What’s Included


COMPREHENSIVE ADVISING & SUPPORT

A team of helpful ISA staff members is here to support you through the entire process, from finding the perfect program through re-entry. The Program Advisors will help you choose your program based on your unique objectives. Once you’ve selected your program, you will work with your Program Manager on the application process as well as pre-departure forms, finances, housing, visas, and city-living/cultural guidance. The ISA Service-Learning Placement Coordinator will set up an interview and advising session to discuss your service-learning placement goals and preferences before connecting you with one of our partner organizations.

In addition to individual advising, you will receive virtual resources to help prepare you for your time abroad. This includes the ISA Student Portal, which houses your program application, pre-departure forms/resources, and the online orientation. The online orientation is a pre-cursor to the on-site orientations and offers city-specific resources about living in your host city, communication, packing, diversity abroad, how to be successful, and more.

COMPREHENSIVE ADVISING & SUPPORT


24-HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICES

The ISA Health, Safety, and Security team facilitates an in-house on-call system with a U.S.-based employee and manager who are on-call and available in case of emergency 24-7. ISA regular office hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:00am - 7:00pm and Friday, 7:00am - 5:00pm Central Time.

If you are a parent or student needing assistance in an emergency outside of the regular office hours, please call the ISA office at 512-480-8522 to access the ISA emergency contact information for that week. Students who experience an emergency while abroad will also have access to on-site staff 24-hour emergency assistance.

24-HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICES


VISA SUPPORT

Your ISA Program Manager will be available to help you with the visa process for your program country, if applicable. They will provide resources, guidance on necessary steps to obtain your visa, and deliver supporting visa application materials to you as needed.

VISA SUPPORT


ON-SITE BRIDGING CULTURE ORIENTATION

The Bridging Cultures Orientation will be delivered to you in the first few days of your time abroad. It is designed to prepare you for a successful, positive, and rewarding experience that will influence the rest of your life. This is accomplished through introducing you to your host city’s culture and infrastructure as well as through goal setting, intercultural awareness, diversity, and professional development activities.

ON-SITE BRIDGING CULTURES ORIENTATION


HOUSING

Housing is guaranteed and included in the price of all ISA Service-Learning programs. Accommodation options will vary according to program location and term. For more details about ISA's housing options and applicable security deposits, please refer to the housing information for your location of interest.

HOUSING


MEALS AND LAUNDRY SERVICE

The number of meals and possibility of laundry services vary per location. Meals and laundry services are provided with most homestays. For more details, please refer to the housing information for your location of interest.

MEALS AND LAUNDRY SERVICE


FULL-TIME RESIDENT STAFF

The full-time resident staff is available to assist you with all aspects of your experience abroad. The resident staff provides support during official course registration and arranges the Bridging Cultures Program orientation, excursions, weekly meetings, cultural activities, and much more. Staff members are trained to ensure the well-being of each program participant and are dedicated to facilitating a positive and meaningful experience abroad.

FULL-TIME RESIDENT STAFF


INSURANCE

A Blanket Accident and Sickness Policy is included in the program and covers you during the official on-site period of the program. This is not an optional benefit; every ISA participant will be covered by this policy. A full description of coverage can be found on the ISA website.
We recommend that you maintain comprehensive health insurance while abroad. This is particularly important if you have any pre-existing conditions but is also beneficial if you have an injury or illness while abroad and require further treatment upon your return home. Please be sure to consult with your current insurance provider to confirm coverage policies while traveling abroad.

INSURANCE


AIRPORT RECEPTION

Transportation is provided from the airport for participants who arrive during the designated pick-up times.

AIRPORT RECEPTION


ISA SERVICE-LEARNING PORTFOLIO

Throughout your ISA Service-Learning program, you will engage in guided group and individual reflection activities. These activities and assignments are documented and included in each participant's ISA Service-Learning Portfolio along with an evaluation from the host organization supervisor, and a certificate of completion. Please visit the Reflection page for more information about the portfolio components.

ISA SERVICE-LEARNING PORTFOLIO


ACADEMIC CREDIT OPTIONS

Participants have the option to receive a U.S. transcript through the University of South Florida for an additional fee. Please visit the Academic Credit page for more details.

ACADEMIC CREDIT OPTIONS


PROJECT MATERIALS

Many of the host organizations operate on small budgets that are often stretched thin to meet the high demand for their services. Your service-learning participation includes the cost of materials necessary for you to be successful in your placement such as teaching supplies, building materials, etc. Project materials are not included in all programs.

PROJECT MATERIALS


CULTURAL ACTIVITES

The ISA resident staff develops unique cultural activities custom-designed to invite you to experience the local color of your host city, while learning about the history and culture of your new surroundings. Speaking the native language with locals, tasting the regional cuisine, and partaking in local traditions are only a few of the ways these cultural activities lead to full appreciation of your host city.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES


OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS

For participants enrolled in full-time service-learning programs, organized ISA excursions may be available at an additional cost, depending on program dates and length. For participants enrolled in a Study + Service-Learning Combo program, excursions are included in the programs fee. Excursions typically include ground transportation, entrance fees, and guided tours as well as hotel accommodations and breakfast for overnight excursions.

OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TOOLBOX

The Professional Development Toolbox, available in the online orientation section of the student portal, will help you identify the skills and key competencies you have developed through your personal, academic, and cultural experiences. This toolbox helps you to articulate the transferable skills developed throughout your program in a way that shows potential employers or post-graduate universities the benefits you will provide them as a direct result of your experience abroad.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TOOLBOX

Budgeting for Additional Expenses

To make sure you are prepared for additional expenses outside of what is already included in your program, we have outlined some items that should be taken into consideration to properly budget.

  • Round trip international fare
  • Passport and visa fees (if applicable)
  • Personal travel
  • Personal spending money
  • Transportation to and from your host organization
  • Optional excursions

Data From Alumni Survey

90percent

Felt their service-learning experience allowed them to make a personal contribution to the mission of their host organization

88percent

Said they continue to serve in their local communities

84percent_b

Agreed that their service learning program helped shape the focus of their career

93percent

Made a personal connection with the members of their host community

This program is unique in the sense that it has the ability to transcend cultural differences and connect with people so different from one another thanks to one common passion: serving others. If you want the opportunity to really dive into a culture and connect with people of the host community, service-learning is the best way to do it.

Julia O.
(Granada, Spring 2018)

I loved my service-learning experience abroad and would recommend it to anyone! For me, it was a great opportunity to integrate my Spanish language skills with my area of study (nursing), which is a really unique opportunity. It gave me the chance to have more purposeful interaction with the host community during my time abroad, which I think it a key aspect to the study abroad experience.

Rebekah H.
(Valparaiso, Fall 2017)

I learned so much participating in service-learning. This experience allows you to open your mind to so many different ways of life, social issues happening in other countries, and ways you can help. The skills you develop are endless because you learn to work alongside diverse groups and not only share your knowledge but also learn from them as well. This experience really helped me grow as a person.

Jordan P.
(Lima, Summer 2018)