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.
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.
Unpacked: Student Stories
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.”
and Making My Own Path
in Sri Lanka
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.”
Explore IFSA’s Other Commitments
We consider where your students are coming from, not just where they are going to study abroad.
Meaning and value come from cultural immersion and contextual understanding not found in travel alone.
With our intentional engagement, students create meaningful experiences that last a lifetime.