Exploring Community & Culture

Our Exclusive Community & Culture Course

In today’s global world, it is no longer enough to travel and study in another country. Employers and graduate schools want to see more. They want you to demonstrate that you have successfully navigated another culture, that you have the skills to work in a multicultural environment and that you have gone beyond just academic tourism.

Set yourself apart

Set yourself apart from other students studying abroad with IFSA’s Exploring Community & Culture (C&C) model. C&C is exclusive to IFSA and is a distinguishing feature of every program. Our C&C course and community engagement philosophy will help deepen your understanding of your host community and our greater global society.

What C&C offers you

C&C offers you the exciting chance to experience your host city in a way most visitors never can. It is designed to take study abroad to another level.

Get more out of study abroad with C&C

Using your host city as your laboratory, C&C will help make an unfamiliar place more familiar. Get a behind-the-scenes look at your city that you could never learn in a classroom or see on a tour bus. You’ll experience and enjoy some of the cultural quirks that make your new home unique, and maybe you’ll recognize some quirks of your own.

Classroom Course

Some of our programs offer an on-site C&C course worth 3 U.S semester credits. The course is embedded in some programs and optional in others. The on-site course syllabi are listed below:

Online Course

In all other locations, students have the option of taking our online C&C course, Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context. Worth 3 U.S. semester credits, this course fosters intercultural dialogue and a greater understanding of local society through a global cohort of IFSA students worldwide.

The instructors for IFSA’s online C&C course guide and mentor IFSA students as they reflect on their experiences abroad and use this dynamic learning opportunity to gain critical cross-cultural skills.


Course Cost

How much does C&C cost?

Not a thing. It is included in every IFSA program.


Benefits of C&C

IFSA’s C&C initiatives are designed to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Support: C&C provides you with a network of support that starts even before departure. C&C allows you to connect in meaningful ways with fellow students on the program, and it continues throughout your time abroad.
  • Cultural engagement: C&C will give you the opportunity to truly engage with the culture and community in which you will be living. Special events, excursions and discussions will support and challenge you as you discover a newly developed confidence through study abroad.
  • Getting the most out of a study abroad experience: C&C guides students through thoughtful and meaningful reflections and discussions.


The Relevance of C&C

Why is C&C such an important component of study abroad?

  • Making friends, even before leaving home: If you’re wondering how and if you will make friends and how you might settle in to your new home, here’s the place where you can begin to get to know the other students who will be with you. C&C will become the safe place where you can come to reflect on your experiences.
  • Getting involved: C&C will challenge you to truly become a part of your host community, be it through living with a host family and attending classes at a local university, participating in an internship, community-based learning, or volunteer opportunity, or simply exploring in-depth your day-to-day experiences.
  • Boosting your resume: C&C can help you learn how to market your study abroad experience to prospective graduate programs and/or employers. You’ll be able to show how you used the time to your best advantage and what you learned from your study abroad experience that makes you the better candidate.
  • It’s fun! if you just want to have a good time while you’re studying abroad, we’ve heard from returning students one of the best ways to do that is to get involved with local student clubs, sports teams or special interest groups. C&C can help you do just that!


On-site C&C Courses

Which IFSA programs offer an on-site C&C course?



Online C&C Course

Which IFSA programs offer the online C&C course?

All locations not listed above offer the online C&C course, Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context. Read more about our online course.


What Our C&C Students Say

Quotes from Past C&C Participants

“We were able to discuss current issues while bringing information from our classes to the table. My friend from college was in another study abroad program and she was jealous because they didn’t have a C&C.”

“C&C is a project-based, crash course of the dynamic and lively facets of the Irish culture as well as the reflection of one’s own. It is two hours a week spent delving into topics most certainly forgotten by a typical study abroad student, and there would have been a void in my experience without it.”

“The lectures and readings provided us with extra tools to be able to adapt to life in the U.K. much quicker and easier.”

“One of the best parts of the semester—It definitely helped me understand my work environment and my co-workers.”