For Students: An Exciting Plunge into Academics and Foreign Cultures
Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context

c c courseThrough a creative online format, IFSA-Butler's new Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context course facilitates active engagement with your host community, exploration of cultural identity and examination of diversity in communities in the context of political, economic and sociocultural structures.

Global Cohort
The unique global cohort structure places you in an online learning group with students studying in IFSA-Butler locations in other parts of the world. So, you'll not only have the opportunity to compare and contrast your values, attitudes, beliefs and traditions with those of your host culture, but you'll join your group members in a discussion of their experiences. You'll learn from one another and enjoy a rich and diverse educational environment during your semester study abroad experiences with IFSA-Butler.

Critical intercultural skills
Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context covers intercultural communication skills, intercultural learning theories, tools for intercultural analysis and the development of personal strategies for engaging with differences of any kind following the study abroad experience. This is the ideal course for students who seek transferable skills and specific competencies for successful work in the global marketplace. Completing this course will demonstrate to employers and college advisors that you went beyond the typical study abroad endeavor and intentionally reflected on the study abroad experience itself, gaining valuable cross-cultural skills along the way.

The asynchronous course format allows you to take part in online discussions, post responses, review peer contributions, submit your assignments, read materials and watch instructor videos at the time of day (or night) that suits your personal schedule best. The course instructors will guide and challenge you and your global cohort members in a truly dynamic and collaborative learning experience throughout your time abroad.

Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context is valued at 3 U.S. semester credit hours and may be taken in place of one of your host university courses, as long as you carry a minimum course load of 12 credits at your host university. The approval of your home institution for enrollment and credit transfer is required.

opalleeman bartzisDr. Opal Leeman Bartzis is Vice President for Academic Affairs at IFSA-Butler, where she oversees curriculum development, academic policies and student learning, teacher training and collaborative engagement with the international studies faculty committee of Butler University. Opal is delighted to intentionally combine her teaching experience with her research on the development of cultural sensitivity through her co–instructor role with Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context, a unique learning opportunity for IFSA-Butler students.

 Click here to read a full bio of Opal.


sharna bremnerSharna Bremner is an Australia Senior Student Services Coordinator at IFSA-Butler. She is undertaking her doctoral degree in International Development at the University of Adelaide, focusing her research on the intersections of health and education policy in post-conflict developing countries. Sharna assisted in the development of the curriculum for the Exploring Australia: Community & Culture course and has served as the course coordinator and instructor since its inception in early 2016.

 Click here to read a full bio of Sharna.



nikkiNikki Bruckmann is the Associate Director of Student Services at IFSA-Butler, overseeing the student services division, including teams of program advisors and assistant directors. Nikki holds an M.A. in social and cultural anthropology. Nikki's research focused on anthropology of education, developing curriculum around community building and social justice education. Nikki is pleased to combine her experiences and educational background as an instructor of IFSA-Butler's Exploring Community & Culture course. Click here to read a full bio of Nikki.


Online course locations
The following IFSA-Butler program locations offer the Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context online course option:

  • Australia (excluding Engage programs)
  • Chilean Universities Program, Santiago
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Czech Republic
  • England (excluding London universities)
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Mendoza Universities Program, Argentina
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Scotland
  • Wales
Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.