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University Studies Abroad Consortium

University Studies Abroad Consortium Programs

Brazil

USAC BRAZIL: Florianópolis-Global Economy

The Florianópolis program offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the incredibly diverse and dynamic culture of Brazil while living on a beautiful sub-tropical...

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Italy

USAC ITALY: Torino-International Business/Politics & Art

The Torino program is ideal for students who are interested in studying International Business, Art/Architecture, and Italian Studies in an exciting, cosmopolitan setting....

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Thailand

USAC THAILAND: Chiang Mai-Southeast Asian Economic Studies

Chiang Mai is fondly referred to as the “Rose of the North” for its beautiful and relaxing atmosphere amidst friendly smiles, temples, and flowers. Add to these a picturesque...

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Czech Republic

USAC CZECH REPUBLIC: Prague - European Politics & Culture

The Prague program is ideal for students interested in studying and living in an extraordinary medieval city. Prague is an open textbook of modern and traditional literature,...

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Spain

USAC SPAIN: San Sebastián - Basque & European Studies

The San Sebastian program opens an academic window on the Spanish and Basque people, introducing you to the rich diversity of Spain and offering a truly multicultural experience....

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France

USAC FRANCE: Lyon - French Language & European Studies

Study in Lyon to learn and live in one of the most attractive cities in France, creating a fresh combination of the bustle of a large, European city and the simplicity of...

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Italy

USAC ITALY: Viterbo-History, Art, Photography, & Journalism

Bordered to the north by Tuscany and the south by the metropolitan area of Rome, Viterbo is a medieval city boasting of historical, artistic and monumental legacies. At the...

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Spain

USAC SPAIN: Madrid-Spanish Language, Art, & Spanish Studies

The Madrid program is ideal for students who wish to study Spanish and European Studies in one of the world's great capitals. Madrid is a fascinating city and has a vibrant...

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Chile

USAC CHILE: Santiago-Latin American & Anthropology Studies

Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile, features a natural and urban framework amidst a mountainous terrain. It is situated close to the country’s central coastline,...

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Costa Rica

USAC COSTA RICA: San Ramón - Life & Health Sciences

Sign up for the San Ramón program, a suitable option if you are a science major. For a semester or full year, you will gain an insight into Costa Rica’s health, ecology,...

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Spain

USAC SPAIN: Alicante - European & Mediterranean Studies

The USAC program is located at the 30,000 student University of Alicante and offers two diverse academic areas: Intensive Language and Spanish and European Studies. You will...

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Costa Rica

USAC COSTA RICA: Heredia - Latin American Studies & Ecology

The Heredia program in Latin American Studies and Ecology is an ideal path if you are committed to learning diverse Latin American cultures and the Spanish language....

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Germany

USAC GERMANY: Lüneburg - European Studies & Sustainability

Study German Language, European Studies, and Sustainability in Lüneburg, Germany through the program offered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium. The program is

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Italy

USAC ITALY: Reggio Emilia-Education, Communication & Health

The Reggio Emilia program is ideal for students interested in studying Italian language, education, communications, and health issues in a charming midsize city in north-central...

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University Studies Abroad Consortium Reviews

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Pura Vida Baby

Pura Vida, the phrase Costa Rica is so well known for, is really no joke. It describes the laid back and relaxed lifestyle that predominates throughout the country and it describes my experiences in San Ramon and traveling around the country perfectly! Staying with a home-stay family was an incredible experience filled with delicious food, smiling faces, and a place that ended up feeling like home. This program offered me structure while I abroad, offering faculty in San Ramon that offered advice traveling, instructions on how to get places and more. I was in Costa Rica a total of seven weeks, six of which were through the USAC program. It's hard to describe the impact a trip like this has on you. I used Spanish the nearly the whole trip, which I had not expected myself to be able to do, I fell in love with another country and way of life, and I made some incredible friends, including my home-stay family. The opportunities are endless in Costa Rica; you can bungee jump, zipline, surf, rent motor bikes, go to coffee and cacao farms, try all sorts of delicious food and so much more. It's easy to travel, and it is so much fun to get out of your comfort zone and try new things, even when they seem scary. My experiences in San Ramon and Costa Rica were incredible and it really felt like the trip of a lifetime.

Program: USAC COSTA RICA: San Ramón - Life & Health Sciences

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

You're Ghana want to go too

Studying not only in Ghana but also with USAC was by far the best decision I have made during my college career! I gained so much knowledge and cultural experience that I would have never gotten staying at my home University.

USAC as an organization
I was blessed to be able to work with such amazing staff both at USACs central office but also at the University I studied at. Before going I was provided with all of the essentials needed to feel comfortable going abroad; a packing list, facts the country, cultural norms, and information for others who went on my program. Once I got to my home university I had an amazing resident director, Auntie Abigail. She as well as Auntie Claudia helped us settle into our new lifestyle in Ghana. They even paired us up with local students who helped us navigate important things like getting food, fun activities, and transporting us to local health centers when we weren’t feeling the best. If it wasn’t for my onsite staff I am not sure my program would have ran as smooth as it did. They even helped us plan a day trip to a monkey sanctuary and waterfall!

Housing
The dorms that we stayed in were far beyond my expectations. We each had our own closet, shelving, desk, and bed. The rooms were just as spacious as any United States dorms are. They were kept clean and I felt comfortable and safe sleeping there at night. The dorm building right across the parking lot also had a mini store and women who would cook for you for an extremely small price. On top of this a night market and larger shop were less than a minute walk from our dorm building. You could purchase fresh fruit, meats, and other foods for extremely cheap.

Campus/Classes
All my classes that I took were extremely beneficial to my learning. I was able to do service learning in the community with Echoing Hills Village a special needs facility. There I was able to teach 4-8 year olds their letters, colors, and other topics. It helped me become immersed in the culture. I also took African music and dance and learned 3 traditional African dances that I am still able to perform. Lastly, I took a social work class where every week we took field trips to social service places in the community such as orphanages, HIV clinics, and meeting with the women who worked in the market. The classes added to my experience and campus was beautiful. It was a large campus but everything was accessible by walking.

Program: USAC GHANA: Accra - African Studies & Full Curriculum

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

#Stellies

I attended Stellenbosch University in the Summer semester (Jan-Jun) in 2016, and I absolutely loved it. What a truly amazing experience! In terms of support and assistance, USAC was excellent - though there is no on-site USAC staff, none was really needed (and it keeps costs down!). The town is gorgeous, and there are nature reserves and mountains right next door; not for nothing is Stellenbosch’s nickname “Eikestad”, city of oaks!
As someone who attended a small liberal arts school back home, going to a big university seemed daunting but really wasn’t bad at all. The only thing that surprised me was that we couldn’t bring food or drinks into the library (or perhaps my school is unique in that respect), the fact that the library closed in the mid-afternoon, as well as the requirement that we pay for WiFi and internet. It makes sense, what with so many students, but it adds up really quickly.
I never once felt unsafe in Stellies, but you do have to be smart safety: stay in groups at night, stay on the patrolled routes as much as possible, don’t leave your stuff where someone can take it, etc. But especially on Wednesdays and weekends, there are always tons of people going out so it’s fine. And the nightlife in town is great! No need to go to Longstraat in Cape Town.
The two things I didn’t like: USAC required us (it might have changed) to take this sociology course, which I absolutely hated; I understand they wanted us to learn more the country and its history/social nuances but I think there might have been a better way. Second, they placed us in a residence (Academia) (this also might have changed) where we were surrounded by Americans and Europeans. I was lucky to be able to make South African friends through my classes, but some of my flatmates pretty much only made non-African friends because they were in only the IPSU (international) courses.
Tips: Take real SU classes, not only IPSU classes; you’ll meet more people and it’ll be a lot more “authentic”. Don’t just stay in Stellies/Cape Town, explore the rest of the country/region after classes end if you can! Visit a bunch of vineyards, they’re worth it. Learn as much as you can the history and current affairs of SA, including the complex racial issues/apartheid, before you leave. Do NOT pay for a gym membership unless you’re really and truly going to use it. Get a Matie bike!! they are sooo worth it. Hike Stellenbosch Mountain and don’t be afraid of getting robbed; you’ll be fine as long as you don’t look flashy and are with a group; and the view is beautiful! Visit Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch. Hike in Jonkershoek. Go chocolate tasting at Spice Route. Learn some Afrikaans and some isiXhosa. Get season passes for the Maties rugby games, they are so much fun! (It’s “mah-tees”, not “may-tees”!!) Don’t forget you’re there to study, too; it’s not just fun and games... but make sure you’re enjoying yourself too! Try rooibos tea at a cafe, ostrich burgers at Food Lovers, braaibroodtjies at De Stomme Jonge - branch out with your food choices! (protip, the avocados are phenomenal in SA). Get your SA friends to teach you how to braai, and then go do it on a beach and sleep overnight! Do not mess with baboons, they are scary. The giant muffins at DCM in the Neelsie are worth the ten minute wait. It gets really really cold between May and September and the buildings are not insulated. And finally - chocolate chips, (good) marshmallows, and Graham crackers do not really exist in South Africa. Be prepared. To conclude: PICK THIS OPTION. GO HERE. Enter with few expectations and you will have the experience of a lifetime.

Program: USAC SOUTH AFRICA: Stellenbosch - Undergraduate Courses

Overall Rating

7 / 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    7

Older Student Seeks Independence

As an older USAC exchange student, I lived in my own, off-program accommodations with much less English-to-English interactions than my fellow program classmates. This helped my speaking skills skyrocket tremendously and gave me much more freedom to travel without supervision (or an overprotective host mom). However, it also isolated me, as I was 1) further from the campus than other students and 2) not invited to as many outings. I also had outgrown that whole "You can drink at 18 here!" craze and learned to avoid hanging with the younger students on weekends to avoid taking a mom role.

That said, the freedom was great: I ran for an hour every morning, practicing my Spanish translating street signs and learning Heredia's geography. I also traveled the country alone during Semana Santa, visiting the Osa Peninsula and Puerto Viejo in one week, free to plan whatever excursion I please without waiting on anyone. Though the cultural catcalling sucked as lone woman in a Latin American country, I rarely felt unsafe, and strangers were helpful and looked out for me (especially other women I sat next to on public buses or stood beside in ticket lines).

I would definitely go again, and for a younger study, this program is a great, safe place to start their traveling lives.

Program: USAC COSTA RICA: Heredia - Latin American Studies & Ecology

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Check out to Czech in

Hi,

My name is Devon McPherson a 4th year Business Finance student from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I was fortunate enough to study abroad with the USAC Studies Abroad Consortium in Fall of 2016. I had one of the best semester of my life, immersing myself in foreign culture, food, and architecture. Taking the path less traveled by was one of the best decisions I have made to date. What I learned were things you would never learn in a history textbook in the United States. You learn by letting your wall down and living your life to the fullest in the city that you choose. The experience is truly what you make it, where you go, who you meet, and adventures you dare travel to.

I would HIGHLY recommend studying abroad in a new city, especially if you have never been out of the United States. It not only opens your borders, but your mind in many different aspects that you would not think . I came back from my experience abroad more thankful and open minded in the world that I live in. Don't look back and regret not studying abroad.

Program: USAC CZECH REPUBLIC: Prague - European Politics & Culture

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