Academic Studies Abroad

About

Any study abroad program can get you to a country and find you a place to live. It takes a certain kind of study abroad program, however, to provide you with all the tools necessary to ensure that your experience is both memorable and fulfilling. That’s why ASA provides students on all of our study abroad programs with such things as:

- An official transcript so that your credits transfer
- Guided excursions to other cities within your host country
- Personal attention before you depart and while you’re studying abroad
- Comprehensive health insurance
- Pre-departure and on-site orientations
- Assistance getting your financial aid to transfer so you can use it on our program
- And much, much more!

Website
Headquarters

United States

Reviews

Bri
10/10

ASA couldn't have been a more helpful and supportive program! The program offers so many opportunities in enhancing the abroad experience, and I'm so glad I chose them on my study abroad journey. From the application process, where I started from square 1 and was constantly asking for help, to fulfilling my days in Florence, Italy, the ASA staff was there for me. I would tell future participants that the staff truly cares about their students and provides so much help and insight.

My favorite memory was climbing the Duomo with ASA--just one of the many activities included in your tuition! I passed by the historic monument each day, yet never had the ability to climb the steps to the top. In April, the first weekend of sunshine (because the spring I was there was greeted with rain!!), ASA provided us a ticket to climb the Duomo. To see the city from that height was incredible!

What would you improve about this program?
I loved representing this program on campus, so more opportunities for students to do this would be amazing. As for organization, structure, and communication with the program, ASA is incredible!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kristina
10/10

I am so glad that I went abroad to Maynooth, Ireland but I am so glad that I went with ASA. Our site director, provided through ASA, was extremely helpful. She gave amazing advice, knew Ireland so well, and was always there for us if we needed anything. But here are some of the best parts of studying abroad in Maynooth
1. ASA coordinated a pick up day at the airport so we didn't have to worry about getting from Dublin to Maynooth.
2. The housing situation was that almost everyone lived in a single in an apartment ("flat") on campus. Each flat had a little kitchen, dining area, and living space as well as around 6 people in each flat - each having their own bathroom as well.
3. ASA scheduled different excursions around Dublin and Ireland that were great! They helped us absorb the Irish culture and were already paid for in the cost to go!
4. Maynooth University offers an incredibly wide variety of courses each term. I studied some of the most interesting classes in my undergraduate studies while I was in Maynooth.
5. The people in Ireland are so nice and welcoming that anyone from anywhere is bound to feel at home after a week or two. I went to Ireland completely alone so ASA was a great choice because it put me in a group with about 20 other students from all across the US who were also studying in Ireland for that semester.
6. ASA allows so much free time, even with the scheduled excursions. I travelled to many other countries as well but still felt that I explored my home country enough!

Yes, I recommend this program
Julia
10/10

If I hadn't stumbled upon the acronym ASA, I would not be the person typing this review. I would not be as curious, hungry and driven as I now am. I aspire to see as much of this beautiful world as I can, and with ASA I was able to travel to 11 countries, including my host country, Italy. After experiencing the semester of a lifetime and making the most amazing friends who have similar aspirations in life and the same eagerness to travel to new places and meet new people, I look forward to all of the adventures to come. ASA is an organization that provides each student with so much support from the time you fill out the application to as soon as you step off the plane in your host country and all throughout your semester abroad. The individuals who work for ASA are passionate about their job and care so much about students, their well-being and their experience. I don't know who I would be or where I would be if I had selected another provider to study abroad with, but I sure am grateful I chose ASA :)

What would you improve about this program?
This program could be improved by having more student interns at universities to spread the word about the incredible opportunities this provider gives students. More outreach is necessary for something that changes your life as ASA does.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Caitlin
10/10

Going abroad was hands down the best decision I ever made! I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland at Griffith College from January 2018-March 2018. The experiences I had throughout those four months are unforgettable and will absolutely last a life time. I'm so thankful for ASA in helping me throughout the whole application process. It was easy and fool proof. The other best part of ASA were the excursions included in our tuition. We were able to not just experience Dublin as a whole, but also other parts of Ireland. We were so lucky to have our amazing on-site director, Olwyn, there to help and guide us through it all. Dublin is the most charming city and Ireland is quite the place to call home for a few months. No language barrier, incredible culture and the friendliest people you will ever meet. Not a day goes by where I don't reflect on my experience and trust me when I say you will absolutely never regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
It is working well the way it is in my eyes!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Shaye
10/10

I could not imagine studying abroad with any program but ASA! The staff in the states (hi Cayleigh) and in Ireland (hi Olwyn) was supportive in every step of the process! The most valuable benefit that was offered through the ASA program was the excursions. Not only was I able to explore the city I called home for a semester, but other beautiful cities in the country. Another valuable benefit of ASA is the variety of living arrangements offered. I lived in a residence hall at Griffith College; the hall community sparked immediate bonding with fellow study abroad students that I have already visited and reunited with in the states. Just from my experience, a few reasons to study in Ireland include the city's charm and craic (Irish for “good fun”) and with no language barrier, the ability to chat with locals!
TIP: the Irish use the phrase "top up" instead of "reload money" when it comes to phone plans and Leap cards (for DublinBus)

Yes, I recommend this program

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Shaye Gulotta

Shaye has a destination bucket list and she is determined to check all of the boxes! If she's not traveling, she's most likely sipping coffee and scrolling through Pinterest.

Shaye Gulotta

Why did you choose this program?

I was encouraged by the University of South Carolina's study abroad office and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications to choose ASA and study at Griffith College in Dublin, Ireland.

A benefit of this program and college was the ability to take my major-related courses abroad, rather than saving general education courses. Another deciding factor to choose ASA was the included excursions.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Academic Studies Abroad provided airport pick-up, an on-site director, medical insurance, visa advising, pre-departure handbooks and orientations, pre-approved academic credits and financial aid assistance. The staff at ASA was there every step of the process and were quick to respond to questions at all hours of the day! You do have to organize your own flight information, however.

Although I met with my USC advisor and got courses approved, students do not register or schedule classes until arrival at Griffith College, so those are subject to change. Griffith College provided residence-hall living arrangements; meals were not provided, but a shared kitchen is.

Back at my home university, the University of South Carolina, the study abroad office provided a Pre-Departure orientation of their own to ensure that we as students were prepared and had all necessary documents filed.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

You think you can, but you cannot do everything. I figured four months in a different country would be enough time to try every restaurant, every cafe, every night-life scene, EVERYTHING - I was wrong. I, ironically, found comfort in being a "regular" at places; I started to appreciate the familiarity compared to the need for new.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Classes offered at Griffith College were typically 1.5 hours - 3 hours and often held 1-2 times a week, Monday through Friday. Most classes had discussion periods that were mandatory and reduced the size of the class to further think or ask questions about the lesson lectured on.

When we were not in class, we were visiting tourist attractions, trying new restaurants, grocery shopping or running errands for upcoming trips.

Every other weekend or so we would have an excursion, led by our on-site director, to another city (Howth, Wicklow, Galway, Cork, etc.) in Ireland. Some were personally directed by our on-site director (a local from Dublin!) while others were organized tours or buses, paid by our initial program fee.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Compared to other study abroad destinations, I did not experience a culture shock and did not face the obstacle of a language barrier. I was not fearful of the foreign country I would call home, but rather, who I would be sharing and spending time with in the program. I was concerned about forming friendships, considering I had traveled solo, not knowing anyone in the program prior.

ASA already organized and established times/events/meals that gave students the opportunity to socialize and get to know each other beginning the first day. I think the biggest realization for me was that students that choose to study abroad tend to have similar personalities, motivations and goals - whether it be personal or professional. I had to remind myself that it wasn't only me who was nervous or clueless; we were all experiencing the same emotions and feelings. I am forever thankful for the other students in my spring 2018 program; the hall community immediately bonded us from celebrating birthdays to cooking meals together to sharing clothes -- to traveling the world!

What's your advice to other abroad students?

1. Meet people from the country! While I attended Griffith College, I met a few other international students here or there but did not form any close bonds or relationships with Irish students. Looking back, that is something I feel like I perhaps missed out on.
2. Even though you FINALLY learned the public transportation system, when you can - walk! Some of my favorite cafes or events around the city were ones we stumbled upon by chance. And NEVER stop taking photos - you're allowed to still be a tourist!
3. Try your best to budget - I found it useful to grocery shop and cook meals with my roommates during the week so that we could treat ourselves by eating out on weekends! Always look for promotional deals or specials!

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