No two student journeys are alike, so we tailor our support to meet each student’s unique needs. From our first interaction through post-study, we help each student pursue evolving academic, personal, and professional goals. We leverage our expertise and networks so that students can seize opportunities they didn’t even know they were seeking. Through strengths-based, individualized advising, we meet students where they are, using the unique qualities they bring as a powerful initiator to fuel growth and learning. With this holistic approach, IFSA students can go as far as their curiosity and interests take them.

Individualized learning at IFSA
Individualized learning at IFSA

Future-focused study abroad is not just about setting and achieving goals while living internationally. It’s also about taking a closer look at who you are and growing in unexpected ways.

Before students step foot on a plane, they design learning plans with IFSA advisors to help them articulate a set of personal, professional, and academic goals. These learning plans grant us a fuller understanding of our students beyond their academic lives. With this holistic picture, we can more creatively respond to requests from students that aren’t feasible in their host community.

When one of our premed students asked if she could shadow a doctor, we found this wouldn’t be possible at her site. By working with her IFSA advisor and host university, she interned with a music therapy program instead. In reflecting on her experience, she described her plans to use what she learned to ease her patients’ anxiety and enhance her future therapeutic practice. Through IFSA’s holistic, appreciative support, students achieve the experiences they want for their future, but not always in the way they first expect.

Sian Munro | IFSA Resident Director | New Zealand


Indianapolis Public School Principal Andrea Hunley discusses individualized learning as a tool for equity in this thoughtful Ed Talk. “Meritocracy is a myth,” she poses, and the systems within which we educators and our students move was not built to provide opportunity for all. In order to move beyond reliance on standalone advocates, we must dismantle our opportunity paradigm to create space for unique experiences, objectives, and abilities. By interrogating certain assumptions and intentionally seeking the missing perspectives, we can begin to make individualization—and equity—systematic.

Individualized learning at IFSA
ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Since 2012, Andrea Hunley has been the proud principal of Center for Inquiry 2 (CFI), an Indianapolis Public Schools International Baccalaureate magnet program in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. At CFI, students are inspired to become active, compassionate, lifelong learners who seek to make the world a more peaceful place through intercultural understanding and respect. Principal Hunley holds an administrator’s license, an M.S.Ed in language education, and a B.S.Ed in secondary education from Indiana University. She has presented at district, statewide, national, and international levels. Principal Hunley is honored to consider public education her life’s work.

Unpacked: Student Stories

In their own words, students explore how IFSA’s commitment to Individualized Learning impacted their study abroad experience.
Individualized learning at IFSA

Jennifer Liao | Boston College
University of Limerick
Ireland | Fall 2018

“She had never really thought about professional goals before completing the IFSA learning plan, so having to create professional goals for herself got her to start thinking about her future career.”

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Following My Interests
and Making My Own Path
in Sri Lanka
Individualized learning at IFSA

Maire White | College of the Holy Cross
Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) Program
Sri Lanka | Fall 2018

“I found that I made much stronger connections with people that I met by at least attempting to speak with them in Sinhala or Tamil because it shows genuine interest in their culture and customs, and it separated the ISLE students from the hordes of tourists.”

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For more student stories, check out Unpacked: Student Stories.

Explore IFSA’s Other Commitments

Inclusive Excellence
Inclusive Excellence at IFSA

We consider where your students are coming from, not just where they are going to study abroad.

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Intercultural Agility
Intercultural Agility at IFSA

Meaning and value come from cultural immersion and contextual understanding not found in travel alone.

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Enduring Impact
Enduring Impact at IFSA

With our intentional engagement, students create meaningful experiences that last a lifetime.

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Reach Out To Us
Contact the local emergency number provided to you during orientation or local authorities. For non-emergencies, reach out to resident staff during office hours.
Our health and safety staff are located globally to assist you in the event of an emergency. For assistance, you can reach a crisis manager at the following number, 24/7:

1 (866) 726-9540