We’re jumping for joy because USAC has been selected by GoAbroad.com as a Top-Rated Study Abroad Organization of 2017!
The best part about this award, it’s based on student feedback. That’s right — real experiences from real students who have studied abroad on a USAC program. While there are hundreds of study abroad organizations to choose from, this award emphasizes USAC’s mission to provide authentic, culturally rich, and life-changing experiences at an affordable cost to students across the United States.
“USAC is honored to receive this award as it is a direct result of our commitment to provide students with a beneficial, full-spectrum USAC experience: positive customer service and effective preparation before departure, academically and culturally enriching experiences on site, and new skills and perspective for a bright personal and professional future,” said Alyssa Nota, Ph.D., President and CEO.
Here are just a few things students had to say about USAC in 2017.
I would recommend this program to anyone interested in studying abroad in Italy. You really get the opportunity to immerse yourself in Italy’s unique culture, society, language, and history through various field trips and events in Viterbo, which is itself an amazing place to live. (It’s really incredible to live inside a walled city that has been around much longer than my country has existed.) Living in Viterbo also really gives you the opportunity to expose yourself to a truly Italian experience away from the influence of mass tourism in larger city centers like Rome or Florence. The continual support from the program coordinators relieves a lot of the stress that comes with living in a foreign country. The USAC teachers and students themselves are friendly and invested in providing and having a great experience. There are plenty of economic opportunities to travel throughout Italy and the rest of Europe. Overall, the program and the people you meet are amazing and have an enduring and meaningful impact on your experience abroad. McKenna, Goucher College
My time in Spain (Basque Country) can be explained by my days spent on the beach. Each morning I would walk to school along the boardwalk with the famous San Sebastian banister. The walk was long but the sunrises were beautiful and I got to meet up with my friends on the way. As we walked we practiced our Spanish, admired the scenery and made weekend plans. After classes, we would head home for a long almuerzo with our host families followed by adventuring to the beach to surf. While surfing we experienced one of the best views of San Sebastian as we watched the sun go down over the horizon and the city lights flicker on. Some nights you could find my friends and I wandering along the beach with gelato from the boulevard, chatting about all of our adventures. Even when the weather cooled down we were drawn to the beach, the ocean and the adventure of the San Sebastian coast. It wasn’t always easy but we took each wave together and embraced the swim! Vivian Williams, Boise State University
Studying abroad 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. 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 about the country, cultural norms, and contact 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, finding 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 run as smooth as it did. They even helped us plan a day trip to a monkey sanctuary and waterfall! Megan, Saginaw Valley State University
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 in Fall of 2016. I had one of the best semesters of my life, immersing myself in a foreign culture, food, and architecture. Taking the path less traveled 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. Devon McPherson, Cal Poly SLO
My program in Heredia, Costa Rica, opened me up to a world of possibilities – literally. Before studying abroad, I had barely left the United States, and although culture shock was inevitable, I find many elements of tico culture to be favorable. The people here are welcoming, friendly, most know multiple languages and are always ready to help out. The lifestyle is more relaxed and my time here has been, for the most part, stress free. As far as USAC goes, the staff is phenomenal. We always have cultural and social activities that have helped us bond as a group, and we have a program where we are set up with Tico friends, so I have been able to make many friends and exchange culture. It is very easy and cheap to travel within the country, and the USAC staff is very helpful in figuring out how to do it. The most beautiful place I have ever been was definitely Bocas del Toro, Panama, which I visited through an optional tour with USAC. In this program, I feel valued and truly cared for in any way I need. My classes challenge me enough, and my fluency in Spanish has already increased tenfold. I can feel the Pura Vida lifestyle seeping into my own lifestyle, and know this program is opening me up to a world of possibilities for work, travel, and cultural connections, as well as teaching me to push myself and stay fearless. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to study in “La Ciudad de Flores,” and even if just for a short time, share in the natural beauty of a country with a culture as rich as its landscape. Sarah Merrifield, Central Michigan University
Studying abroad can be terrifying. It’s also exhilarating, bewildering, and a little bit magical. When I studied with USAC, I felt that I was well taken care of. Every student was kept track of, especially during weekend adventures and outings, but we never felt smothered. There was room to grow – and grow we did. Each class was fascinating. At first, it seemed impossible to choose which ones we’d like to take. Once we settled into our courses, however, it was as if everything was meant to be. Every trip we embarked on, from visiting Cahir Castle to the Rock of Cashel, was amazing. Allowing ourselves to become fully immersed in the culture while maintaining a net of friends was easy. Even with culture shock, which does happen, there was understanding and assistance to pull us through. I await the day I may return to Cork. It was lovely, vibrant, and full of history. The friends I made and experiences I gained while studying helped shaped me into the person that I am today. Studying abroad wasn’t so much about study as it was learning and living. So, my advice is: go forth and live. You may learn a thing or two. Isabella Musquiz, University of Texas, Permian Basin
Studying abroad in Lüneburg was an amazing experience! I had the time of my life and made so many new friends. Meeting Germans was really easy in such a small town. Wednesday night karaoke at the Irish bar was a favorite among my friends! The Resident Director Steffi is so helpful and patient. She is always there to help everyone. I improved my German so quickly and really enjoyed the other classes I took. The professors are the best — thank you, Monika, Mark, and Constance! Hamburg is so fun to visit and is only a 30-minute train ride away. The housing situation was really cool because we were all able to live with German roommates or a German family. My roommate became a close friend of mine! I recommend everyone to go to Lüneburg to study — it is now my favorite place in the world! Madeline Marotto, University of Nevada, Reno
To discover where you can study abroad with USAC, visit our website!