ISA (International Studies Abroad)
Valparaíso (pop. 284,000) and Viña del Mar (pop. 285,000) are sister cities located halfway down Chile's endless coastline and 68 miles northwest of Santiago. A city of...
A "Sweet As" Semester in New Zealand
Submitted by Whitney Kirkpatrick - Berry College | March 01, 2016
I wanted to study abroad in New Zealand because I wanted an adventure, and my experience went above and beyond my expectations. I spent five months living in New Zealand while studying at the University of Otago in Dunedin. I always felt safe when I was in NZ, but I was also able to step out of my comfort zone and experience new things at the same time. Dunedin has a strong student culture, and living in the Uni Flats gave me the chance to live with kiwis as well as other international students. My ISA program leaders, Emily and Peren, were wonderful, and they played a big part in supporting us and also planned some "sweet as" excursions. Studying abroad in New Zealand through ISA is definitely something that I would recommend!
Submitted by WPerkins - University of Tennessee- Knoxville | March 01, 2016
Where to start... This trip was incredible. I love the outdoors and New Zealand has so much to offer. I traveled all over the country (literally from the the most southern point, to darn near close to the most northern). The entire country is gorgeous. Making trips are highly encouraged; go see the country for what it really is. Great areas to go are the Tongariro Crossing, Mount Cooke, and Fjordlands. ISA does an amazing job making the transition into a country easy as well as constantly being there for support, and even taking the group on excursions. Even if you don't decide to go to New Zealand, go somewhere. The opportunity is there, take it.
New Zealand has my heart
Submitted by Marta Sindelar - Southern Illinois University | March 01, 2016
My time in New Zealand was unforgettable. From the people to the beautiful scenery to the funny words they use, New Zealand is the perfect place to study abroad and ISA is the best program to take you there. One of the scariest things about studying abroad is what to do right when you get there, but the ISA staff was there waiting to help us begin our journey with the most ease that I could've asked for. The three day orientation was immensely helpful because it taught me about the culture of New Zealand as well as giving me a great group of friends. ISA simply took all of the travel stress away and just left us all to experience everything that New Zealand has to offer.
I fell in love with this country because it became a place I could call my second home. I made some of my closest friends and created stories that I will be telling for the rest of my life. And let's not forget Lord of the Rings! It is impossible to explain everything that New Zealand and ISA did for me, but just know that I learned more about myself and the world than I could've imagined. If it wasn't for ISA, my experience would have undoubtedly been more stressful, and that would have taken up quite a bit of the precious time I had in the most beautiful country on Earth. New Zealand has my heart and I know that it will steal the heart of anyone who goes there. So choose ISA, they won't let you down.
A New Home
Submitted by Ayla - Endicott College | February 29, 2016
I knew almost immediately after landing in New Zealand that I had found a new place to call home. Not only is the entire (yes, ENTIRE) country absolutely gorgeous, but the culture is rich beyond measure and the natives are full of passion. New Zealand has so much to offer simply because of its beautiful landscapes, but the added benefit of being such a wholesome place to be means that it attracts like-minded people who care about the things I care about: art, the environment, kindness, and food.
I truly appreciate the independence that I gained in New Zealand, but I also am grateful for the stability and structure that ISA provided to me. I made many, life-long friends through my program, and I was able to go on multiple excursions that would have otherwise cost me additional fees, or not been available at all. Whenever I speak of the program, I always mention the Bridging Cultures Program; this three-day orientation was the perfect way to introduce me to the country, culture, and lifestyle that quickly became a huge part of who I am.
ISA staff made sure we were always taken care of, right from the beginning. We were picked up and driven to our accommodations upon landing in Auckland, and then once we reached Wellington. Throughout the first few days, the staff was always available. Because of ISA's dedication to having site staff members be native to the country of study, I always felt like I was getting honest, culturally-based answers to me questions. When I traveled outside of New Zealand for spring break, my site specialist called to ensure I made it to Australia safely. This was something unexpected, but it proved how dedicated ISA is to the safety of those enrolled in its programs.
Additionally, I was so pleased to not have to worry about accommodation upon entering a new country. ISA arranged my housing in "The Cube" for me. The excursions we went on were also a huge perk to going through ISA. One of my favorite days in Wellington was going on the Seal Coast Safari ride.
My five-month stay in New Zealand was, without doubt, the best five months of my life. I have traveled to multiple other countries since, and I can confidently say that, while perfect in their own right, none have warmed my heart and fueled my soul as much as my favorite little country in the middle of nowhere.
La Vida Limeña: How I learned to be a light in the darkness
Submitted by Leah Carswell - Cleveland, OH | February 03, 2016
Volunteering in Lima, Peru with Aprendo Contigo, taught me how to be a positive light in tough times. I was a full time student at a local university and volunteered twice a week with Aprendo Contigo. At the hospital, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplasicas, I provided therapy to children with cancer. Every morning, volunteers and I would work and play with children of all ages, as they sat in their hospital beds receiving chemotherapy. From the fun of finger painting to playing an intense game of Jenga, we as volunteers brought a bright, smiling face and a positive attitude to their bedside.
I will admit, this opportunity is not for the faint of heart. Working with sick children, was something I had never experienced before. I was used to teaching happy healthy kids. There were down moments that brought tears to your eyes, but there were moments that brought tears of laughter and joy. Volunteering with Aprendo Contigo taught me how to be a positive light in a time of sadness. I was a light to the kids and their families. It was the most rewarding experience I had in Peru. I wouldn't trade my time for anything. I encourage people to take time to see how you can be a positive light for someone in need.
Program: ISA Service-Learning in Lima, Peru