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.

Founded
1988
Headquarters

6201 Corporate Drive
Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46278
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Juan
10/10

If you love being outdoors and meeting friendly people, Dunedin is the place to go and IFSA is the program to go with. IFSA staff helped make the first few days in New Zealand a great experience and prepared us to succeed in our respective universities. Once at school IFSA maintained contact with all of us and provided exciting trips (boat cruise in Doubtful Sound) for everyone in the program to reconnect on. While I made many friends at Otago, I can say that the best ones were found within the group of students participating in IFSA.

How can this program be improved?
I think there should be more ways for students within the program to reconnect during the school year. There are already weekly meetings, but the issue is that people get busy so it would be nice to have other options. What those other options would look like, I really cannot say. I know IFSA made the effort, but when you're there as a student there's just so much to do!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jon
8/10

My semester with IFSA Butler in the capital city of Lima, Peru was by far one of the most exhilarating and stimulating experiences that I have had the opportunity to be a part of in my lifetime. From the wonderful people that supported and guided me during my 4 months to the exquisite cuisine that came from every corner of the country, I truly could not have been more fortunate. I also had the pleasure to travel around within Peru -- the southern desert, the high-altitude Andes, the northern Amazon, the western tropics.

Being in this program allows for an individual to get a satisfying semester of immersive studies while also having the liberty to experience everything that the country has to offer. That also comes with a grain of salt; you must go after what you want. Sacrifice is inevitable, but not detrimental. Your time abroad is how made by how you decide to spend it. I would not have changed a single moment of my time in Lima, Peru. That city gave me so much more than I could have ever asked for. It taught me how to seize independence. It taught me how to be a small fish in a big pond. It taught me what organized chaos looks like.

I highly recommend this location for anyone and everyone considering to go abroad.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Alexis
8/10

This program is a good balance of independence and support. You have the freedom to take the classes you want and travel during your free time, but the staff is there for you if you need anything. The IFSA professors are super caring and friendly, and I had a good experience in my class at Universidad del Salvador too. The class registration process was a little overwhelming on top of being in a new place and having to figure out transportation, but I did enjoy having so many options to choose from.

How can this program be improved?
Better host family matching- there is a question on the housing form about whether you want an "independent" or "interactive" relationship with your host family but it seems like some of my friends and I ended up with the opposite of what we checked on the form.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jessica
8/10

Where do I even begin? I want to be completely transparent and not romanticize study abroad. Overall, I really enjoyed my time while in Santiago. I loved my host family and the other people on my program. Also Isa, the resident director, is an absolute gem! Get to know her and go to the office to chat with her!

I was fortunate enough to have a good support system, but I can definitely see how my time could've been drastically different if I didn't have that. I felt that living in Santiago was fairly affordable and overall the people were really nice. The Atacama Trip with IFSA was incredible!! Definitely one of the highlights of my time there. I also had the opportunity to travel throughout the country. I recommend taking the time to get outside of the city to see another side of the country. If you do have a desire to travel, plan that out as soon as possible because your time in country will fly by!

One thing I wish I had known was how difficult Chilean Spanish would be to understand. It's vastly different from other Spanish accents and dialects and there are a ton of "Chilenismos" that likely won't make sense to you. Give it some time and don't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't click at first. You just have to give it some time.

This program is great for people who want to be challenged with their Spanish and who are comfortable with change. I would absolutely recommend.

How can this program be improved?
The biggest struggle I had was when selecting classes to take while in-country. It felt that there wasn't as much support in providing information on classes that would be best for students to take. I recommended that the office keep some sort of archive of student evaluations for classes so that future participants have a better idea of what they were getting themselves into. I think that perspective was missing.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Hannah
8/10

Great location to study abroad, school is rigorous and can be a bit overwhelming. IFSA was a great program to go through and they put on amazing activities throughout the semester abroad. The best trip is to the Lake District. One of my favorite trips throughout my entire time abroad. Highly, highly recommend the program. IFSA is an awesome program to use for any location in which you wish to study!

Yes, I recommend

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Australia
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India
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Israel

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