Institute for Field Education

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Student Profiles

The generalized profiles in this sub-section are based on many past students and are simply meant as guidelines. They are certainly not mutually exclusive; your own case may be a combination of two or more of these profiles.


The undergraduate generalist

You may be like many students who enroll in IFE with this background:

 YOU are an undergraduate, completing the first two years of your studies
 YOU are pursuing (planning to pursue) a major in languages, humanities, or social sciences as part of a generalist, liberal arts education
 YOU have a competent grasp of the French language.
 YOU are strongly interested in getting to know contemporary European life and culture;
 YOU are looking for a semester abroad that will provide an intensive contact with European society, either as your only semester abroad or in tandem with a semester of a more conventional study abroad program
 YOU are eager to gain cross-cultural bearings while discovering current issues and events in Europe
 YOU are interested in a range of topics and ideas.

The undergraduate specialist

You may be like some students who come to IFE with a more specialized focus:

 YOU are an undergraduate completing the first two years of your studies;
 YOU are looking ahead as you build a focused program of studies around a particular interest or goal; (examples from IFE annals: business management, health care delivery, environmental protection and society, international business or law, public support for the arts, role of the media, etc.)
 YOU have a competent grasp of the French language
 YOU are looking for ways to incorporate an international component into this program, in French
 YOU are of aware of the benefits for your academic program of gaining comparative perspective
 YOU see how this could be accomplished through immersion in a professional environment in another culture
 YOU are attracted by the opportunity IFE offers to acquire an insider’s understanding of Europe today, and to do so in only one semester.

Undergraduate researcher

You may wish to use a semester of international education to add a research component to your undergraduate education, and your profile is similar to this:

 YOU are an undergraduate completing the first two years of your studies
 YOU are looking ahead as you build a program of studies around a particular academic topic
 YOU have a competent grasp of the French language
 YOU are looking for a study abroad opportunity that will permit you to conduct research in your area, in French, while gaining a comparative perspective (sample disciplines from IFE annals: 20th century European History, International Relations, European Union studies, Women’s Studies, Development Studies, Cultural Anthropology, and others)
 YOU are interested in preparing a senior or honors thesis, once back on your home campus, based at least in part on knowledge, experience, and access to sources gained during your stay abroad.

Each semester a few students enroll with one of these profiles:


 YOU are thinking seriously about an international internship as the best next step after completing your undergraduate degree
 YOU have a competent grasp of the French language
 YOU are very interested in deepening the experience you had as an undergraduate studying abroad, OR
 YOU wish to acquire the learning experience abroad and language fluency you did not have time to do as an undergraduate
 YOU are aware of the value of an intensive contact with European culture today as a preparation for graduate or professional school
 YOU are perhaps undecided about career plans and want to combine professional experience with the acquisition of a different cultural regard as a way of gaining perspective on your future.


 YOU are working a job after having completed your undergraduate education, and you see the next step as being some intensive exposure to European culture and issues, while furthering your professional interests OR
 YOU are enrolled in a program of graduate studies and you see the value (and the possibility) of including a semester of immersion in European professional life as part of that program. (Contact IFE for further information relative to graduate students.)

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