acquiring local cell phones in the on-site program orientation.

What vaccinations are necessary?

ISA recommends that students consult the U.S. Center for Disease Control regulations for travel vaccinations. Learn more about ISA resources on health concerns and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control.

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