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Students and Families


Since 1969, SSA has designed its own innovative programming, specifically for U.S. students, with a focus on academic integrity, Spanish language acquisition, and student integration into the local culture. We are constantly adapting and improving our programs through regular analysis and reflection to be sure we are providing our students with the greatest learning experience possible. Our dedicated faculty and staff provide personalized support to students every step of the way.

SSA is student-centered and for more than 55 years we have been providing a fun, supportive, and challenging study abroad experience.

Academic Excellence in Study Abroad

Did you know? 83% of SSA students said that SSA's contribution to improving their language acquisition was excellent or above average.

A Higher Level of Student Support

Did you know? 93% of SSA students said both our availability for personal and academic support was excellent or above average.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students and their families often have a lot of questions before studying abroad or applying to a program. To help you understand the application process and help you prepare for a sojourn overseas, we have put together some guides of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions that we hear from students and their families.

Prospective Students

General information for prospective students about SSA and studying abroad. Program dates and application deadlines, funding and who can apply.

For Parents and Guardians

General information for parents and guardians about student safety, how to contact, and what to expect while their student is living abroad.

Financial Matters

Financial information about SSA. Funding, scholarships for students, how to pay and the refund policy.


The post-acceptance process for students including student visa information and travel arrangements.

Living Abroad

Information regarding living in your host country and your host family. Including internships, wireless information and student housing.

Health and Safety Information

SSA provides health insurance for all students. In each program location, an SSA staff member is available to accompany the student on medical visits. A copy of the insurance policy is included in students’ acceptance folders. This health insurance is mandatory for all students, whether you have insurance at home or not.

Click on the country of destination below for more detailed Health Insurance and Medical Care information:

The security and well-being of your son or daughter has been of paramount concern throughout the more than 55-year history of SSA programs. We understand your concerns as parents about safety and communication when your children are so far away. That is why SSA has put the following guidelines in place:

The following links are also useful for safety information:

Diversity and Inclusion

SSA works to create an environment that is welcoming and supportive of students from all backgrounds

Code of Conduct

Studying abroad requires a significant commitment to personal responsibility. While on an SSA program, you are, in effect, a cultural ambassador for your home country, a representative of your home institution, and a member of your adoptive community. As part of the application process, you agree to apply the same standards of conduct and academic integrity while abroad as you would at your home institution. These standards include, but are not limited to:

Following honest academic standards and maintaining your commitment to academic growth.

Strict adherence to host country laws and customs.

Respect for host families and fellow program participants.

Respect for SSA property, professors, and staff.

General personal and academic practices in line with those outlined by your home institution.

Student Handbooks

Student Handbooks

The Student Handbooks have been developed by SSA staff and alumni, and is required reading for all students. The handbooks are country specific and aim to provide you with necessary information before, during and even after your transition abroad. You will find that it covers most of your questions and concerns: how to prepare for your journey, what to expect abroad, and how to manage returning home.

Passport and Visa

Passport Instructions

Generally, to travel abroad you need a passport valid for at least six months after your program end date.

If you do not have a valid passport, you must apply for one immediately. It can take eight weeks or more to receive your passport, so apply for it right away. If the start of your program is less than 90 days away, you will have to pay for expedited service.

The most convenient place to apply for a passport is usually at your local Post Office. You may also apply for a passport at over 4,500 passport acceptance facilities nationwide, including many federal, state and probate courts, some libraries and a number of county and municipal offices.

For U.S. citizens, updated information on passports is available at the Passport Services Office. If you do not have internet access, you may call the passport hotline at (900) 225-5674 (telephone charges apply). Citizens of other countries should contact their appropriate government department or agency for further details on obtaining a passport.

Visa Instructions

If you are studying abroad for more than 90 days, you are REQUIRED by law to obtain a student visa from the country in which you will study.

Here is what you need to do NOW:

If you have questions about anything as you apply for your visa, call the country’s consulate nearest to you and ask. If any part of your application is incomplete or incorrect, you may not be issued a visa on time or at all.

We cannot stress enough the importance of your IMMEDIATE attention to this matter!


Request information

Quick Links

Boost your resume, flourish as a human being, and have the time of your life.

Discover our custom programs for high schools and high school study-abroad opportunities.

Before study abroad: learn why SSA is your family’s partner in secure, enriching study abroad experiences. See how we support your student’s growth every step of the way.

After study abroad: make the most of your study abroad experience: get career support, become an ambassador, request a transcript, and more.

Learn about SSA’s custom programs, book a site visit, or become an esteemed SSA partner to earn exclusive benefits and discounts.

We're Here to Help!



The IRs are your go-to contacts for navigating the complex study abroad process. 

They aim to respond to all inquiries within one business day.

Don’t hesitate to drop a message. No question is too small!

We're Here to Help!


Susan Hyman

Custom Programs Director

Susan is your go-to contact for navigating the complex process of customized programs. 

She aims to respond to all inquiries within one business day.

Don’t hesitate to drop a message. No question is too small!

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