Institute for Study Abroad

Institute for Study Abroad

About

The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Our primary goal is to provide quality study abroad opportunities, plus academic and personal support services, for qualified North American undergraduates seeking to earn academic credit through study abroad.

IFSA is organized to assist our students from the time they apply until after they return. Our staff in the U.S. prepare students for the academic and cultural changes that await them, and our offices around the world provide on-site support to help students make the most of their study abroad experiences.

IFSA currently operates programs in Argentina, Australia, Czech Republic, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, India, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Peru, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Sri Lanka, and Wales.

Reviews

Default avatar
Marlyn
10/10

IFSA changed my life for the better. I lived at urbanest (an apartment style housing provided through IFSA). I also had a difficult time choosing between living with the Ozzies or living with americans but again only my experience, I'm SO glad I lived with Americans. Living in urbanest a lot of people in your program will be there which turned out for me to find literally INCREDIBLE gems. I'm not joking when I say I met the best americans and friends abroad through living arrangements than I could have ever imagined. Like life-time long friends, who I actually see a lot now back in America. This is realllllly important for the aftermath of abroad when you're back and sad and going through reverse culture shock (lol adapting back to America....) to have this support system of tons of incredible friends who experienced the same as you and will literally keep your abroad experience alive for the rest of your life. I'm actually in the process of making post graduation plans with one of my friends I met in my urbanest to go live in Sydney for a year or two! The facility itself is really great also, very safe and secure and in really good locations close to trains and buses and lots of fun lil' cafes and sidebar (more for that if you want). IFSA was also incredible with creating a new support system for your home away from home.

How can this program be improved?
n/a
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Madeleine
10/10

I studied abroad in Galway through IFSA-Butler. It was incredible; I've never been happier in my life than I was in Ireland. Everyone at IFSA is so helpful and kind and supportive. They walk you through every step of the application process, help you prepare to leave, meet you when you arrive, and help you get settled. There's always someone ready to answer any questions and troubleshoot issues. When I first arrived in Galway, we had several days of orientations where we moved in to our apartments, met the other students on the program, and IFSA staff literally walked around the whole city with us, took us on tours, and bought us meals so that we could get to know Galway and feel comfortable there. IFSA also organized two weekend excursions that are included in the program, to Kilkenny and to Belfast. They were both incredible, with a mix of planned activities and free time, so we didn't miss out on anything. The whole time I was living in Ireland, I personally knew the IFSA staff who were my contact points- they came to campus regularly to check in and chat with everyone, and would even just hang out with us in town if they had free time. If I ever needed anything, all I had to do was send a text, easy enough since IFSA provided us with Irish sim cards for our phones! IFSA is just a fantastic program, they took such good care of us and really went above and beyond to make this trip the highlight of my life.

Galway is also an amazing city. It's very safe, whether you're walking home at 3pm or 3am. I was NEVER harassed the entire time I was there. It's beautiful and historic and small enough that you can walk pretty much everywhere, but big enough to include several ruined castles and open fields full of horses. And if you're interested in learning the Irish language, Galway is a great place to be. It's near the Gaeltacht, and NUIG offers Irish language courses for international students that include a weekend homestay in Connemara, which was an incredible experience. I met some of my best friends at NUIG. I loved everything about my semester abroad, and that was made possible by IFSA. If you're serious about going abroad, CHOOSE IFSA and CHOOSE GALWAY!

Yes, I recommend
Jacques
9/10

From the moment I arived in china until the day I left, the company and my host family made me feel at home and so relaxed. They truly helped me make it a very memorable experience. I've learn a lot about the culture of China through the culture activities and culture classes they gave, all of them were really enjoyable and gave me a whole new look at China. The language classes was of an exceptional standard and the teacher got us all involved which made the learning so much easier and in all I really enjoyed taking the classes.

Thanks to Aupairia and all the ladies in the office for the chance to experience all these great things.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Emily
10/10

Studying at Queen Mary University and living in London was by far one of the greatest opportunities I have been lucky to have in the first 21 years of my life. Not only did I get the chance to explore a new city, but also I was able to enjoy learning for the sake of learning.

Coming from a rigorous collegiate institution in the U.S., I am used to being bombarded with assignment after assignment. From my experience at QMUL, the approach to learning is a little different in the U.K. While the academics at Queen Mary are by no means unchallenging, the work load is reasonable and manageable. Instead of having multiple assignments each week, I had only a few assignments during my semester abroad, with each carrying most of the weight of my final grade. With fewer assignments worth more, I was able to simply enjoy going to class and engaging with the course material without the pressure of too many graded assignments.

In addition to the academic experience, I also enjoyed exploring the London social scene. I had plenty of time to try out the various food markets, pubs and clubs. In terms of my living situation, I had the best of both worlds, because I lived with British students attending QMUL full time and other students in my program.

How can this program be improved?
The only complaint I had about the program was that while I was applying IFSA-Butler at QMUL was implementing a new website that was not fully up and running during my application process. It made things a little less clear. However, those working with my specific program were readily available to answer any questions I had.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Nifemi
7/10

I studied at the University College London (UCL) for one semester. The semester was arguably one of the best times of my life. I learned a lot about other cultures, my culture, a different education system and the world at large. I was privileged to travel to about 7 countries throughout my time abroad and each experience was unique and enriching.
UCL is an academically rigorous school just like my homeschool Rice but it was interesting to see how the different the rigor was because of the different systems.
I would recommend studying abroad 100% to anyone.

How can this program be improved?
More support
Yes, I recommend

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