University Studies Abroad Consortium

USAC

About

USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing an unforgettable experience. Each program is designed to help you grow into an engaged citizen of the world—not only through academic experiences, but also through field trips, internships, volunteering, and service learning.

Students can choose from programs in over 50 cities across 28 countries, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and Oceania. Students can enroll to study abroad with USAC for summer, semester, an entire academic year, or winter session.

Website
Headquarters

University Studies Abroad Consortium
University of Nevada Mail Stop 0323
Reno, NV 89557-0323
United States

Reviews

Brittney
10/10

Two words. Life Changing. It had always been my dream to visit India and instead I got to live and study in this beautiful and colorful country. The program itself is amazing not only because they have the greatest Resident Director (Smriti) but also the beautiful host university, the many cultural traditions, volunteer opportunities, and temple visits. All of these things you get to do while in this program and you will be fascinated by the different smells, colors, and hundreds of cows walking on the street. India is chaotic and noisy but in the most beautiful way. I already miss it and can't wait to be back. If you are looking for a program that will excite you and bring you out of your comfort zone in the best possible way, this is the program for you. This program offers many social science and health science opportunities and teaches you the differences between Indian and American culture. Thanks to the USAC Bengaluru program and all that it offered, I am now 110% sure of my passion in life that is to work abroad (hopefully in India) with my Public Health Degree.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked for the academics/courses to have been more challenging. Some were quite easy and not as challenging as I wish they would've been. Also, I believe the classes should be shorter rather than 3 hours long as I barely had free time during the week to explore. Overall, great program! If I could I would go again in a heartbeat!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Diana
8/10

San Sebastian was a beautiful city, I'm still amazed at the amount of beauty and culture that I was able to enjoy. It was the perfect size; everyone knows each other and I always had a sense of security. I was able to enjoy it in the fall which was a perfect time to do so, I had a few weeks of summer left to enjoy the beach, the winter was hardly cold, and the changing of seasons was unforgettable. There is something for everyone to enjoy, whether that something is hiking, surfing, eating, a nice walk by the beach or traveling, it's an incredibly convenient location. I loved exploring the smaller near-by cities and would recommend everyone to visit as many as they can. I'd also like to mention the staff, and the fact that they were incredibly helpful and attentive to all of my concerns. They gave me great advise on everything from the bus system, to airport concerns, to recommended hikes and I left more connected to my college professors than I'd ever been.

Yes, I recommend this program
Kayla Johnson
Kayla
9/10

I spent my junior year of college in Heredia, Costa Rica (2016-2017) and after two host families, countless hostiles, and one apartment I returned to the states without regrets.
At the beginning of my study abroad program search I knew that I wanted to be in a Spanish speaking country but the only Spanish I knew started and ended at "Hola." Sad, I know but I was semi determined to actually using my Doulingo app during the summer leading up to my trip, which got me to introductions and colors.
Price and location came next but my heart was sold on Costa Rica after watching the hundreds of travel videos on YouTube. I couldn’t believe how picturesque it seemed and I wanted to see for myself. Most people would probably just book a long weekend but no, I dedicate a full academic year to this hunch.
After spending roughly nine months in Costa Rica I can wholeheartedly say over and over again that the country lived up to its picturesque moments with so much more than I could have ever imagine.
This trip changed my life in the most cheesy and redundant way and I owe it all to the beautiful people I met along the way, my program advisors, my squad, y yo, Kayla.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Cameron
10/10

I highly, highly recommend USAC Florianopolis to any student interested in an awesome study abroad experience. Brazil is a rich, beautiful country, and many Brazilians consider Florianopolis (Floripa) the jewel of Brazil. I cannot say enough good things about the locals from Floripa, who proudly refer to themselves as manezinhos. Manezinhos epitomize the open, laid-back attitude of the Brazilian people. Many Brazilians love gringos who immerse themselves in their unique culture and Portuguese language.

USAC Floripa is comparatively cheap to many study abroad programs I researched, but it still offers loads of trips, island tours, and student support through language partners and a really amazing staff. During the Fall semester, USAC students traveled to Iguazu falls. In the Spring, we went on a weekish-long tour of Minas Gerais before the program officially started. This trip was completely planned and organized by USAC and was a great introduction to the country before we were let loose in Floripa. There were a number of fun group hikes and trips once we were on the island of Floripa, but I think the best experiences come to those that use USAC's resources to plan their own spontaneous hikes and beach trips (Check out lagoinha do leste, nofragados, and as many of the 43 beaches as you can!).

USAC offers a variety of classes taught in English, and you can also enroll in classes at UFSC, the local university next-door to the USAC office. This program is good for students from a lot of backgrounds, including natural resources, business, global economy, arts, etc. My semester even had some engineers and pre-med students that finished their gen ed requirements in Brazil, so check the USAC website for course offerings! Personally, I had classes in natural resources management, wildlife conservation, surfing, Brazilian cuisine, capoeira, and intro Portuguese I and II. During the first 5 weeks of the program every student only attends an immersive Portuguese class. After this, you have the choice to keep taking Portuguese classes, but I highly recommend learning as much as you can while you're here. You can go the entire semester only speaking English and partying your butt off if you want, but in my experience it's worth immersing yourself as much in the language and culture as you can. A motivated student can reach fluency or near-fluency in their time here, but a high accessibility for English speakers means this might not be the best fit for Portuguese learners that require an extremely strict environment/regiment to keep themselves on tract. Classes are intellectually engaging most of the time (every class has its ups and downs) and look GOOD on your transcript. My professors were all extremely passionate and inspired me intellectually and creatively. They understand much of your learning takes place outside of the classroom, so your classes will probably look a lot harder on your transcript than they actually are workload wise. Take all of the 1 credit classes (surfing, cuisine, capoeira) that you can because they're extremely fun and easy (meet once a week), and you'll learn about Brazilian culture while making friends with some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

Admittedly, I studied in Floripa in Spring '18, before a Brazilian election cycle marked by racism, sexism, and homophobia. Brazil is certainly far from perfect, but I still think Floripa represents a very accepting community for women and members of the LGBTQ community that want to safely experience the country, but are alarmed at the problematic rhetoric of the Bolsonaro government (many Brazilians told me Floripa is among the gayest Brazilian cities and there is a large, generally accepting college community). Like any big city, Floripa has its dangerous areas, but you can tell your family that it is considered the safest city in Brazil. I ignorantly walked home alone many nights and was lucky enough to avoid any really bad incidents, but bad people do exist and bad things do (and did) happen so you should always be careful knowing where you are and walking in groups through campus, the city, or wherever.

You have a number of housing options through USAC: single or double room in an apartment with other Americans or Brazilians, or a homestay. I requested to live in a single so I could have more independence. Homestays are a good idea if you're focused on language acquisition, but opt for an apartment if you want greater independence and privacy. I think I got really lucky with my apartment location and roommates because I got to live with Americans and Brazilians near the USAC office and UFSC campus. The location and independence of my apartment facilitated my social life and bonding with other students living nearby, but I did not pick up Portuguese as easily as friends living in homestays. Some friends of mine had less than stellar experiences with their housing or lived far distances away. Still, it is daunting to set up your own housing so it is probably easier to roll the dice, go with USAC housing, and attempt a switch if it's a bad fit. Year-long students can rest assured that they can change their housing their second semester to find some more obscure, cool housing options. If I live in Floripa again, I intend to look for housing outside the city so I can be nearer the beaches and trails of the island.

All in all, Florianopolis is an extremely fun city to live in. The island has a really cool mixture of city life and rural feel with clubs, bars, beaches, hikes, and soccer teams. This experience can really be whatever you make of it. You can immerse yourself in a rich culture while learning a beautiful language and meeting a diverse mixture of people or you can take a single Portuguese class and spend the rest of your semester tanning on the beach and partying with your American classmates. I recommend finding your balance to enjoy Floripa for all it's worth. You're going to make great friends with your USAC classmates. Build and cherish these friendships, but also take some chances and step outside the USAC comfort zone to meet people from more varied backgrounds. Take chances together, step outside your comfort zone, make travel plans around Brazil, learn the language, make some friends, and learn a lot! Study with USAC Floripa and you'll have a semester of self-discovery, fun, and fulfillment.

What would you improve about this program?
Make the housing assignment process more timely and transparent. Encourage students to immerse themselves in Brazilian circles a little bit more. Update trail maps and directions. Build a greater connection with UFSC clubs and events, especially Brazilian LGBTQ communities and other support groups.
Yes, I recommend this program
Bryce
10/10

I went to Vaxjo and had an absolutely wonderful time. The education was quite different then what I am used to in the US so I had a lot more free time which was great because I was able to travel all the time! What's the point of going to Europe if you're buried in a textbook?!? The people are amazing, Vaxjo has hundreds and hundreds of international students from all over the world so you get to me so many cool people and make friends and go traveling together. Vaxjo can be super cold/rainy/snowy but the Swedes don't give a **** what the weather is like they're gonna do what they want no matter the weather and you should to. There's no way you cant have a great time if you put yourself out there and just be friendle. Absolutely wonderful time. Going abroad should be a graduation requirement!

What would you improve about this program?
First day coordination is a bit lackluster. Finding info on what to do can be difficult.
Yes, I recommend this program
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