We say that ISE is “where language matters.” And we think that’s what sets us apart.
We share your passion for language and learning. Speaking the language with native speakers and immersing oneself in the culture through a family stay are essential components of any ISE experience. Not all travel programs place this kind of emphasis on learning but we think it adds immeasurably to the value of the experience.
ISE is your resource and partner in providing top-notch language and cultural learning beyond the classroom, whether that means hosting international students in your community or traveling abroad.
What is the ISE difference?
True immersion through a family stay
We place one student per family to ensure a deeply immersive experience. Host families are volunteers who are excited to share their daily lives and interests with a young person from another country, and are curious about other cultures. Students often describe the family stay as their favorite part of the program.
High-quality travel programs that bring language to life
ISE programs are paced so that students have time to engage with and absorb the culture. Itineraries are abundant with opportunities to engage with native speakers, from guided tours to artisanal workshops to school visits. Guided programs are available in addition to itineraries that are led by the teachers themselves. Custom programs are designed to fit every budget and dream itinerary.
Cultural exchange for the whole family
ISE brings teenagers from Spain, France, and Germany to the U.S. each summer to live with volunteer host families. This 2-5 week hosting opportunity engages the whole family in learning about another culture and sharing their own daily lives and interests. Long-term friendships between families often result, and students are inspired to continue learning another language, to travel abroad and to live with a host family one day!
Outstanding customer service
Your ISE Coordinator is fluent in the language you teach, an expert in the destination you travel to and provides you with support from start to finish. The entire ISE staff is passionate about providing high-quality experiences for you and your students.
Your partner in preparation
Preparation is key! When students and teachers know what to expect, they can truly focus on the experience. ISE has created a dynamic wiki space with a multitude of activities to prepare teachers and students before, during and after they travel abroad. The Source workbook guides teachers through the process of preparing their students and parents for this experience. ISE also brings traveling teachers to the Twin Cities for an annual Teacher Workshop, providing space and resources to plan and prepare for traveling with students.
As a nonprofit educational organization, ISE consciously invests in language teachers and students. Annually, ISE provides:
- $50,000 in need-based financial aid to students whose household incomes are $50,000 or less
- $4000 to world language teachers who are nominated for the ISE Language Matters Awards through their state or regional professional association
- $7,000-$14,000 to world language departments when two or more languages travel abroad with ISE in the same or alternate years.