Our on-site orientations help prepare students for the academic and cultural changes that await them during their semester, year or summer abroad. Orientations also are designed to ensure that students have a chance to recover from their travels, learn about the host country’s history and culture and partake in social events. Click here for more information about IFSA-Butler orientations and excursions.
Fully staffed offices in each country
When students arrive in their host country to begin their IFSA-Butler program, they are in the capable hands of our on-site offices. IFSA-Butler staff abroad are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and eager to help students understand their host university and the culture of their host country. Our offices are open for student assistance for the duration of the program, and where available, they maintain a toll-free number. Our staff in Latin America are fluent in both Spanish and English.
Click here to find the contact information for our offices abroad.
Our on-site staff are available to provide emergency assistance to students via an emergency pager system. In the event of a medical need, our staff in Spanish-speaking countries may accompany students to the doctor or hospital to help with translation.
Emergency contact for families
Each of our offices abroad can serve as an emergency relay station for parents who need to contact their son or daughter.
IFSA-Butler staff abroad know the academic environment and credit requirements at each university in their country, and an important part of their job is to ensure that our students are taking an appropriate number of credits. Our staff also are able to help students contact their home colleges with questions about academics and credit transfer.
We guarantee housing for all students in all programs. In English-speaking programs, students live in university accommodation or in property operated by IFSA-Butler. Students in Spanish-speaking countries live with host families. Each family is carefully screened, and we assign only one student per family.
Cultural immersion weekends
After orientation in Scotland and Wales, our students experience the local culture further by spending a weekend with a family. A similar experience is optional in England. After orientation in Australia and New Zealand, students choose between a country life weekend and an adventure weekend.
Arrangements for students with disabilities
IFSA-Butler helps find suitable universities and housing for students with physical or learning disabilities. Arrangements are not possible at every site, but our staff will investigate options for students.
The IFSA-Butler Student Handbook
Produced by each of our offices abroad, the Student Handbook contains information on academics, credit and grade transfer, emergency contacts and tips, daily life reminders, language differences, and financial and budget issues. The Handbook is distributed during orientation.
Each of our overseas offices organizes outings during the semester to places of interest. Activities may be cultural or adventurous, with past activities including sightseeing, hiking, sea kayaking, biking and horseback riding. IFSA-Butler hires only bonded, qualified instructors for physical activities. IFSA-Butler subsidizes these excursions, although students may be required to pay a small fee to participate.