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Elena Sprick is the ISA Site Specialist for Prague and Colombia.

Recently, ISA launched a STEM summer program at the Universidad del Norte (UniNorte) in Barranquilla, Colombia featuring an exciting academic opportunity for students studying science, technology, engineering or math at their home university.

Today, we are pleased to announce that beginning in Spring 2015, the UniNorte will now offer Engineering courses in English during semester programs, as well.

Specially designed by the UniNorte to provide a unique opportunity for STEM students, the Latin American Studies, International Business, Engineering & Courses with Locals program offers students the option to study in a beautiful location along the Colombian Caribbean coast while simultaneously developing their technical skills in an international environment.

Participants will have the opportunity to choose from nearly 20 Engineering courses instructed in English and will study alongside local students at the prestigious UniNorte. Subject areas in English include:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Systems Engineering

The Civil, Electrical, Electronics, Industrial, Mechanical and Systems Engineering programs at the UNINORTE have been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

In addition to the Engineering options, students may enroll in Spanish language at any level. The university also offers courses in English in areas of International Business and Latin American Studies as well as opportunities to conduct a Research Project or participate in a Service-Learning course.  Students that are advanced Spanish speakers may enroll in Latin American Studies, STEM, Business and other courses taught in Spanish with local students.

Applications for ISA Spring 2015 programs in Colombia are due October 1st.  If you have any questions feel free to contact the Colombia Site Specialist.

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Morgan Quijano is an ISA Site Specialist for the Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

If you are currently searching for a place to study abroad that will offer you a truly unique experience, Santiago should be on your shortlist of potential locations. This Caribbean destination Known as the “Heart City,” offers a vibrant host of activities for city lovers, but effortlessly caters to outdoors enthusiast as well. Studying with ISA in sunny Santiago will allow you the chance to experience Dominican culture in a way that tourists never could, by getting to know the city’s friendly people, delicious food and dynamic history from a local perspective.

The first spot to help you embrace the local culture is Altos de Chavón, a replica medieval village that is truly a step back through time. The village is complete with a medieval style church and even a Roman-style amphitheater, which has held many impressive concerts with its 5,000 person capacity. The best part is, you’ll be able to see it in depth during your included multi-day tour to La Romana!

Beaches in the Dominican Republic are world renowned, and with 250 miles of coastline, you will have plenty to choose from!

The Cave of Wonders (Cuevas de las Maravillas) is an awesome place to learn about Pre-Colombian culture on the island. The caves have been made into a natural museum, displaying nearly 500 indigenous drawings that have survived on the rock walls since well before Columbus discovered the island.

Enroll in Pontificia Universidad Católica “Madre y Maestra” (PUCMM), a private school with a beautiful campus encompassing nearly 300 acres in a great location in Santiago.

Foodies welcome! With an incredible history of diversity, Dominican food draws from Spanish, African, and indigenous roots to create a unique food culture. Nibble on some chocolate at the ChocoMuseos in Santo Domingo or Punta Cana! Here you see the process of creating chocolate, from locally grown cacao tree to chocolate bar. As a bonus, you can even create a few of your own chocolate bars just the way you like them and take them with you.

Go snorkeling off the island’s coast and witness the biodiversity of some of the DR’s coral reefs.

History in the Dominican Republic is absolutely fascinating. Santo Domingo, the capital of the DR, is the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in the Americas, founded by Christopher Columbus’ brother, Bartholomew, in 1498. Learn about the tumultuous history of the Dominican Republic, including slavery, rebellion, violent dictatorship, and continuing recovery during your time there. It won’t disappoint.

Immerse yourself in a welcoming culture that is proud of its heritage and willing to share it with you. There’s no better way to practice your Spanish than with locals who are thrilled to have you! One way to do this is to learn how to dance, as the DR is the home of Bachata and Merengue, two of Latin America’s most popular music styles.

Jarabacoa- take it from a fellow ISA student!

Kiteboarding? Why not!? Grab some friends, head up to Cabarete (which has played host to several windsurfing and kitesurfing competitions), and try your hand at it!

La Aurora Cigar Factory has been in the business of making high quality cigars for over 110 years. Located just a 15 minute drive away from the PUCMM campus, this is a great factory to visit and learn the history behind tobacco farming on the island, and see how cigars are made from start to finish.

Monumento de los Heroes de la Restauracíon (Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration) has a very interesting history, and the view overlooking Santiago is icing on the cake.

Organized excursions throughout the island with the ISA program will include transportation, entrance fees tours, and hotels and accommodations, so you can just focus on having a great time and getting the most out of each carefully planned excursion!

Puerto Plata, located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, is famous for it’s 11 kilometers of beautiful beaches. While on the included excursion to Puerto Plata, visit the 16th century Fort of San Felipe or the Amber museum before taking a cable car to the summit of Torres Peak, to a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and coastline. End the excursion with a visit to Cabarete to enjoy the beach. Make sure to come back so you can enjoy all that Puerto Plata has to offer!

Quisqueya was the name the indigenous Taínos had for the island of Hispaniola, which is comprised of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It means “great land” or “mother of all lands.” After visiting the mountains, beaches and lush forest, and witnessing the biodiversity held in this small region, the name may come as no surprise.

Relax! The Dominican Republic, like many Caribbean countries, is known for its easy-going way of life. Schedules are relaxed, and emphasis is placed on living in the moment and enjoying life as it happens, instead of always trying to prepare for what’s next.

Samaná – As another one of your included excursions, Samaná will not disappoint. You will experience rich biodiversity in Los Haitises National Park, as you explore lush mangrove marshes in this protected nature reserve. Then, you will head off to the island of Cayo Levantado and spend a day on its white sand beaches and turquoise waters.

Talk to locals, especially your host family! ISA is dedicated to finding great host families with your best interests in mind. Therefore, they often will be more than willing to help you with your Spanish.

Utilize your terrific on-site staff! This goes hand in hand with the last point. Talk to your ISA on-site staff if ever you need any sort of advice or assistance. Arrange for a free (!!!) tutor to assist you with Spanish, give them a shout to ask for travel advice or just speak to them about any questions you might have. They are there to help you.

Volunteer/Service Learning with ELAP during your program can help you gain even more experience interacting with locals in a field that applies to your major while potentially earning academic credit!

Waterfalls are on the agenda for the 27 Charcos excursion! The Damajagua River carved its way through limestone, creating 27 waterfalls that you can enjoy. Find a good pool and slide or jump right in!

Xenophobia, out the window! Xenophobia is the irrational fear or dislike of people from other countries, but that won’t be a problem for you after your time abroad. After experiencing the warmth and welcoming of the Dominican people, you may not want to leave!

Yearn to return. Upon your return to the States, the DR will hold a special place in your heart. The food, the lifestyle, the friends you made, your host family, the university, and the great weather are just a few of the things you might miss when you get back. No matter what it is that you are missing, there is…

Zero doubt that you’ll always remember your experience abroad fondly and gain a desire to further immerse yourself in different cultures all around the world!

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Semester Internships in London

September 1, 2014

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Tayler Gill is an ISA Site Specialist for the UK. Tayler works with students studying abroad in England and Scotland.

While studying on ISA semester programs in London, students are able to participate in an internship through the University of Westminster, King’s College London or the University of Roehampton. While each university offers different placement options and locations throughout the city, all internship placements have a few things in common:

  1. Students must be accepted on the ISA study abroad program to participate in an internship through the host university.
  2. Students will receive academic credit on their final transcript alongside your regular academic classes.
  3. All placements are part-time and unpaid.
  4. Students must apply for and receive a Tier 4 student visa.
  5. Internship placements are competitive and most employers require an interview before offering an internship position at their organization.

See more information below about each university or visit our Service-Learning/Internship webpage.

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Photo by ISA student Kelly Abraham in London, England

University of Westminster: The internship placements at this university are offered during both the fall and spring semesters. All students must also submit an additional internship application. Example subject areas include:

  • Accounting/Finance
  • Advertising
  • Architecture
  • Art/Design
  • Catering Management
  • Charities and NGOs
  • Environment
  • Events
  • Fashion
  • Government/Politics
  • Hotels and Hospitality
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Libraries
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Music
  • Psychology
  • Public Relations
  • Publishing
  • Sports
  • TheatreTrading/Sales

If accepted, students are required to take the Professional Experience in Business Context module worth 15 UK credits (4 US credits) alongside three other classes at the university. Additionally, you will be expected to complete approximately 15-20 hours per week over two to three days at your internship site. The University of Westminster has an Internship Coordinator who will work with each accepted student on the step by step process of securing a placement. Most placements are secured before a student departs for their program or within the first week of arrival.

  • Students are expected to gain professional self-awareness through observation, participation and analysis of professional activities as well as through interaction with colleagues in a work environment.

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King’s College London: Internship opportunities at King’s College are only offered during the spring semesters.  Placements are available in the following areas:

  • Applied Science
  • Arts/Culture
  • Engineering
  • Policy/Human Rights
  • Technology

Students should indicate their interest to participate in the internship program within the first line of their letter of intent. Upon successful completion of the Internship module, students will receive 15 UK credits (4 US credits) on their official transcript. Alongside 3 other modules and the internship modules, students are expected to complete approximately 120-150 hours of work at their placement. Most students secure their placement after working closely with the King’s College London internship team after their arrival in London.

Students will receive training which offers important insights on cultural integration, the world-of-work, life and politics in the buzzing capital.

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University of Roehampton: Internship opportunities are only offered during the spring semesters at the University of Roehampton. This program aims to help students begin to make the successful transition from academic study to a career in their chosen field.  Example subject areas include:

  • Arts Administration
  • Broadcast Media
  • Events Management
  • Newspaper and Magazine Journalism
  • Media Education
  • Public Relations

Students must select the London Internship in Media and Culture module to indicate they wish to participate in the internship program. Upon successful completion of the Internship module, students will receive 20 UK credits (4-5 US credits) on their official transcript. All students must enroll in additional modules to complete their academic requirements.

  • Students will spend 12 weeks in an academic setting followed by a 4 week placement. The course will include a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, visiting speakers, training sessions in relevant skills and tools before their placement begins. Students will interview with potential employers for the beginning of the semester to secure a placement.

For additional information on London Internships through the host universities, please contact the England Site Specialist Tayler Gill at tgill@studiesabroad.com.

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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!

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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. [...]

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Congratulations to the 18 ISA Fall and Academic-Year Students Awarded a Gilman Scholarship

August 14, 2014

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, [...]

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