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Experiential Learning

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Compliment your academic journey

Every IFSA program includes possibilities for engaging experiences that take learning further.

Learning by doing is powerful. Paired with structured reflection, hands-on experience brings classroom lessons and theory to life. It illuminates connections in lasting ways — and provides a valuable stepping stone toward your goals and aspirations.

Built into every excursion

At IFSA, experiential learning is a big part of how we make study abroad so much more than exploring like a tourist. By incorporating hands-on experiences and reflection into every IFSA activity and excursion, you’ll go deeper into the culture of the country you’re visiting, and take time to consider your own views and beliefs as you compare them to what you see, hear, taste, and feel.

Experiences for every goal

Opportunities vary by program. Generally speaking, you can add experiential learning opportunities in one of four ways: internships, directed researched, student teaching, or volunteering.


Whether you help build financial models in Shanghai, pitch in at museum in Rome, or promote special events in Australia, adding an internship to your experience is sure to open new doors and illuminate new paths.

Take advantage of our global network of connections to strengthen your resume, gain practical work experience and earn academic credit. An internship abroad will also:

  • Immerse you in local professional culture
  • Grow your network of colleagues
  • Show your ability to navigate multicultural settings

Directed Research

Picture yourself studying how music intersects with behavioral therapy in Argentina, exploring healthcare on a Sri Lankan tea plantation, or tackling an engineering challenge in Dublin.

With IFSA, you can conduct research of your own with faculty experts on a wide range of topics in Argentina, Australia, Chile, England, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, or Sri Lanka. It’s an exciting opportunity to sharpen your skills in project management, critical and creative thinking, and written and oral communication while you dig deeper into your field of study.

Student Teaching

Gaining classroom experience abroad is a valuable way to prepare to teach today’s diverse student populations. Our Enrollment Counselors are ready to help you find programs that offer student teaching. Reach out today: studyabroad@ifsa-butler.org


Protecting workers’ rights in Mexico. Cataloging information from an ancient archeological site in Peru. English tutoring for Cuban peers and young professionals. These are experiences that show you’re willing and able to contribute, wherever you may be in the world. Volunteering is also a meaningful way to get to know the people of your host country and the issues that challenge local communities there. 

If you’re interested in volunteering, let your IFSA Enrollment Counselor know. Some countries limit U.S. student volunteering, and we’re happy to help guide your search. Once you’ve arrived for your program, our on-site staff are fantastic resources, ready to help you find opportunities that align with your interests and goals.  

Take the first step by scheduling a time to chat with an Enrollment Counselor: studyabroad@ifsa-butler.org.