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