Choosing a location on where to study away can be a challenge in of its self. Throw in now having to choose a provider on who you want to go abroad with can be an even bigger challenge. I’m going to discuss each program in car terms because I’ve found that the students I advise seem to understand the difference between the programs better this way.
ISA is like the Mercedes of going abroad. What I mean is that this organization offers the majority of their programs in large, well known cities like London and Paris. Customer service is a big part of ISA in how they operate their programs. You can expect excursions and other activities to be top notch and should you need any help, their staff will not hesitate to assist you in anyway possible.
USAC is like a top trim level Honda Accord. You’re still getting the sunroof and heated leather seats that you want, but just in a more affordable package. This organization offers many of the same things as ISA, but instead of going to major cities, they have programs in small to medium sized cities. So instead of going to Paris, you’d go to Lyon or Pau. USAC might be worth your time if you’re looking to save a little money and live in a smaller community.
SOL Education Abroad (SOL)
Focusing just on Spanish immersion programs across Latin America and Spain, SOL is the Subaru of going abroad to learn Spanish. Just like the all wheel drive on their vehicles, SOL’s programs are customizable and can fit pretty much any students needs to get them where they need to be. SOL also provides a variety of classes for those looking to knock out some elective and major classes while they’re abroad too if you’re not just a Spanish major. And continuing with the same theme, SOL is similar to ISA and USAC in terms such as quality of programs and customer service.
Our last program I like to call the base Honda Civic or you’re reliable A to B car. This organization is the more hands off approach to going abroad. You’ll still have a staff to support you, but excursions and other cultural activities are seldom offered. This program is designed for students who just want to go to a specific country and not have all the bells and whistles attached. Maybe you’ve been abroad before, or maybe money is a little tight and the fact that this is the only program where you pay Missouri State tuition and fees is enough to get you on board.
No matter what you choose, they’re all excellent programs and are very good at what they do in their respective sectors. If you have any questions, come see us in the student union room 209.