Study Abroad Program Spotlight – Interstudy

As an alumni of an Interstudy study abroad program, I cannot say enough positive things about the company.

Interstudy fulfills the role of a “third-party” study abroad program. A “third-party” program is one that serves as the in-between arranger for a student’s home institution and their abroad university. Different third-party programs can offer different things as a part of their “package” – which is usually paid for by one’s home institution (but can also be paid for by an individual).

As a participant of a semester-long program at University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, I received the following:

* Pre-departure booklets;
* On-site orientation just for Interstudy and then the general one for all international students;
* Contact by an alumni student of the program;
* Group flight option;
* International Student Identity Card (which gives discounts at some locations);
* Airport pick-up and drop-off;
* A monthly stipend for food;
* Housing in the senior and graduate level dorms (with bedding, a lock, toilet paper, and a food package waiting inside our rooms);
* A cell phone and enough air time to call home quickly our first night there;
* A person who works on campus that served as our advisor (giving us orientation, ideas of where to travel, help during registration, etc.);
* Two one-day excursions and one full weekend excursion;
* A bank account at the local bank (Interstudy is the only program in South Africa that enables students there for a semester to set up a bank account);
* A student mentor who helped show us around campus and introduce us to people;
* And an alumni network where you can help people who are considering going abroad after your return.

If you have ever considered studying abroad, and your school does not yet have an established program at the location you desire – I would strongly suggest going through a third-party program, such as Interstudy. I really enjoyed the perks that participating in their program gave us – in comparison to other Americans who were studying abroad at the same school without such a program.

To learn more about the various Interstudy programs (offered in South Africa, Botswana, England, and Ireland), make sure you visit their website: http://www.interstudy.org/

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