Lasting Impact

Students, and their parents, who are weighing the value of a semester abroad with IFE will find they don't have to choose between educational fulfillment and career readiness.

IFE without a doubt changed my life. IFE allowed me to immerse myself in the local culture and language in a way that many other study abroad programs could not. It provided an exceptional academic experience, outstanding internships, opportunities for self-growth and valuable tools for inward and outward exploration. And friendships that will last a lifetime.

Arlin. French, Political Science

IFE students during their internships: Government agency against racism and discrimination / Art restoration studio

The IFE semester is fitted individually to whatever professional objectives students may have while also helping them achieve fundamental goals.


Some students choose to use the semester to gain technical proficiency in, say, lab-bench research, art history, clinical psychology, or urban planning. 

After IFE they find they can also demonstrate transferable skills that are in demand on any job market:

  • collaborate effectively in a team setting
  • work well with in the midst of cultural diversity
  • express their ideas with confidence
  • communicate proficiently in at least two languages
  • understand the world, and a particular issue or endeavor, through another cultural lens
  • work independently, carry through a significant project and take initiative.

Some students enroll in an IFE program with rather open-ended ideas about future career paths.

After IFE, some of these students pursue exciting career paths discovered through sustained workplace exposure in another language and culture.

After IFE, whether or not students increase technical prowess or find a calling, the skills gained (listed above) prove invaluable in making decisions about potential careers and then opening the necessary doors.

After IFE, the independent research project itself can prove to be an important part of a student's trajectory. With this accomplishment to show for themselves, students may

  • complete an award-winning senior thesis based on research conducted while enrolled in an IFE program
  • receive post-graduate fellowships and grants
  • continue to collaborate occasionally with their host organization in Europe
  • land a job on the basis of this demonstrable achievement
  • gain admission to first-choice graduate programs.

Most importantly, sustained, intensive and engaged academic sojourns abroad, like the IFE Field Study and Internship programs, are well known to have positive effects on students's view on themselves and the world.

After IFE, students report increased confidence, poise, clarity and perspective as a lasting result of their study abroad experience.