Stephanie Casas is an ISA Site Specialist for Spain. Stephanie works with students studying abroad in Bilbao, Granada and Valencia.

Nestled on the Northern Coast of Spain, Bilbao is off the beaten path – a hidden gem that not many people think of when they think of Spain. The capital of the Biscay Province, is most known for the iconic Guggenheim Museum, but what else is there?

Beyond the modern titanium structure that stands across the river from the Universidad de Deusto and ISA office, students are able to experience an abundance of art, exquisite cuisine and natural beauty. Wonder if Bilbao is the right choice for you? Here are some reasons why you should spend your fall semester in this beautiful city!

1.    Architecture – Bilbao boasts a stunning display of modern and classic architecture by architects such as Santiago Calatrava and Frank Gehry.

2.    Pintxos – The Basque Country’s own version of Spanish tapas.  They are inexpensive, diverse and delicious!

3.    Entertainment – Beyond the endless opportunities to see art exhibits at the Guggenheim, watch theater performances at Teatro Arriaga or catch a concert in the park – Bilbao is one of the four Spanish cities that will host the first phase of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

4.    Nervión River – Every semester, ISA students kayak down the Nervión river. If you aren’t interested in kayaking, you can always walk along side it’s banks and enjoy the old city.

5.    Coastal Cities – Bilbao is a short metro ride from the coast. You can surf at some of the world’s best beaches. Get excited for the included excursion to San Sebastian and Biarritz!

6.    Academics – The Universidad de Deusto is one of the most prestigious universities in Spain, not to mention the first business school! Students can chose from a variety of courses ranging from Business to Gastronomy. All language levels are welcomed.

We’re accepting applications through October 1st, so there’s still time to apply to venture to the Basque Country!


Glasgow: City of Music

August 15, 2014


Glasgow is a city devoted to music. One of only six cities to hold the honor of being named a UNESCO Music City, Glasgow’s live music scene mixes all genres and audiences. The city also boasts an average of 130 music events each week ranging from pop to rock to Celtic music, opera and more.

Some popular bands that have come from Glasgow:

Franz Ferdinand

Camera Obscura



The Twilight Sad

Arab Strap

Chemikal Underground

The Pastels

Top 5 Music Venues according to the Guardian:

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

Nice N Sleazy




Check out these sites for info on where to catch gigs and keep a pulse on the ever evolving music scene throughout the city:  The Glasgow: City of Music Official Page, Glasgow Music Scene, or the Official Glasgow Music Scene Facebook Page. Carey Lander from Camera Obscura, once stated that Glasgow is, “more resistant to pretentiousness than many cities. It has a different sense of cool and seems less distracted by musical fads… it continues to hold its own and remain important to people from all over the world.”

What else does Glasgow have to offer?  Here’s 8 reasons students from around the world choose Glasgow as their ideal study abroad destination.


Photo by ISA alumni Yeejkim Yang.

Erin Welsh is the Student Services & Financial Aid Coordinator at ISA.

We’d like to congratulate the 18 ISA students awarded the Gilman Scholarship for their upcoming Fall and Academic-Year study abroad programs.

Fall and Academic-Year 2014 Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Winners:
Molly A., Fort Lewis College, Florence Academic Year
Shaylyn B., Boise State University, Meknes Fall
Christopher B., University of Missouri, Kansas City, San Jose Fall
Crystal C., University of Denver, Buenos Aires Fall
Dustin E., Lewis-Clark State College, Barcelona Fall
Fernando E., University of Texas- El Paso, Amman Fall
Elisabeth J., University of Alabama at Birmingham, Seoul Fall
Khaleelah J., Illinois College, Port Elizabeth Fall
Sarah K., Old Dominion University, Buenos Aires Fall
Kaylee O., University of Colorado, Boulder, San Jose Fall
Linda S., University of Michigan- Flint, Amman Fall
Jenna S., University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Seoul Fall
Sarah S., University of New Mexico, Amman Fall
Wendy S., University of Texas- El Paso, Salamanca Fall
David S., Texas A&M University- College Station, Amman Fall
Luis V., University of Texas- El Paso, Shanghai Fall
Aerion W., University of Georgia, Meknes Fall
Jasmine W., University of Utah, Meknes Fall


The 2013-2014 academic year marked ISA’s Custom Programs’ 15th year in service to U.S. universities for their faculty-led and partnerships study abroad programming. Thank you for joining us for this series of 15 things as you imagine, develop, and implement your own custom programs abroad.

1. Becca Schwecke – University of Minnesota in Cape Town 2014

Photo courtesy of ISA student Becca Schwecke

A favorite post on Becca’s blog about finding her Ubuntu is titled The Little Things, highlighting some of the joys, nuances, and disparities she experienced in South Africa.

2. Dr. David Bartholomae – University of Pittsburgh Pitt MAP: Brazil, India, & China 2013

Photo courtesy of Dr. Bartholomae

David recounts his semester traveling to three continents while leading one of our 15 Game-Changing Custom Programs in this blog for Community Voices on the Post Gazette.

3. Dr. Doreen Sams – Georgia College and State in Sevilla 2014

Photo courtesy of Dr. Sams

Updating almost  daily, you can follow Doreen and her class as they explore Spanish business and economy. In particular, see how a group of Georgians still had something to learn about Coca Cola in Spain.

4. Gaby Avila – Butler University GALA in Argentina, Chile, & Peru 2014

Photo courtesy of ISA student Gaby Avila

Also a Game-Changing Custom Program, Butler’s GALA program travels through Latin America. Reading about Gaby’s personal growth and experience help bring each of us back to why we work in international education.

5. Geri Jensen – California Lutheran University Paris 2013

Photo courtesy of ISA student Geri Jensen

Spending a semester at the American Business School in Paris through Cal Lutheran’s exchange, Geri reflects on her 114 days in the City of Light.

6. Jody Masch – University of Florida in Valencia 2014

Photo courtesy of ISA student Jody Masch

Jody’s post reflecting on religious architecture, in particular a Jewish temple built by the Muslim community, is insightful and entertaining.

7. Joe Evans – University of Utah MRED in Seoul, Shanghai, UAE, Bangalore, & Paris   2014

Photo courtesy of ISA student Joe Evans

This Master’s program takes a whirlwind trip around the world, studying real estate development on a global scale. As a class blog with contributions by most students, you can really feel the jet lag, excitement, and unique academic intensity.

8. Julianna Burchett – University of Tennessee in Santander 2014

Photo courtesy of ISA student Julianna Burchett

One of the funnier parts of losing a bit in translation is when it’s in reference to a parade of cows. Julianna comically sums up a rare Sunday event with her host mother on her blog.

9. Katherine Frazer – St. Edwards University in Sevilla 2014

Photo courtesy of ISA student Katherine Frazer

Katherine’s Happy Accidents post, in which she lists alternative titles she had considered, offers a sense of nostalgia and community that we all as travelers have enjoyed at one point or another.

10. Kayli Kunkel – Drake University in India 2014

Photo courtesy of ISA student Kayli Kunkel

Kayli vividly illustrates her experiences through a month in India; her descriptions painting a picture almost as colorful as the Holi Festival celebrated each spring.

11. Kevin Courtney – UC San Diego in Buenos Aires 2013

Photo courtesy of ISA student Kevin Courtney

Following a winding path, oftentimes of broken and dirty sidewalks, Kevin acutely observes neighborhood differences and new construction in Buenos Aires.

12. Laura Christine Lauder – University of Tennessee in Paris 2014

Photo courtesy of ISA student Laura Lauder

UTK has been running this program in Paris with ISA for over 10 years, so the program operates like a well-oiled machine. The ordinarily-smooth sailing of this program contrasts nicely with Laura’s description of the choppy metro service, a result of the ongoing transportation strike – a typical facet of Parisian life.

13. Rachel Priester – University of Florida in Sevilla 2013

Photo courtesy of ISA student Rachel Priester

For a bit of Spanish context given this year’s world cup, check out Rachel’s stories of futbol games in España last year.

14. Sarah Vititoe – University of Florida in the Dominican Republic 2014

Photo courtesy of ISA student Sarah Vititoe

It’s the beauty of idealism and motivation for change that you appreciate in Sarah’s blogs, describing her experience serving and learning in the DR.

15. Savannah Kralovec – Arizona State University in Costa Rica 2013

Photo courtesy of ISA student Savannah Kralovec

Savannah’s choice to catalog expectations versus her observations isn’t just a unique way to title a post, but a reflective way to experience and truly learn from a study abroad program.

Melissa Stone is a Program Manager for ISA Custom Programs. Melissa works with programs in Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, rance, and Jordan.


Glasgow Hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games

July 21, 2014

This summer, Glasgow is the proud host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Held every four years since 1930, the Commonwealth Games are today the third-largest multi-sport competition in the world, just behind the Summer Olympics and the Asian Games. It is anticipated to be the largest sporting event ever held in Scotland’s history. This year, [...]

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Fundraiser: “Tri for Zaatari”

July 8, 2014

For over 3 years, Syrians have been fleeing the conflict and hardship of their country and pouring into neighboring Jordan, leaving behind homes, belongings, friends and pursuits. Although already strapped for resources, Jordan has generously opened its borders and now supports an estimated 1 million refugees in several camps throughout the country, including Zaatari. To [...]

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