Photo by ISA student Christine Garrity in Pucon, Chile

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Summer scholarship winners!

ISA Diversity Scholarships:

Juan Acosta, Carnagie Mellon University, Florianopolis Summer 2
Rebecca Norman, Union University, Lima Summer 1

Michaela Farnum Memorial Scholarships:

Mary Katherine Clossick, Emmanuel College, Meknes Summer 1
Kylie McMillan, Seattle University, Salamanca Summer 2&4
Kelli Rollin, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, London Summer 7
Yosely Ruiz, University of Houston, Rome Summer 1
Geneva Strauss-Wise, Smith College, Meknes Summer 1

Kalyn Peterson Memorial Scholarship:

Leslie Strong, Clark Atlanta University, ELAP Mumbai Summer 2

Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!

Studying abroad in the Fall or for an Academic Year? Click here for information on available scholarships.



AUSTIN, TX – April 2, 2014 GlobaLinks Learning Abroad (GlobaLinks), a Denver-based study abroad provider with program options throughout 15 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji has merged with International Studies Abroad (ISA). These additional countries, combined with ISA’s current program locations, will now provide students and universities with 33 destinations around the world.

GlobaLinks, a leading provider of study abroad programs since 1990, with a dedication to student support and academically rigorous programming, strongly aligns with ISA’s core values. “Between ISA and GlobaLinks, we have over fifty years of experience in international education arena. Our partnership will create an extensive portfolio of study abroad programs worldwide,” said Gustavo Artaza, CEO and founder of ISA. “The merging of our two organizations will make a variety of services and programs including; study abroad programs, custom programs, service-learning and internships, full degrees abroad, high school programs, career development and alumni services, available through a single, trusted partner.”

GlobaLinks founder and CEO, Cynthia Banks will play a critical consulting role within the new organization through the transition, and beyond. Sheila Houston, co-owner of the GlobaLinks Learning Abroad organization based in Rockhampton, Australia, will remain with the organization to continue directing programs in the Pacific Region. When asked about the partnership, Banks said, “Through this merger the vision to create and grow international education across a wide platform will be achieved. The new organization will not only be able to enhance the services and opportunities for the students and university partners, but it  will be uniquely positioned to contribute more to the field of international education than ever before.” 

ISA and GlobaLinks senior management will work closely over the coming months to combine resources and infrastructure to continue providing high-quality, comprehensive programming and services to U.S. and Canadian institutions, overseas partners and students. In addition, the GlobaLinks Headquarters in Denver, Colorado will join the network of U.S.-based ISA offices including the ISA Headquarters in Austin, Texas and branch offices in Boston, Massachusetts, and Lexington, Kentucky.


Elise Blum is an Academic Records Processor and a member of the ISA Green Team. This is the first in a four-part series on sustainability and study abroad. 

Here at ISA, we do what we can to keep study abroad green. In keeping with Austin, Texas style, members of the ISA Green Team began cultivating the “ISA Garden of Eatin’” in 2011. We believe a good garden starts with great soil (from our in-house compost) and a slightly green thumb. With a little elbow grease and dedication, we learned to garden together. By 2013 we grew enough produce to fund the garden completely on the resale of our great herbs and veggies to our fellow ISA’ers. “Café Isa” in our office has become a hot spot for foodies and greenies alike.

This year we are taking our summer crops seriously. With the help of local farm, Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG), we purchased some beautiful vegetable plants that are Texas-friendly. Each season JBG hosts a transplant sale for Austinites in an effort to encourage home gardening and sustainability.

Our theme for the garden this year is “Pickled and Canned” – planting vegetables and herbs that can be easily preserved for the off season. We’ll be planting dill, cucumbers, sweet peppers, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, and pole beans. True to our Texan roots, everyone at ISA is a big fan of pickled okra. The spicy and sweet blend helps us keep our wanderlust at bay, and encourages us to keep growing for the next season of beautiful culinary possibilities.

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The blissful spring-time and summer weather in South Korea provides the perfect climate for the lavish parades of colors, and intriguing festivals that splash across the Korean Peninsula around this time every year. While it’s always fun to visit temples and explore museums, festivals are a unique way to learn about Korean culture. South Korea has many exciting festivals that offer a glimpse into a world that many would consider a journey down the “road less traveled.” Check out these five must-do festivals in South Korea this spring and summer.


Photo CC Chelsea Snyder

5. Lotus Lantern Festival
When: Around Buddha’s Birthday (May) – The festival is one weekend, but the lantern exhibit is displayed for around two weeks.

Where: Seoul, various locations (Lantern Exhibit is along the Cheonggycheon Stream)

How to get there: Seoul Subway Jonggak Station (Line 1), Exit 2 to Joggyesa Temple. Or for the Lantern Exhibit, Gwanghwamun station (Line 5).

About: This festival is held in honor of Buddha’s birthday. There are many events throughout the festival, including a lantern display along the Cheonggycheon Stream as well as a lantern parade, cultural events (read: make your own lantern and Buddhist art!), and cultural performances. This is a Buddhist celebration, but everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the feel-good, family-friendly atmosphere.

Don’t Miss: The lantern parade is an awe-inspiring display of Buddhist artistry and elegance. Spectators line the streets, many holding their own lanterns, and watch as the elaborately-decorated floats pass by. You will probably see a traditional dragon float, the Lotus Flower Princess waving atop a lotus flower, and colorful paper-mache elephants heading down the avenues. Set your camera to night mode to capture the gorgeous lighting and colors.


Photo CC Jirka Matousek

4. Boryeong Mud Festival
When: July 18-27, 2014

Where: Boryeong, (or sometimes called Daecheon), South Chungcheong Province (200km from Seoul)

How to get there: This is a huge festival, so many people attend each year. Public buses might be full. You can buy bus tickets in advance by going to a bus terminal. Travel time varies from 2 hr 20 min to 3 hr. Prices are 8,000KRW – 10,000KRW each way. Alternatively, trains travel from Yongsan station approximately every hour. Prices are usually more expensive than the bus and take around the same amount of time. Websites like take groups and can do the planning for you.

About: In an effort to market the unique mud that originates in Boryeong, which is mineral-rich and has many beneficial properties, the city created this festival in 1998. Participants can experience mud in many activities: wrestling, slides and rides, massages, and endless photo opportunities. Literally millions of visitors flock to this festival each year and help turn the otherwise sleepy seaside town into a huge party. Everyone is welcome, from toddlers to ajummas*, but students and expats make up the majority of the crowd.

Don’t Miss: The beauty of a festival like this is that there is literally something for everyone. If you’re looking for a more low-key experience, opt for a mud-massage or mud-facial. If you’ve been itching for a active and wild weekend, get mud-painted and head over to a mud slide or mud trampoline!


Photo CC Harry Yoon

3. Jindo Seaparting Festival
When: April 24-27, 2014 (subject to change because nature is unpredictable!)

Where: Jindo Island and Modo Island, South Jeolla Province (350km from Seoul)

How to get there: There are several direct buses leaving from Express Bus Terminal every day (Central City wing, 25,000KRW each way). Once you’ve arrived, take a local bus to Hoedong Port. Because the bus can take between 6-7 hours, it is best to leave early in the morning. If you can’t do that, you can take the more expensive KTX (high speed train) from Yongsan Station, travel to Mokpo (3hr 15 min, 43,000KRW each way), then catch a bus to Jindo, and take the local bus from there to Hoedong Port. Whether you choose to take a bus or a train, it is best to book your tickets in advance due to the number of people who attend the festival.

About: There are a few varieties of Korean folktales about this phenomena, but whatever the origins, this festivals is not to be missed! The sea-parting festival celebrates nature’s mysteries when the tide goes out for around 60-90 minutes and allows visitors to walk to Modo island 2.8 km away. The festival celebrates the abundance of natural and healthy things in the southern coast of the country.

Don’t Miss: If you are able to catch a fish, crab, clams or even an octopus during your walk between islands, local restaurants will cook it up for you to enjoy that evening.


Photo CC Chelsea Snyder

2. Muju Firefly Festival
When: June 1-9, 2014 (tentative)

Where: Muju, North Jeolla Province (180km from Seoul)

How to get there: Buses leave from several terminals in Seoul. Nambu Bus Terminal has several departures per day. It takes about 2 hr 30 minutes.

About: This environmental festival celebrates central South Korea’s beautiful fireflies that turn up each summer. In fact, the fireflies are so special, they are officially a Korean national treasure (#322 to be exact). While fireflies in nature are only visible at dusk and night, the festival is in full swing throughout the day. Visitors can watch many cultural performances, play in the stream that passes through the town, and even catch trout with their bare hands. The festival is a fun-filled day of exploring true Korean culture. Be warned though: the town is small, so affordable places to stay may be limited; try to make arrangements before arriving in town. (Sorry, no 24hr jjimjilbangs** here!) Have a Korean friend call to book you a room or you may be stuck sleeping under the (beautiful) starry sky.

Don’t Miss: In the evening of each day, buses transport festival-guests out into the countryside to witness the fireflies firsthand. You can buy a ticket the day-of (but do so early!), and spend 40-60 minutes away from the lights of the town getting to see the glow of nature.


Photo CC Chelsea Snyder

1. Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival
When: TBD (usually held in April)

Where: Jinhae district, Changwon City, South Gyeongsan Province (367km from Seoul)

How to get there: You can reach Jinhae by bus from Gangnam Bus Terminal in Seoul, and it will take you around 4 hours. Or, you could take a train to Jinhae station.

About: When spring comes to Korea, you know the cherry blossoms are sure to follow. You can find an abundance of cherry blossom festivals around the country, but the Jinhae Gunghangje festival is the biggest and best. Over 2 million people visit each year! At the festival you can literally see spring. The pink and white flowers that cover the tress line streets and rivers.

Don’t Miss: The “romance bridge” that crosses the Yeojwa stream. The bridge was made famous by a Korean drama, but it’s pretty magical in-and-of itself. Take as many photos with these beautiful trees as you can because they won’t last long! Most cherry blossoms only stick around for about one week.

No matter which festivals you choose to experience during your time in Korea, it will be well-worth your time. Let yourself focus on the culture and absorbing as much as you can. The memories will last a lifetime and its unlikely you’ll find anything to compare to your festival experience!

*ajumma is a common Korean word that means “old woman” (in a respectful way).
**jjimjilbang is a Korean word that refers to the all-hours bathhouses that allow you to sleep/bath/hang out the entire day or night (a cheap and easy place to stay in most towns).


15 Game-Changing Custom Programs

March 25, 2014

ISA’s Custom Programs division is celebrating its 15th year in service to U.S. universities for their faculty-led and partnerships study abroad programming. Join us for this series of 15 things as you imagine, develop, and implement your own custom programs abroad. 1. Arizona State University Sustainability in Morocco and Spain ASU’s Sustainable Development across the [...]

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ISA Application Due Date Extensions for Select Summer 2014 Programs

March 24, 2014

ISA is pleased to announce application due date extensions for the following programs: ARGENTINA Buenos Aires Summer 1 Buenos Aires Summer 4 BELGIUM Brussels Summer 1 BRAZIL Florianopolis Summer 1 Florianopolis Summer 2 CHILE Valparaiso Summer 1 Valparaiso Summer 3 (Summer 1 + ELAP Internship) COLOMBIA Barranquilla Summer 1 Barranquilla Summer 2 COSTA RICA Heredia [...]

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