International Field Study Experience (IFSE)

 

IFSE is an international, experiential learning program in which students have the unique opportunity to serve as international consultants for global organizations on a current challenge they are facing.

 

Overview

Throughout the program, students will work collaboratively in small, interdisciplinary teams and develop intercultural competencies necessary to succeed in the global workplace.

Italy-bound IFSE students and non-Italy bound virtual IFSE students will be combined into teams and asked to work together in order to solve a real life business issue for an established Italian multinational company!

Italy-based IFSE Fall 2018 will meet for a total of 12 weeks online and one week (October 21-28, 2018) on location in Italy. Students and faculty will be accommodated in an historic villa in the Tuscan countryside, which will serve as a base for class discussions, collaborative work, and daily site visits.

Virtual IFSE Fall 2018 - With no program fee this option allows CPS students to become involved in this international experience from the standpoint of a virtual stakeholder. This course will be a 12 week online/virtual class with no travel involved – allowing a larger breadth of students to participate in this experience and reap its benefits!

Italy-based IFSE Spring 2019 - *tentative dates* will meet for a total of 12 weeks online and one week (May 18-25, 2019 *tentative*) on location in Italy. Students and faculty will be accommodated in an historic villa in the Tuscan countryside, which will serve as a base for class discussions, collaborative work, and daily site visits.

Virtual IFSE Spring 2019 - With no program fee this option allows CPS students to become involved in this international experience from the standpoint of a virtual stakeholder. This course will be a 12 week online/virtual class with no travel involved – allowing a larger breadth of students to participate in this experience and reap its benefits!

All Graduate CPS programs are invited to participate. For GSIR students, this course is a capstone option. For all other CPS students, this course is an elective option that will require a course substitution form. Please contact your academic advisor for more information/ questions.

Why IFSE

  • Consult for real companies
  • Experience diverse organizational and national cultures
  • Engage with Industry leaders
  • Experience deep cultural immersion
  • Hone research skills in a professional setting
  • Practice intercultural, interdisciplinary, and virtual teamwork
  • Explore the global problem of sustainability from an interdisciplinary perspective

Contact Us

Course Details

Class Deliverables

Students have the unique opportunity to serve as international consultants for global organizations on a global problem. Students will work collaboratively in small, interdisciplinary teams and develop intercultural competencies necessary to succeed in the global workplace. Please refer to the class syllabus for all course requirements.

What do I need to prepare for the course?

For Italy-based IFSE, there will be pre‐departure orientation sessions (held on campus and virtually) 1 month prior to the departure date for all accepted students.

All students, Italy-based and Virtual, should be prepared to engage fully with their teammates online throughout the course – this requires a lot of coordination and communication. Students should be prepared to be active team members throughout the course! 

Are there pre-requisites?

No. Any student with a GPA above 3.0, who has successfully completed a minimum of 24 q.h. in his or her program of study, is eligible to apply. Please speak with your Career and Academic Coach to discuss how to fit this class into your overall academic program. 

Who is the class instructor?

IFSE – officially ‘coded’ as INT 6900 will be taught by Dr. Marissa Lombardi. Dr. Lombardi and another faculty/staff member will also accompany Italy-based IFSE students on-ground during their one-week in Italy.

How many quarter hours is INT 6900?

INT 6900 is a 4QH course – 12 week class.

Does this course count as a Global Studies Capstone option?

Yes. Students who have fulfilled the general requirements (3.0 minimum GPA and 24 q.h. completed) and have also successfully completed GST 6109, may take INT 6900 as their Capstone.

Does this course satisfy the global requirement in the M.Ed.?

Yes, this course satisfies the global requirement in the M.Ed program. It also qualifies as an elective course in several other programs, including M.S. in Leadership, Sports Leadership, Organizational Communication, MAT, M.S. in Project Management, and M.S. in Human Services. Students are required to complete the Course Substitution Form and receive approval from their respective programs. Global Studies students can use INT 6900 to fulfill their Capstone requirement.

If I am not in the GST or M.Ed. program, would I be able to take this course?

Yes, however, please speak with your Career and Academic Coach to discuss how to fit this class into your overall academic program.

What will the week in Italy be like?

For Italy-based IFSE students, the week in-country will include various site visits to Italian organizations and with local experts and small group meetings with the Northeastern faculty and classmates. Italy-bound on-ground teammates should act as Virtual IFSE student’s “eyes on the ground” and report back their interactions with the Italian companies they have. This creates a real-life international business scenario that employees around the world encounter on a daily basis – that is: working with international teams, based in different time-zones, working within the context of different cultures, in order to achieve a common business goal that will increase efficiency and/or solve the issue at hand!

For the Virtual IFSE students, the week the Italy-based IFSE students are in-country will include regular communication with your Italy-bound teammates. Italy-bound on-ground teammates should act as your “eyes on the ground” and report back their interactions with the Italian companies they have. This creates a real-life international business scenario that employees around the world encounter on a daily basis – that is: working with international teams, based in different time-zones, working within the context of different cultures, in order to achieve a common business goal that will increase efficiency and/or solve the issue at hand!

Faculty will be accessible to Italy-bound and Virtual IFSE students throughout the week.

Will this course be offered again?

Yes. This is the fifth year of on-location international classes. CPS is committed to providing short-term international opportunities for students. Italy-bound IFSE and Virtual IFSE will run as a 12-week, online class for all participants in the Fall and Spring quarters of the CPS graduate calendar/schedule.  

Applying

Application: IFSE APPLICATION - please send all completed application materials (form + short essay) to IFSE_CPS@northeastern.edu and cc Marissa Lombardi at m.lombardi@northeastern.edu

Important Dates for Italy-based IFSE Fall 2018

  • Monday July 9th, 2018 - application deadline
  • Monday, July 16th, 2018 – schedule and complete admissions interview by this date
  • Friday, July 20th, 2018 - $2,000 non-refundable deposit due  

Important Dates for Virtual IFSE Fall 2018

  • Monday July 9th, 2018 - application deadline
  • Monday, July 16th, 2018 - schedule and complete admissions interview by this date

*no program fee required – i.e. no deposit required*


Important Dates for Italy-based IFSE Spring 2019

  • Friday, Feb. 8th, 2019 - application deadline
  • Friday Feb. 15th, 2019 - schedule admissions interview by this date
  • Friday March 1st, 2019 - $2,000 non-refundable deposit due

Important Dates for Virtual IFSE Spring 2019

  • Friday, Feb. 8th, 2019 - application deadline
  • Friday Feb. 15th, 2019 - schedule admissions interview by this date

*no program fee required – i.e. no deposit required*


Cost – Italy-based IFSE

In addition to tuition (please note that this program falls in the 2018-2019 academic year and tuition rates for it will likely be determined in the coming months), students are charged a program fee of $2,995.

The cost covers seven nights of accommodations in a double room (you will share a room with another IFSE student as your roommate – separate/individual beds will be provided for each student) in a historic villa, pre‐departure orientation session, site visits to Italian organizations, all ground transportation (bus from airport to villa, travel to and from companies, tour of Florence – this does not include the cost of your flight to FLR), breakfast and dinner, and medical and evacuation insurance is included.

Students will be responsible for all other meals and any additional travel. For liability purposes, students may not arrange their own housing or opt out of the travel insurance.

Cost – Virtual IFSE

No program fee – no additional cost! Virtual IFSE students are only responsible for the tuition associated with this 4 Q.H. course (please note that this program falls in the 2018-2019 academic year and tuition rates for it will likely be determined in the coming months).

With no program fee this option allows CPS students to become involved in this international experience from the standpoint of a virtual stakeholder! Italy-bound IFSE students and non-Italy bound virtual IFSE students will be combined into teams and asked to work together in order to solve a real life business issue for an established Italian multinational company! This course will be an online/virtual class with no travel involved – allowing a larger breadth of students to participate in this experience and reap its benefits!

How to Apply

1. Attend information session (in person or online) or review recording of session.

A recording of the webinar session is available here... 

2. Discuss INT 6900 with your academic advisor to determine how it fits into your academic program.

If necessary, submit course substitution request to your academic advisor.

3. Submit application for Italy-bound and Virtual IFSE Fall 2018 to IFSE_CPS@northeastern.edu by July 9th, 2018 / For Spring 2019 submit application by Feb. 8th, 2019.

Please complete the application form and submit with a copy of the photo page of your passport, by sending it to IFSE_CPS@northeastern.edu , with the subject line “Fall IFSE 2018 Application – Florence” or “Fall IFSE 2018 Application – Virtual”. For Spring 2019, please send with the subject line “Spring IFSE 2019 Application – Florence” or “Spring IFSE 2019 Application – Virtual”.

Fall 2018 applications will be accepted until Monday, July 9th, 2018, and students must schedule their entrance interviews with Dr. Lombardi by Monday, July 16th, 2018. Spring 2019 applications will be accepted until Friday, Feb. 8th, 2019 and students must schedule their entrance interviews with Dr. Lombardi by Friday, Feb. 15th, 2019. Applications are reviewed and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; space on the trip may be limited.

**Once accepted to the program, Virtual IFSE students will be automatically registered for the class INT 6900, International Field Study Experience. Italy-based IFSE students will be automatically registered for the class INT 6900 once the program has confirmed payment of their $2,000 non-refundable deposit. **

4. Schedule admissions interview with Dr. Marissa Lombardi by Friday, July 16th, 2018 for Fall 2018/ by Friday Feb. 15th, 2019 for Spring 2019

Dr. Lombardi will reach out after receiving your application.

5. If accepted to Italy-based IFSE, to hold place in class, you must submit a $2,000 non‐refundable deposit by Friday, July 20th, 2018 for FALL 2018 IFSE. If accepted to Virtual IFSE, you will be automatically enrolled into the course which will secure your spot. If accepted to Italy-based IFSE, to hold place in class, you must submit a $2,000 nonrefundable deposit by Friday, March 1st, 2019 for SPRING 2018 IFSE. 

For Italy-based IFSE students, the deposit will be applied toward the full fee. If the trip does not run due to low enrollment, all student deposits will be refunded.

Common Questions

Does this qualify for academic year 2018-2019 financial aid?

Yes. Please contact the Student Financial Services office for specific information.

If I am on financial aid, do I need to take two courses to qualify?

Yes, you will need to take the required minimum number of credits to qualify for aid. We will work with your faculty to make adjustments so that you can maximize your study and research time in Florence.

How do I secure my spot in this course?

For Italy-based IFSE students, to secure your spot, you need to make a non‐refundable deposit of $2,000 by Friday, July 20th, 2018. The deposit will be applied toward the full fee of $2995

For Virtual IFSE students, to secure your spot, you need apply and be officially accepted by the program. You will be notified by email of your acceptance from IFSE_CPS@northeastern.edu. Once accepted, you will be automatically enrolled into the course.

Are there a minimum number of students required for the class to run?

Yes. The minimum number of students is 14. If the course does not run due to low enrollment, all Italy-based IFSE student deposits will be refunded.

Is there a cap on how many students can attend from any one program?

One of the objectives of this course and opportunity is to increase understanding of the ramifications of globalization and to also offer a highly interdisciplinary experience. There is, however, a cap of 18 students for each section (Italy-based and Virtual).

Travel & Logistics

When does the course start and end?

Italy-based and Virtual IFSE Fall 2018 is a 12-week course, beginning September 17th, 2018, and ending December 15th, 2018. In addition to the on-location segment, participation for the other weeks will be online through Blackboard. The Italy-based IFSE group will be on-site from October 21th-28th, 2018.

Italy-based and Virtual IFSE Spring 2019 is a 12-week course, beginning April 8th, 2019, and ending June 29th, 2019. In addition to the on-location segment, participation for the other weeks will be online through Blackboard. The Italy-based IFSE group will be on-site from May 18th–May 25th, 2019 *tentative*.

 

Will Northeastern arrange my visa?

No. Students are responsible for obtaining their own tourist visas for travel. All U.S. students must have a passport valid at least six months after the end of travel.

 

I am an international student, how will my visa work?

IFSE is an online class. You are not required to enter the U.S. at any point for this class. This class will not qualify you by itself for a student visa. If you are a current international student on a student visa and plan to stay in the U.S. this summer, please contact the Office of Global Services to determine your ability to travel for this class.

 

How do we get there?

Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to/from Florence. The best airport to fly into is Florence (FLR).

 

Do you know what the airfare might cost?

This is entirely dependent on your location of departure and specific dates of travel. For sample fares, please visit Kayak.com or any other travel website.

 

When should we plan on arriving? On leaving?

FALL 2018 IFSE

Students should plan on arriving at the meeting point in Florence on Sunday, October 21st, 2018. Accepted students will be notified of the meeting location during the pre-departure orientation session. Students are required to stay through the entirety of the on‐site program. Housing is provided through the last day of the on-site portion of the program (October 28th, 2018); this excludes the night of October 28th, 2018. Transportation to and from the meeting point and villa will be provided and students are responsible for being present at the meeting location at the designated time. If a student's travel schedule does not align with the meeting time, the student is responsible for her/his transfer to and/or from the villa/meeting point.

SPRING 2019 IFSE *tentative dates*

Students should plan on arriving at the meeting point in Florence on Saturday, May 18th, 2019 *tentative*. Accepted students will be notified of the meeting location during the pre-departure orientation session. Students are required to stay through the entirety of the on‐site program. Housing is provided through the last day of the on-site portion of the program (May 25th, 2019 *tentative*); this excludes the night of May 25th, 2019 *tentative*. Transportation to and from the meeting point and villa will be provided and students are responsible for being present at the meeting location at the designated time. If a student's travel schedule does not align with the meeting time, the student is responsible for her/his transfer to and/or from the villa/meeting point.

 

Can we arrive early or stay longer after the program is finished?

FALL 2018 IFSE

Housing is provided from Sunday, October 21–Sunday, October 28, 2018. However, if you wish to stay longer, we will help connect you with people on location who can guide you to suitable accommodations.

SPRING 2019 IFSE *tentative dates*

Housing is provided from Saturday, May 18th–Saturday, May 25th, 2019 *tentative*. However, if you wish to stay longer, we will help connect you with people on location who can guide you to suitable accommodations.

 

What are the accommodations like?

Students and faculty will be accommodated in a historic villa in Tuscany.

 

What about transportation on location?

We will provide all on-ground transportation.

 

Are any meals included?

Students will be provided with breakfast and dinner each day.

 

Can I bring a friend, partner, family?

Our liability insurance does not allow for any persons on this trip who are not registered for the class. Accommodations are included in the program fee and are for students only.

Testimonials

Testimonial from student who was part of IFSE 2016:

Testimonial from student who was part of IFSE 2016: 

Testimonials from students who were part of IFSE 2015

Maria Alcaraz

Jonathan Hoogendorn

 Arlie Reeves

Faculty

Marissa Lombardi, Ed.D - Profile

Dr. Marissa Lombardi oversees and teaches the International Field Study Experience (IFSE), and is also an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Master of Science in Global Studies and International Affairs program where she leads the International Student Mobility concentration and certificate.  

Previously, Dr. Lombardi lived and worked for nearly eight years in Italy, where she served as dean of students at Lorenzo de’ Medici Italian International Institute in Italy, and was part of a senior leadership team responsible for the oversight of campuses in Florence, Rome, and Tuscania. Dr. Lombardi also has worked extensively as a cross-cultural consultant in Rome, Italy, and in the U.S., and incorporates her deep intercultural experience and knowledge of Italian culture into all aspects of the International Field Study Experience.

Pool view from the villa