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
The quintessential English experience
Submitted by Elizabeth Leung - Scripps College | February 19, 2018
I chose to study abroad at the IFSA Butler program at the University of York because I wanted a smaller city that was more off the beaten path, where I would be able to live on campus and have an experience very similar to those of English university students. My home university also highly recommended IFSA programs because of the support they offer students and I certainly had a very positive experience with the Program Advisor in Indianapolis, who always responded promptly with answers to any questions that I had.
I was very excited to when I was accepted to the program, but I learned over the summer that I would be the only IFSA student in York, which made me considerably nervous. However, when I addressed my concerns with IFSA staff at orientation in London, they were very reassuring about the support they would be providing for me even though I would be essentially alone in York. One of the staff members dropped me off at my dorm and they were always very responsive to emails. Another staff member did come up to see me and take me to tea about halfway through the program. The one thing that was difficult about being so far from London was that it was very difficult to attend any of the IFSA events in London; IFSA would have paid for my train fare, but most of the events were held on weekdays and I would have had to find a place to stay overnight.
In York, I lived on campus in a flat. I had my own bedroom and bathroom and shared a kitchen with 15 other visiting students. The kitchen was rather small and only had four mini-fridges to store food in, which was slightly difficult considering that we had to make all of our own meals. Living with other visiting students helped with cultural exchange and culture shock, but did make it harder to make friends among the English students.
University of York is considered a very prestigious university and as such most classes are very large lectures. It is very difficult to get what would be considered good grades in the United States, although all of the professors in my department were required to hold office hours, which was very helpful.
The actual city of York was one of the best parts of my experience. It is a medieval city with so much history in it; I took a medieval literature class where everyone of the seven books we read had some connection to York and I got to go on a field trip to see the church of a family that commissioned one of the books. There are a ton of great restaurants and attractions in the city, including the best fish and chips, the York Minster, and the Jorvik Viking Center. The city center is also always putting on great events. There was a delicious food festival and the cutest Christmas market while I was there.
Overall, the IFSA program at the University of York was the perfect study abroad experience for me. I got to be in a really historic city and take really interesting classes; it felt like a very authentic English university experience. I ended up not needing much support with the IFSA staff, but I knew they were available if I had.
Program: IFSA-Butler University of York
Best learning experience!
Submitted by Diana - Williams College | February 19, 2018
I absolutely loved studying at the University of Sydney through IFSA-Butler. They provided excellent support and helped to make the transition into life in Sydney easier. I met a lot of really great people through this program that I hope to be friends with for the rest of my life. Overall, I think IFSA-Butler did a fantastic job of setting up experiences that enhanced my time abroad while still challenging me to grow. They also set up a "country life" weekend that I will remember forever because it was so beautiful and full of fun memories.
Program: IFSA-Butler University of Sydney
¡Buenos Aires: there’s always something to do!
Submitted by Jane Doe - Bates College | February 15, 2018
The academic options are endless! I felt like a kid at a candy store, when selecting my courses for the semester. I simultaneously felt overwhelmed and excited. One has the opportunity to take classes at four different universities. Matriculating in a local university allows one to integrate oneself more easily into the culture and meet local students. There are also academic concentrations (such as Argentine Cinema or Human Rights: Genocide), which one can choose, which are provided through IFSA. These concentrations allow one to delve deeply into a particular field of study.
The IFSA staff in both the U.S. and Buenos Aires, are very friendly and reply promptly to any queries one has. Throughout the semester, there are various events, such as attending a rugby match, learning tango, kayaking, seeing theatrical works, and more! There is also a semester trip for a few days with to Uruguay, which is included in one’s fees to IFSA.
IFSA gives you independence to explore the city and travel, but is always there if you need them.
Buenos Aires is a wonderful city in that there’s always something to do. I enjoyed the hip café scene throughout the city. There are many museums to explore as well. If one plans ahead, there is often a free admission or reduced admission day. In the spring, there is Lollapalooza, a music festival. In the fall, there is the Night of the Museums; all of the museums in Buenos Aires give free admission and are open from 9pm to 3am.
As someone, who is from a town of 60,000, I found the public transportation, to be wonderful. There are buses that run 24/7 and an underground metro, called the subte.
If you are interested in volunteering, while abroad, IFSA has connections! One can volunteer at local schools teaching English or helping out at environmental non-profits.
All students are assigned to an academic advisor, who ensures that they are on-track. Tutors are also available if one is struggling in a class.
A student’s homestay experience can vary depending on one’s family. Most students are placed with a single retired woman. Homestay placement locations are spread throughout Buenos Aires in neighborhoods like Palermo, Recoleta, Belgrano, and Barrio Norte.
If you like empanadas, study in Buenos Aires! If one travels in other regions of Argentina, the filling and style of empanadas differ.
If you are vegetarian and worried about studying in Argentina, you can do it. It might not be easy, but there are options for you.
I studied abroad in the Fall of 2017.
Program: Argentine Universities Program
English Major in the Argentine Literature Scene
Submitted by Bethany Catlin - Macalester College | February 12, 2018
I chose a program in a Spanish-speaking country for the language immersion, but the reason I specifically chose Argentina was the literary scene in Buenos Aires. A well-travelled aunt promised that I would love the urban atmosphere and the unbelievable literary culture of the city (there's an independent bookstore almost every two blocks in some barrios). The IFSA-Butler program offered an academic concentration through the massive, prestigious public school of Argentina (Universidad de Buenos Aires or UBA) and still left me several credits to take in classes of my choosing at any of the local universities.
My study abroad was a deeply engaging and rewarding experience but the part I most want to champion is the IFSA-Butler literature concentration because I learned so much and so differently than I had ever experienced before in an academic setting. The concentration, freely offered to any interested IFSA students to help them shape their course schedule and engage with the local literary scene, is only three classes: Contemporary Argentine Literature, Castellano (essentially a Spanish language class), and Literary Methodology. Each course is taught completely in Spanish. The contemporary literature class was incredible: taught by local author Martín Kohan (whose work is available at many of the bookstores throughout the city), he gives both a sort of crash course on Argentine history and culture and unique, almost tender insights and in-depth analysis that could come only from lifelong study of the lives and work of cornerstone Argentine writers including Jorge Luis Borges, Rodolfo Walsh, Julio Cortázar, and Roberto Arlt. Some form of Castellano is a required course for all IFSA students, but in the literature concentration we read more extensively and had a smaller class size (only two students!) which gave us lots of opportunities for practice and direct tutoring on our pronunciation and grammar. Finally, the literary methodology course, taught by an IFSA professor who also teaches for UBA, was the first course of literary criticism that I have ever taken and will certainly not be my last. We investigated what it means to read critically and how one can and should, using Argentine hero (and famously voracious consumer of literature) Che Guevara as the prototypical reader for our studies.
This guided track helped me to understand the context of Argentine literature as I browsed bookstores and poetry readings across the city, opening my eyes to an entire regional kingdom of literature that has never been offered in classes at my home university as anything other than "Latin literature" -- losing all of the regional, historical, and cultural richness of work that is the product of a specific people, time, and place.
Thank you to Diego, Darío, and Martín (along with all the rest of the IFSA staff) for giving this English major so very much to think about.
Program: Argentine Universities Program
The best semester from every aspect
Submitted by Marcia Zimmerman - Johns Hopkins University | February 07, 2018
I studied abroad during Fall 2017 at Hertford College with the September Seminar in the Humanities. The seminar helped us get acclimated to Oxford before the Oxford term began. Being immersed in the university made a huge difference and I was able to meet many full-time Oxford students, join organizations like the rowing team, and explore the breathtaking city. IFSA-Butler was an amazing program to go with because our advisor, Andrew Williams, came to have coffee and chat with us twice a week (chatting optional but he would buy us coffee/cake)! IFSA-Butler also did a Lake District trip with us which we loved. Overall amazing experience and I miss it so much!
Program: IFSA-Butler at Oxford University