Why USAC?

Whether you’re just starting your study abroad research or are making final decisions about which program to choose, you’re probably asking yourself (and USAC representatives), “what makes USAC so great?” While we’re just a tad biased, we believe that USAC study abroad is the right choice for any student looking to internationalize their education and enhance their global perspectives, and it’s been a while since we’ve beeped our own horn. So, to help seal the deal, we’ve shared some of our top reasons why USAC is so great (but trust us, there are way more than we could fit into a single blog!).

USAC students explore China during a field trip. Photo taken before COVID-19.

Affordability

As a nonprofit, university-based organization, we understand the financial hardships that students face every day. That’s why USAC is committed to maintaining modest fees while providing scholarships and access to other means of financing your experience in order to make study abroad as financially accessible as possible.

We’re transparent about our program pricing to help you make the right decision about your study abroad experience. Tools like our interactive budget sheets (click here for a sample) and our Affordable Study Abroad Programs table are available to all students.

Additionally, we take the cost of living and program expenses into consideration when selecting our study abroad locations so that you can have a valuable experience without breaking the bank.

“I love working for an organization that understands the importance of making study abroad a possibility for as many students as possible. Our programs are affordable and diverse. I studied abroad twice with USAC during my undergrad and wish I could have done more!” – Dominique Nelson, USAC Lead Program Advisor and Diversity/Inclusion Officer

Students explore Uruguay with their professor on a field trip.

Authenticity

We know that one of the draws of study abroad is the opportunity to travel around Europe, Asia, and other bucket-list-worthy destinations. However, we believe that study abroad should take students below the surface of culture and beyond what the average tourist experiences.

To do this, we:

  • Carefully select program locations in non-traditional locations and offer culturally-focused courses, field trips, and optional tours to help students better understand the community they are living in.
  • Host courses on campus at local universities, as opposed to on our own private campus.
  • Provide language tracks help students learn the local language, engage with locals, and immerse in their host communities.
  • Encourage students to spend time in their host cities, exploring neighborhoods and attending local events, instead of sailing off to a new city or country every week.
Two students participate in a lab during their study abroad in England.

Academics

It’s called “study” abroad for a reason, so we can’t forget about our academics! We understand the value of higher education, and we know that your time in university is valuable, so our programs are designed to fit into your academic plan, not work against it. We offer programs for every major — taught by qualified local professors who are experts in their fields — and multiple program models allow students to choose the program that best meets their needs.

Additionally, USAC programs follow the academic standards of colleges and universities in the U.S., and all of our Specialty Program courses are designed to meet U.S. higher education accreditation standards which facilitates the review of credit for transfer to your home university.

On top of our high-quality courses, USAC offers internships in 19 Specialty Program locations, nine Partnership Program locations, and virtually to supplement your classroom education. We know how valuable work experience is to employers, and learning and working in an international setting is especially impressive. Internships are offered in a wide range of industries including business, computer science and IT, health and wellness, engineering, research, marketing, journalism and communications, and more.

“I have never enjoyed a job so much. In a single summer, the opportunity granted to me from USAC allowed me to test out the waters of a digital marketing career and inspired me to dive into the career without hesitation. This experience has landed me interviews with a wide variety of businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local startups. Every day, I am reminded of the incredible value my USAC virtual internship has given me.” – Tyler Moye, Summer 2020 virtual intern and USAC Marketing Communications Coordinator

Study abroad students in Chiang Mai, Thailand explore Sukhothai National Park
Students pose for a photo at an ancient temple in Thailand.

Student Support

At USAC, each and every student experience is important to us. We wouldn’t work so hard to curate such unique, authentic, and academic experiences and then not provide you with the tools to make the most out of your time abroad! That’s why we have dedicated staff (most of whom have personal international education experience) to help you every step of the way. From a University Relations team to answer your initial questions about study abroad, to on-site staff to help you navigate life in your host city, a Health and Safety Department dedicated to keeping students safe and healthy during study abroad, and an Alumni Relations Officer who is dedicated to providing support to all USAC students after returning home, our entire team is here to help!

“To me, what makes USAC so special is the people. We have staff waiting for students to join them abroad who are excited to help those students have a successful academic and cultural experience. We have advisors in our U.S. office ready to check in with students on virtual advising appointments and help answer their questions. University relations staff who are eager to meet students on their home campuses to help them discover what UASC has to offer. All of these people are passionate about ensuring students thrive abroad, that they have opportunities for immersion and cultural exchange, and that they come home with new perspective and knowledge that will help them grow toward their future goals.” – Kaitie Brown, USAC University Relations Coordinator

Interested? Learn more about USAC study abroad and our available 2022 and 2023 programs on our website.