Study Abroad

Forum Nexus

A true life-changing Experience! This summer with Forum-Nexus was such an incredible experience. I made friends from all around the world and visited the most beautiful cities in Europe. The hotels were beautiful, the staff and the professors were so friendly and helpful. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in studying abroad.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Europe
Posted: Aug 17, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Sol Education Abroad

I participated in a five week program in Granada, Spain. The program was well organized and the directors were extremely helpful. They were ready to answer any questions and concerns at all hour of the day. The transition into this new culture and place was very easy because they provided me with the tools and information to help me succeed. The university was in the center of the city and was full of helpful and intelligent professors. I loved that my program was full of activities and excursions every single day. They weren't required, but I didn't miss a single activity because they were always fun and exciting. I also have to give them an A+ on helping me immerse into a new culture and learn a lot about the rich history of Granada.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Jul 27, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

The Intern Group

The process of arriving to and staying in Shanghai was handled professionally and smoothly to the extent that I never had any issues over this last month. As a point I would recommend this experience to friends as I feel it is a genuine benefit to future aspirations through networking and actively involving myself in a different work place culture. Furthermore, the social experiences with people that I would never otherwise have met strengthens communication and social skills.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Jul 7, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

The Intern Group

From the moment I applied until the time I got here, communication was great and stayed consistent. Whenever I had questions Tommy was there to help and answer. Even if I needed him to talk to someone on the phone he would do that for me. Everything is very well organized and everyone is great to hang out with and we all get along perfectly. I honestly think if I had any other intern director besides Tommy my experience wouldn’t have been the same. He has really made this whole experience more than I could ever ask for. Not only is he my director but I think of him as a close friend and will forever stay in contact. Walking away with the knowledge and experience that I know I can take into my future endeavors and career. Studio White Group is a sensational business to work at with great and very intelligent management and a great staff around the office. Great roommates! Great area to live in. Around the popular areas and restaurants. Easy to get to and from work. Metro close by. The food is fantastic. I like traveling to different areas and experiencing new flavors. The food is one of the parts that really make living in China a great experience. I was never afraid to do anything with people or by myself. Going out at night was fun, meeting the locals and even foreigners were great, and living the Chinese life is a memory I will keep forever.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Jul 6, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Sol Education Abroad

I really enjoyed my time in Costa Rica with Sol. I tried a bunch of new things (foods and activities, such as white water rafting), I spent some awesome time in nature (La Fortuna!), I met some really cool people, I lived with a kind host family, and I improved my Spanish. I really appreciated that the first several weekends had arranged travel, but then the weekends after that were open for us to travel as we pleased. This arrangement worked well because it gave us time to get acclimated to our surroundings before sending us off on our own. By the end of my time in Costa Rica, I felt that I had grown a lot in independence and courage. I was more willing explore new places on my own, and this is a skill that will serve me well in the rest of my life.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Jul 2, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Council on International Educational Exchange

This turned out to be an almost complete waste of money. The program coordinator made rules that were never listed in the pre-program information. He did not allow the kids to be out without the host parents. This led to hours and hours (11) spent in the apartment when there was no school and the parents had to work. When I contacted CIEE they claimed they had spoken with him and fixed the situation. This turned out to be false.

The host parents didn't want to break the rules and get in trouble with the program. My daughter didn't want to break the rules and risk getting sent home. About 25% of her time in Spain was robbed from her, of course CIEE has not offered to give back 25% of the money. If I had felt she couldn't be independent in Spain, I never would have sent her.

I even sent them a copy of their own paperwork that we had to sign stating the student must keep host parents informed of his/her whereabouts at all time.

Just very disappointing for a quarter of this program being spent as a prisoner and being treated as a toddler.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Jun 24, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Connect-123

Beware before signing up with this program!

In my experience, the program is unorganized and promised me things that they could not deliver. I was looking for an internship in graphic design which they assured me they could find a placement for me that I would be happy with.

I started out with one point-of-contact person, and midway through my application process, I was reassigned a different point-of-contact person with no explanation given. I was given my first "offer" which included incorrect information on the official offer. However, the agency they pitched me only had four employees and was a 40-minute bus drive every day from where I would be staying.

I told my point-of-contact person that I was not happy with the offer, and to please show me something else. Weeks went by and there was no other official offer given to me. Every time I inquired about it, I was told "Oh, we have many great opportunities to show you!" but I never was. This started to make me feel uneasy, so I asked my contact person about the refund policy. After flat-out ignoring my question several times and telling me that I "didn't need to worry about that because they had opportunities coming" for me, I began to worry.

After expressing my concerns and recapping my experience with a program director, I was told they were going to "get direct with me" and told me that I shouldn't be working with them if I didn't trust them. Given the fact that I had paid them, I would have expected them to take the opportunity to reassure me or make me feel better in some way. They did not, but instead took no responsibility for not doing what they promised.

All in all, I had to back out of the program due to their false promises. I had planned my entire summer around being gone with the program, and missed out on many opportunities as home that I didn't think I would be around for. HORRIBLE customer service.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Jun 16, 2017
Overall:
2
Support:
1
Value:
1

Academic Studies Abroad

As a professor, I loved working with Academic Studies Abroad. On three different study abroad trips, they provided me and my students with excellent preparation for the experience of life and study in another country, as well as the benefit of their extensive experience with all arrangements. Their attention to detail and support made for a memorable and hassle-free time in Italy for all of us. Highly recommended!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Italy
Posted: Jun 8, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Academic Studies Abroad

I studied abroad Spring semester of 2016 and it was a huge waste of my time and money. ASA placed me in a home where hot water was not readily available, the toilet could only be flushed 1 time a day (and 4 people shared this bathroom), the host offered her extra room to male truck drivers who we girls had to share the restroom/shower with, there was no central air or heat throughout the apartment and there was no access to a washer or dryer. I tried addressing my problems with the site coordinator and ASA director and they blamed my circumstance on possible "cultural shock." This was not the case as I had friends that loved their hosts and did not have ANY of the problems I was experiencing. I felt as if I was studying abroad in a third world country - not Spain! I ended up spending double of what I expected because the food that hosts provided was minimal and lacked substance, so I spent the majority of my funds on eating out in restaurants (and tapas are cheap so that should tell you something). I also did not feel immersed in the culture which was the main reason I chose to study abroad. SO I WARN YOU - DO NOT STUDY WITH THIS PROGRAM.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Jun 7, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

AFS

As a freshman in high school, our daughter befriended a very distraught young lady in her health class from Spain. As their friendship progressed, the exchange student confided in our daughter the unpleasant relationship with her host family. This young lady spoke of neglect and psychological abuse by the younger host sibling. Our daughter confided in my husband and i, we acted quickly and had the student removed from her original host family into ours. This happened within a week. We were able to complete the application process, background check and home visits due to the fact that our "students" liason and regional director were aware of her predicament.
She arrived without incident. However, I must admit we had no ideas as a host family what we had just signed up for. She arrived November 2, 2013. The dynamics of my family changed, as expected, instantly. Raising 3 teenagers is quite a task. She came to us Ill prepared to manage daily tasks The year passed quickly. We had very little support from our liaison or regional director. They did not do their in home visits as we were lead to believe were required. However, the mandatory meetings we as host's were required to make we're not negotiable even when they placed an undue burden on the family. One meeting was 3 hours away. The meeting was to start at 9;00. We left our home at 5:30 am only to discover the leaders just trickling in at 9:30. Meeting did not start til 10:30 once everyone arrived and got things set up. Needless to say, we were not happy. But this simply sums up AFS.... They do not keep there end of the deal. Once the original family couphs up the cash, AFS disappears. However the host family is left to figure it out.
Our exchange daughter returned to Spain in the spring of 2014. Happily, our family went to visit her family the following summer. We were thrilled to meet our exchange daughter's family. The visit cleared up a lot of the cultural differences. We toured all over Spain and became close to the family.
Needless to say, when the family asked if we would host their son 2016-2017, we obliged. Our exchange son arrived Aug. 2016. AFS was helpful until arrival. Then they switched to the AFS of old.... Obsolete. We were placed with a liaison who wer never saw. She contacted me 1-2 times, scheduled a visit and cancelled 30 minutes prior to arrival. I had rescheduled my work to accommodate her schedule and arrival time. We never heard another time from AFS until April 2017. A regional volunteer called after she realized we had not had a liaison visit since our students arrival In Aug. She stated that AFS was under the gun to get a liaison to our home asap because if the State Department were to review his records, AFS would be in violation and AFS could potentially lose their visa program. Suddenly, we were a priority! Next thing we know, a gentleman from our community who's daughter was an exchange student in the 1980's arrived on our door step with paperwork in hand, ready for us to sign he documents. He visited our "son" a second time prior to his return to Spain. Our student departed for home this past week early due to family obligations. AFS acknowledged his departure and informed us that their insurance would not cover his return trip. However, they have contacted us 2 times since his departure wanting to know if he would be in attendance at the final departure meeting! Lastly, they have asked for my daughters background check since she turned 18 today. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE AGREEING TO HOST OR USING AFS::
You and your family will not have any support what so ever from AFS.
Your exchange student will not have any support
AFS is run by volunteers, need I say more
This is an extremely expensive ordeal. You better be prepared to open up your wallet
Good or bad, your family dynamics will change
It's a good idea to vet your student and their family. It's a great idea to have an open dialogue with the original family.
Don't put the responsibility of the exchange students on your biological children. It will cause hard feelings.
About the time your student acclimates to the new culture,language and forms strong friendships, the program ends.
Lastly, please remember you will not have any support from AFS.

The exchange process can be very rewarding, but please know what your getting yourself into'
Penny Crain

Program: Study Abroad
Location: USA
Posted: Jun 4, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

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