Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University
Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University Programs
Study abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Take part in a program that offers many Irish cultural courses. Students will be immersed in a flexible and friendly...
Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University Reviews
Superb support while in Scotland
Submitted by Laura Bonds - Rhodes College | April 19, 2017
The semester I spent in Edinburgh, Scotland going through the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) Butler University program was the best time of my life. I was nervous about going to a foreign country where I knew no one, but all of my nerves were put to ease by the helpful IFSA staff. Before I left the country IFSA representatives helped me get my visa, told me what to pack, and generally prepared me before I departed for Scotland.
Once I got there I immediately felt at home. The other students and I attended orientation for our first few days, which helped us assimilate into the culture and understand how to navigate Edinburgh (both literally and figuratively). Going through a program instead of directly enrolling into the University of Edinburgh was a great decision for me. Through IFSA I gained friends for life, that I otherwise may not have met during my semester. We all felt like we were in a community of like-minded individuals, who were there to support each other throughout the time we spent abroad.
Every few weeks the IFSA staff held optional Community and Culture events, where students could learn about food, politics, history, sports, social media trends, and everything in between. These events were a great way to spend time with other students in the program and learn more about the country in which I was living. We even got to speak to a Member of Scottish Parliament, which I otherwise would not have been able to do. I enjoyed getting to know Scotland on a deeper level.
The excursion to the Scottish highlands was an incredible opportunity that IFSA offered to its students. We were able to travel to several important Scottish places including the Culloden battlefields and Loch Ness. It was nice to have a trip that was already organized, so that we could enjoy the moment without worrying about catching a flight, getting lost, etc.
Throughout the semester staff was available to meet with us on a regular basis to talk about anything from homesickness to questions about Scotland to telling us about the best restaurants. I felt supported throughout the entire process, from before I left Scotland to when I returned home. If I had to do it all over again, I would not choose any other provider; no one can compare to the amazing staff of IFSA and the support and care they provide.
Program: University of Edinburgh
Interning at the Scottish parliament
Submitted by Kirsty Richard - Franklin & Marshall College | April 18, 2017
My semester in the IFSA Butler Parliamentary Internship in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Scottish Parliament was an incredible opportunity and easily the best semester of my college experience. I was looking for a program where I could study government and politics while also having a difference experience than the typical semester of classes. This program was perfect in every way for me. I'm half Scottish and my family is from Edinburgh, so it gave me the chance to explore my roots and experience a city that was close to my heart. The classes were just the right amount of challenging, to the point where I had to work hard but was still enjoying them and learning a lot in preparation for the internship. The internship itself was once-in-a-lifetime. Working everyday in the Parliament was fantastic, especially for a political science major. All around I enjoyed my time with IFSA in Edinburgh and would definitely recommend this program to anyone interested in politics and looking for an internship abroad.
IFSA-Butler: The most wonderful Scottish hosts
Submitted by Amanda Jan - Johns Hopkins University | April 16, 2017
I had a wonderful time in the Spring of 2016 studying abroad with IFSA-Butler at the University of Edinburgh. I made great friends (shout out to El Jefe and the Funky Bunch), had the opportunity to experience a different kind of academic system and environment, and learned so much about Scotland and the UK.
Lets start with the IFSA team. The IFSA Scotland staff (at the time, Deirdra, Andrew, and Jenny), were absolutely wonderful. They were so friendly, and I felt comfortable coming to them when I had any problems or questions. I actually arrived in Edinburgh a day early, and accidentally ran into Andrew at the airport. He helped me get to the hostel, and his and Jenny's friendliness made my first few hours in the country a lot less scary. The first 3 days of orientation were also super helpful, and gave me a safety net as a navigated getting a SIM card, finding my apartment, and those sorts of things. I also felt like they provided us with the right amount of IFSA activities balanced with the right amount of space-- we were always getting emails about drop-in hours where we could go see Deirdra, so I felt like they were constantly present if I needed them. But at the same time, we weren't constantly inundated with IFSA-related things. They gave us the opportunity to go on two trips, two meals, and a few other activities (a food tour and a sports tour), which was a good amount of things to get us together with other IFSA students, but also enough to give us the freedom to explore on our own.
On the other hand, though, I have my misgivings about the main US IFSA-Butler office. The website is good about telling you what forms you need to hand in, but it doesn't give much guidance on how filling those forms out is different for each location. And I had someone at the office who was supposed to be my contact to help me do all the prep work for applying and post-acceptance forms, but she wasn't very helpful, and sometimes didn't reply to emails for a week, (which, given the deadlines I had to hand things in to her, wasn't great.) For example, I had to fill out a course preference form. But no where on the UoE website does it explain to us Visiting Students that we only take 3 classes per semester. So I had picked a normal courseload of five classes, and was only told after the fact that I needed to narrow them down. This could have also been a problem if I had planned to take back 4 classes for my major, instead of 3. If IFSA had more support in that area, figuring out classes and housing would have been much smoother.
That being said, my experience overall with IFSA was great. I am still friends with Deirdra on Facebook, and I am so jealous of all the suggestions she posts for her students to go do in Edinburgh! For those thinking of going abroad with IFSA, I have one main suggestion: make sure you leave the IFSA bubble. During orientation, it's very easy to make fast friends, and then stick with that group. But then, you've only made friends with other Americans studying abroad, and not other students in your host country. So make sure you go out and join clubs, meet people in pubs, and just be open to new experiences!
Specifically at UoE, I joined the Creative Writing Society and went on an awesome trekking trip with the Exmoor Pony club. I leave you with a picture from that trek, and the majesty of the Pentlands, a national park just outside Edinburgh.
Program: University of Edinburgh
Interactive, immersive, academic
Submitted by Kristen - Wittenberg University | April 16, 2017
IFSA-Butler really went above and beyond when it comes to preparing their students for cultural immersion. Our orientation was set in a wonderful hotel, they provided us with great meals (and worked especially well with my extensive list of food allergies) throughout, and I left after a few days feeling prepared to take on London––and the Tube. I loved that they offered a little two-credit course for culture and community to help take students around town and just learn about each other and the city. They were so efficient about providing us with all of the information we needed, and things like insurance and student visas! I really didn't have to worry about those finicky details. I would definitely recommend studying abroad in the fall semester, when everyone is first finding new friends, than spring semester, though. I definitely struggled to immerse myself with the other British students, as most of them had already found their social cliques for the year, and wound up hanging out with other study abroad students most of the time. Regardless, living in downtown London was wonderful and IFSA really prepared me for the academics, the culture shock, and everything else I might need.
Program: IFSA-Butler Kings College, London
The best way to experience Santiago
Submitted by Rachel Naasz - Macalester College | April 16, 2017
I studied away with IFSA-Butler in Santiago Chile from February to July 2016. While there, I took three courses at local universities and a course with the program, and I lived with a wonderful family. IFSA-Butler was an amazing program because it gave me the flexibility I wanted to really personalize my experience while simultaneously giving me enough structure through the program when I needed it. I highly recommend studying with IFSA-Butler.
Program: IFSA-Butler in Santiago, Chile