Intrax Study Abroad and AYUSA Study Abroad

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2.5 / 10 after 5 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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I did this program when I was in high school about 9 years ago now I was placed in Barcelona with a host mother and her daughter. I was placed in an abusive home for a year I tried to leave the home and be placed with a different host family the host family convinced the program that I just needed to adapt better and they became even more abusive after I tried to leave. the program did not listen to my requests to be placed in a different home and insisted that I adapt to the living situation. I suffered trauma that I will never forget. All because the host mom said she would be sad if I left. The program representative never spoke to me one-on-one she always spoke to me in front of my host mother which was very uncomfortable and did not allow me to say everything that was happening. In addition to this I was also placed in a home where they smoked cigarettes indoors with all the windows closed everyday all day and night even though I had requested a home that was non-smoking. This program is very unorganized and unprofessional and even dangerous for those who participate especially for young high school children I do not recommend this program for minors

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 12, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1
By: Lillygirl
Age:

I was supposed to be there for a year. I ended up leaving towards the end of the first semester. It started off very well, I had a great time at the orientation in Paris, and met some fun people who were living near me. Then we got shipped off to our host families. Mine was a husband, wife, and four sons, three of whom lived in the house. The first week or so was wonderful and I was very excited. Then, however, school started and we realized that Intrax had NOT bothered to enroll me in school. So I arrived, a junior in high school, and was placed into the senior year of the lycee, while being only proficient in the spoken language, because both the sophomore and junior classes were full. Needless to say, my grades suffered a lot, and I found classes boring because they were so far beyond my level.

Things also started to deteriorate with my host family, as they had very different ideas of how I should spend my time. They did not like me going out or seeing friends beyond one time a week. Otherwise, I was expected to be home and in the living room (not in my own room) with the family directly after school ended and on weekends. My laptop was to be left downstairs at night so I wouldn't use it, which often meant I could not Skype with my friends back home. Finally, a couple weeks after I arrived, the host parents stopped talking to each other. Completely. Turns out, they were considering a divorce, and had hoped that the inclusion of a 'daughter', which was something they had always wanted, would repair their marriage. Needless to say, that was a terribly high bar to place on me, and did not work out.

My local coordinator was only seen once in the four months I was there. She surprised us with a visit early one Sunday morning, talked down to both my host family and I about the importance of communication, then promptly left, all in under fifteen minutes. She was very unhelpful when I contacted her about a potential move to a different host family, and eventually offered me a host family across the country, which is when I decided to just return home early. I left three boxes to send home to the US with my host parents, as well as money to ship them, but when they arrived, certain things, like some of my Christmas presents and the journal I kept were missing. Of the 13 people who went to orientation with me, 11 switched host families and 3 beyond myself returned within the first semester, 2 in the second. I have not kept in touch with my host family, nor the company, but I know one of the kids who went home early was planning to pursue legal action against Intrax due to his experience (which was admittedly much worse than mine).

Please take this into account before you choose Intrax. Every word in this review is true. There are much better programs out there, and the support of your host family and your local coordinator is indispensable. I am currently interning in Paris, and I know I absolutely could NOT do without my current host family, who is very supportive, and my network of coordinators.

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 16, 2011
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1
Age:
19

They were unorganized from the beginning, I felt that they did not give me a lot of info before I left. Host family was not encouraged to contact me before being there. My local coordinator was a rotten person to say the least and blamed problems on the student, and not the family. She would also call people out in embarrassing ways and make them feel incredibly inferior.

If you are thinking of going to Spain DO NOT! The families are paid and therefore host students for reasons other than personal interest. (I have heard differently of other programs though - specifically Argentina)

Although my host family was very nice I never felt like I was part of the family, and they were almost never home. Nobody that I talked to in my group liked it - some kids at specific high schools were incredibly mean to the American students and would refuse to talk to them.

The trip back was VERY stressful. They cooped you up with a random family for overnight and did not give you your general itinerary for leaving until last minute.

Not once did I complete any homework in school - I wasted 8 hours a day doodling because the classes were so boring and all but one teacher refused to include me in the class.

Looking back on it there are things I would have done differently - but I will never forgive Intrax for the lack of comfortability they gave.

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 17, 2011
Overall:
3
Support:
1
Value:
5
By: mugirl
Age:
New User

Intrax did not look very deeply into the host families. I was put with a perverted host father and had to switch families. It took me a month to switch because the local coordinator was friends with my host family and I was given the blame for all our problems. My friend was told that she would be living with a widow, turned out the woman was divorced with three kids.

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 30, 2009
Overall:
6
Support:
5
Value:
4
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

reply #1 -- look into other programmmsssss!!!!!!!!!!!
I would love to talk with you some more about your experience, as I am looking into it. Thanks