The University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) has always provided students with life-changing study-abroad programs that allow students to immerse themselves in different cultures, but the Consortium is adding several new programs that will allow the program to continue to provide students with truly unique experiences. Students will now have the opportunity to study in Istanbul, Turkey, well known for its magnificent architecture and majestic palaces. Haifa, Israel is another recent addition to the Consortium's offerings, and a program in Florianópolis, Brazil is set to launch next spring.
The Consortium is celebrating its 30th anniversary this fall, having sent more than 30,000 students to 25 countries at 40 locations. Monica Robertson, manager of the Consortium's marketing and university relations, says that studying abroad is an experience every student should have.
"We would recommend all students study abroad," Robertson said. "To study abroad - to link what you are learning academically to what you are learning personally and experientially about the world, out in the world - has so many serious benefits academically, professionally and personally that it truly enriches anyone's education."
The University Studies Abroad Consortium began as a partnership between Boise State University and the University of Nevada, Reno offering a study-abroad experience in the Basque country. It was originally named the University Studies in the Basque Country Consortium, later to be renamed the University Studies Abroad Consortium. In 1982, Carmelo Urza was hired to lead the first group of students abroad to San Sebastián, Spain; he has remained as director of the Consortium to this day. The Consortium, which has been headquartered at the University of Nevada, Reno for all of its 30 years, now consists of more than 30 universities throughout the United States and works with hundreds of universities worldwide.
In the 1980s, the Consortium added new programs in Pau, France and Torino, Italy, creating a tradition of offering programs with a focus on nontraditional locations. The Consortium was able to offer students a unique and meaningful study-abroad experience at affordable costs. By partnering with universities to share expertise and resources, the Consortium created an economically sustainable operating model that has been able to continually provide high-quality educational experiences overseas for students from around the world. Over the years, the Consortium has continued this tradition and has expanded its programs to unique locations all over the globe.