The Institute for Study Abroad, a not for profit organisation, is one of the largest organisations in the study abroad field. It provides a wide range of services that are structured to enable students to maximise their experiences of living abroad. The services begin with all of the pre-departure advice, mailings and counseling provided by the Indianapolis office. They continue with the provision of an orientation in London, a series of day-trips to famous sites in England, an Adventure Weekend or a London Weekend and various meals and events. Throughout the semester the London office also provides ongoing academic advice and guidance.
For further information on any of the services provided by the IFSA-Butler England and Wales office please select one of the tabs on the left:
ALL THINGS ACADEMIC
For further information on the academic services offered to students after they begin their programme of study abroad.
AIRPORT & FLIGHT
For information on the options available to students for getting to England to begin their study abroad experience.
For further information on what to expect from your first few days abroad.
For further information on arranging a weekend stay with a British family.
For further information on the Saturday day trips to various English sites.
THE BIG WEEKEND
For further information on the IFSA-Butler weekend trips.
For further information on additional services offered by the England & Wales office, including international emergency freephone access lines and an all-you-can eat meal visit by a member of staff to every student’s university twice per semester.
Enjoy the unique array of services offered by IFSA London. We are confident that you’ll find them useful and adequate, enabling a complete and pleasurable experience studying in England.
Obviously one of, if not, the most important reasons for going abroad is to be challenged by the differences one encounters. The academic way of life in the UK is very distinct to that of the US. The Institute recognises the importance of imparting these differences to the students and helping them to adjust. As a consequence every aspect of the ‘study’ abroad part of your experience has been carefully planned to minimise the difficulties and accentuate the benefits.
The planning starts with the general information given to the students to help them choose the university best suited to their needs. Course information and all relevant academic advice are also disseminated to the students by the Indianapolis office.
Upon arrival in the UK the academic guidance continues with the academic talk during orientation.
Each term, students are asked to fill in and return the Course Registration Form to the London office. This form is then checked to ensure that the student is doing the correct number of courses and credits. The information is entered into a database and any comments are forwarded to the students. In this way the Institute can follow each student’s academic progress throughout the semester.
At the end of the semester or year a transcript is produced which records the courses studied, the credits earned and the grades awarded.
The academic staff at the Institute are always on hand to proffer advice and help should difficulties arise.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5
More – Airport & Flight
Every student has the option of traveling to England via independent travel arrangements or by the group flight from New York City. In the case of the latter the students are collected from the airport upon arrival and taken to a central London hotel for orientation. If the student opts for independent travel, however, s/he must plan to be at the designated meeting point (in central London) in time for the first orientation session.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5
More – Orientation
Even though we share the same language, England has customs and ways of life that differ significantly from America’s. Some of your pre-departure material provides helpful background information. When you arrive in London, full-time IFSA staff conduct an introductory, mandatory orientation. You will receive a program handbook that explains the basics of day-to-day living, as well as academic policies and procedures that govern study in England.
The orientation includes meetings, lectures, meals and a trip to the theatre designed to provide you with insights into British culture and society and to explain the academic practices and expectations of your host country. It covers:
- Welcome to Britain meeting. An attempt to point out some of the cultural differences between the US and the UK and how best to deal with them.
- Safety meeting. The police come and give advice about personal and property safety and how best to avoid being the victim of crime.
- Student services meeting. The Institute staff discuss all of the events organised for the students and for which ones they are eligible.
- Academic talk. The Institute’s Academic Officer presents a talk about the main differences between the educational systems of the US and UK and how to navigate your way through a successful term.
- Guest speaker. Every orientation, someone well connected to the British political system is invited to give a talk and answer questions about the British political and legal systems. Often this is a member of the House of Lords, the British equivalent to the US Senate.
- Bus tour of London. Vouchers will be distributed for a guided tour of the main sights of London with the chance to hop on and off the buses so you don’t miss those pictures.
- Theatre. Students are taken to see a production of a play either in the West End or at one of the two National Theatre Companies in London–the Royal Shakespeare Company or the Royal National Theatre.
Following the initial orientation and family visit, you will travel to your host institution where another short orientation and/or a series of activities introduces you to your new university and its facilities. During this period you will meet with your adviser, register for courses and learn about the social, cultural and recreational activities available through the Student Union and other campus organisations.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5
More – Family Visit
In its very best sense study abroad is more than just going to another country for academic work. It involves getting to know other cultures and meeting people with different perspectives. Therefore spending a weekend with a British family is an excellent way to achieve this.
The Family Visit offers an opportunity to establish ties with a ‘family away from home’ and to begin learning about British life and culture through the perspectives of your host family. It also gives you some insights on British perceptions of Americans and the United States.
If you are interested in taking part in a Family Visit all you need to do is get in touch with Experiment in International Living (EIL), an organisation
that promotes international understanding through people-to-people contact in daily living situations. EIL
tries to place you with a family that shares your interests and lives fairly close to your study site so that
you can maintain contact with them during your program. There is a fee for taking part but IFSA-Butler will give any student who attends a Family Visit $50 towards the cost. Further details on how to arrange your weekend will be given at your orientation but feel free to get in touch with EIL at anytime for information or to arrange your visit.
More – Saturday/Weekend Excursions
Spending a semester or a year at a University will allow you to get acquainted (and fall in love) with its surrounding area. You will know all the places to study, hangout, shop and party. You may even pick up some of the local history. However, it is nice to visit other areas of England, which is what the IFSA Saturday excursions allow: a chance to leave town and check out a different place (usually a famous town or tourist attraction).
The excursions happen once a month on Saturday. Bus transportation to and from the destination is paid for by IFSA. Some excursions also include special activities, also fully subsized by IFSA (e.g., free admittance to certain castles and abbeys). The day however is typically left free for whatever the students choose to do. This can include shopping, relaxing, taking guided tours, learning some local history or finding a pub in which to enjoy a pint.
The daily excursions break up the scenery of daily life and provide an excellent opportunity to meet other students studying through IFSA. So, remember your umbrella, coat, camera, and some spending money and enjoy the rest of England. You might even learn something on one of the trips too.
Email reminders will be sent out as the day approaches and you will need to RSVP within the allocated time period. Coaches leave from the office in Notting Hill (21 Pembridge Gardens, London, W2 4EB) at 9AM so plan on being there by about 8:45 to make sure the coach doesn’t leave you. Don’t forget money for lunch and transportation to and from the Pembridge office. Coaches are normally back in London by 6PM.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5
More – The Big Weekend
Each semester, IFSA arranges an entire weekend to bring together the students on our programmes for a heavily social time of fun, food and adventure. Share experiences you’ve had so far at your host university and trade insights into the way Britain operates. Read below for further information.
This weekend is arranged for students with the intention that they are whisked away from the hurly-burly of city life to the tranquil beauty of the British countryside. Past years have seen the students visiting the Lake District and the rugged splendour of Wales.
The weekend begins on Friday, when the students are transported to the country. A pub quiz is organised that evening , providing fun and frivolity after the (usually) long coach ride. It then continues on Saturday with a busy day full of activities. For example, rock climbing, mountain biking, canoing, mountain walking, gorge scrambling and gorge crossing have been activities of the past. Sunday heralds more of the same fun before everyone prepares for the trip back home.
Those of a more tender disposition may opt out of the activities and come along merely for the chance to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding countryside and to chat with your friends. Past students have thoroughly enjoyed this fun-filled weekend and discover things about themselves of which they were entirely ignorant. Accommodation, travel and most food are included in this weekend.
Come well prepared with multiple pairs of shoes (especially if your chosen activity demands it), rain gear,
warm clothes, money for extra food or drink, something to read for the possibly long coach ride and a warm smile.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5
More – Other Services
The Institute offers a host of other services to ease the transition into another country, culture and lifestyle. Please take advantage of them as you settle in your new home.
On-site meal visits. Students in London are invited to attend at least one dinner per semester. The purpose of these functions is to encourage staff-student disclosure. Those students out of London are visited each semester and taken out to lunch, with the same aim. Come hungry as you can eat as much as you like–but note that you cannot take anything away! You will be notified of the date and time via email and will need to RSVP so we can book you a spot.
General guidance. The Institute staff are here to be as helpful as possible. Our aim is to make your stay in Britain so enjoyable that you will revisit us time and time again. Every member of staff has lived or studied abroad at some point in their lives and so we are only too able to empathise with the experiences you will encounter. Everyone has received training in such varied areas as counseling and first aid. So, if you want any advice about any aspect of life in Britain, where to travel or what exactly is funny about the British sense of humour, you have only to ask and the staff will try our best to help. Think of the staff as a library: you can use us as much or as little as you want. If you want help we will be there
but if you want to ‘go native’ and ignore us that is fine as well–each to his/her own. You are all individuals and the Institute will always treat you as such.
Please contact IFSA-Butler London to discuss the other services we offer, which include: housing advice, mental
health and general health support, leaving meals for final assessments, free-phone phone numbers from all major
European countries, a 24-hour emergency pager, a Thanksgiving meal (or cost reimbursement), and a Christmas tea.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5