Student Comments – Testimonials
“CSA helped me with my financial aid to study in Spain. They sent my confirmation documents quickly, and helped process my financial aid to study at the University of Alicante. I lived in a student flat nearby campus, and had a great time in Spain. Saved a lot of money by going directly with CSA. Earned college credit and traveled extensively around Europe before going home. Would do it again with CSA if I could. Thank you CSA.”
“I studied in Provence, France at the University. CSA provided everything I needed to be registered and confirmed in the program. CSA made it so convenient and easy for me to study abroad at a very good university in France.”
“Studying in Paris was a dream come true. CSA’s low prices allowed me to attend the University of Paris for a Semester and earn 15 academic credits. It was easy to arrange my housing and airfare online using CSA’s web-links posted on their website. As soon as I arrived, I started meeting many students from around the world. We often teamed up to go sightseeing together throughout Paris and some weekend trips nearby. Some students I met paid so much more than I did on other more expensive packaged programs, but we were in some of the same classes together. Overall, you really do not need all the “extras” that these other more expensive programs provide….and highly over-charge for…. services that college students are old enough to do themselves. I made the right choice by selecting CSA….and saved myself a lot of money, as well as had more control over my housing and travel.”
“I studied in Madrid with CSA for the summer and earned 6 credits. I lived in a student residence whereby I met many other students. Living with a host family in Spain is basically a boarding arrangement whereby you rent a room from a divorced lady or widow…..it’s really not such a “wonderful cultural exchange” as many American students assume it will be. Student housing is often much better for you are close to the school and you meet many other students that way. CSA’s prices were very reasonable. Thank you CSA for a wonderful summer in Spain.”
“I attended the University of Alicante program with CSA, and had a wonderful experience. I took 4 hours of Spanish for a Semester, lived in the campus dorm, and earned over 15 credit hours. CSA’s price was very attractive, and they offered me a lot of flexibility in regards to housing and excursions. I met other students right away, and overall had a great study-abroad experience for a lot less money than some of my friends who chose other, more expensive programs. It was kinda funny, for they paid so much more than I did, and yet we were all at the same university in Spain.”
“When I first saw CSA’s low prices, I could not believe it. CSA was so much less expensive than several other program providers, for essentially the same program. I liked that CSA had been around for over 10 years and I loved the flexibility they offered, for I wanted to arrange my own housing and airfare. CSA staff were very professional, and the staff there in Shanghai were very helpful and assisted me with all my needs. I even earned 6 college credits for the summer. Thank you CSA! ”
“Several programs told me that I needed a high GPA to participate in their Paris study abroad program. CSA did not require a GPA. In fact, the CSA program was open to all adults. In addition, CSA prices were very affordable. I attended the Fall Semester at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and had a very memorable time. I earned 15 semester credit towards my degree back home, and my French language skills greatly improved. I also found out that GPA requirements by several other programs were mainly superficial, and and not really required to study abroad.”
“I am majoring in international business and I thought it would be a good idea to obtain some experience overseas, as well as study another language. CSA price was very reasonable, but I could not afford an entire year in Spain so I only enrolled for a Quarter term with CSA to attend the University of Salamanca. I lived with a Spanish family, had my own room, attended a famous university, made many European friends and overall had a wonderful experience. Thank You CSA!”
“I was looking for a short, language program in Italy where I could take a morning class and have the afternoon free to visit local sites and enjoy myself. CSA was able to provide a very good program that met my budget and schedule.”
I found CSA prices to be very attractive, so I registered with CSA to attend the University of Paris, Sorbonne to study French for a semester. The program was excellent, and housing was easy to find within the first 2 days. It was my most memorable experience during college.”
“I had just graduated from high school and I decided to do something different during the summer. Germany had always fascinated me, so I enrolled in the CSA summer program in Stuttgart. I lived with a German widow, had my own room, and took language courses in the morning. My afternoons were free time, and I explored all over the city. Met many people from around the world. In addition, I earned college credit. I plan to do it again.”
“I am 68 years old and live an active life. I had traveled to Europe many times in my life, but I wanted to do something different this time during my visit to Barcelona. CSA helped me find the right Spanish language program. I met both young and even some older students than myself, and was able to enjoy this beloved city in a unique way through the language program. Studying abroad is not just for students everyone can enjoy it.”
“My school did not offer the kind of program I was looking for, and many of the other school’s were very expensive. CSA provided me with the program I needed all within my budget. I attended the Beijing Language and Culture University… in Beijing, China for the fall semester. I shared a dorm room with a Japanese student and took my meals in a cafeteria on campus. I earned college credit, and transferred the credit to my school back in the USA. I enjoyed myself very much in China, taking time to travel in other areas before and after my semester. I wish I could do it again.”
“I had heard so much about Costa Rica from other students that I really wanted to go there to study for the summer. CSA’s program with the University of Veritas was perfect. Price was good, classes were in the morning, and the campus has a lot to offer. I got involved in extra curricular activities like white water rafting and jungle adventures. My host family was really awesome and took good care of me. It was a blast, and I met some really cool students from around the world. I earned 6 semester credits, and received a transcript from the University of Veritas. Thank you CSA”
“I always wanted to go to Florence, Italy. CSA program price and flexible dates were just what I was looking for. I had a wonderful time. Saw all the sights in Florence, enjoyed my classes, and stayed in a student type apartment. I highly recommend CSA, for they were so upfront with me about many issues and provided my confirmations very quickly.”
“I chose the University of Complutense Madrid program with CSA because the price was significantly lower than several other programs I checked. Also, CSA allowed me to arrange my own housing which was very important to me. I stayed in a student residence hall during the summer and took my meals at the cafeteria. It worked out very well. I earned 6 semester credits for the summer. Highly recommend CSA, for they provided me with what I wanted and such a lower cost.”
“One of my most memorable college experiences was studying abroad at the University Aix-Marseilles III in Provence, France. I signed up with CSA, for they were much lower than other programs for basically the same courses. I received my confirmations quickly, and CSA staff helped me with my many questions. Upon completing the program, I received an official transcript from the University of Aix-Marseilles and earned 15 semester credits. Overall, I had a lovely time enjoying the Provence region and hope to visit there again someday.”
NOTE: CSA no longer keeps track of past participants. Frequent changes in addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses really prevent us from continuing this. Also, we are not allowed to give out names and addresses (contact info) without written permission from past participants. CSA keeps each applicants contact info private, we do not give out (or sell) the names, addresses or e-mails to anybody.
We used to provide contact information of past students who gave us permission to refer them to potential applicants. But everytime we did this, they would receive numerous phone calls and e-mails asking them about the program. They soon got very tired of this, and asked us to take their names off the reference list. Some of them even threatened legal action. This got even worse with the use of e-mail….for they would receive so many. Another problem we ran into was keeping track of past students whereabouts. Students are very mobile, and they move often…changing their addresses, phone #, and e-mail.
Due to issues of privacy and legal reasons, as well as the difficult task of keeping track of past students, CSA no longer provides references from past students. CSA can provide you with other references, such as organizations that have worked with us and can vouch for our credibility. Since 1990, CSA has been a fully licensed organization in the state of Washington and city of Seattle. We are members of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, as well as the National Association of International Education (NAFSA) based in Washington DC.
Another issue with using “student references” is their credibility! Every student has a different experience abroad, and some are more adapatable to a different culture than others. Thus, some students will have a difficult experience purely because they are not mentally prepared to adjust to a new cultural setting, and it has nothing to do with the program itself. International travel is a “personal” adventure, and ones success depends largely on how adaptive the person is to the new culture.
Some program providers will continue to provide student references. But are these past students really “sincere” ? Are they getting any benefit from the organization for being a good reference and promoting the program ? If not, why would they take their time to answer e-mails from strangers or return phone calls? Have you ever been given a bad reference who says negative things about the program ? Will they give you the e-mail and number of students who had a bad experience? These are just some questions to ponder in regards to past student referrals.
Also, do not trust review websites or blogs. Many are “non-verifiable”, whereby anybody can post reviews of various study programs and say anything they want. Thus, some comments are even written by competitors (other program providers) using false names, and writing negative views in order to “bash another program”. Some review websites are merely “advertising venues” for programs that pay money to be listed only “favorably”….and they delete all negative reviews. It is estimated by experts, that over 40% of online reviews for hotels, cruises, study programs, etc, are “fake” (false). Overall, do not easily believe what you read online from people you do not know. Most are not verifiable. It is best to contact the company directly and make your own decision.