IES Abroad

Provider

IES Abroad offers more than 115 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students' lives. We also believe that every student should have the opportunity to go abroad--especially in a fun, safe, and superior academic and cultural environment.

From our headquarters in Chicago to our 35+ locations and the staff on-site, we all work toward the common goal of providing mind-bending, life-changing, opinion-altering study abroad opportunities.

We're not ashamed to admit we're a little bit obsessed with study abroad.

IES Abroad

Programs from IES Abroad

Program Reviews

  • Mark Meiselbach
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    United States
    Tufts University
    Tremendous cultural and academic experience
    03/06/2015

    The IES Amsterdam program offered great academics and support

    I took two art history courses and introductory course on gender and sexuality studies. The professors did a fantastic job of engaging the class through excursions and guest lecturers. I learned a great deal from the courses and at no point felt overworked.

    In terms of support, the staff was very responsive to emails. They helped me make sure that my academic schedule worked out and that I could take the courses that I needed to. Additionally, the office was very close to our apartment building and, thus, the staff was incredibly accessible.

    How could this program be improved?

    The program could try and improve the connection between students in the program and students at the University of Amsterdam.

    Video Review:
    See video
    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • Salamantina
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    New York, NY
    Johns Hopkins University
    IES Abroad Salamanca- AN IMMERSION PROGRAM (seriously, no one in my program including me knew this)!
    02/16/2015

    1) Housing: If you choose to live in the dorm, you will have quick access to the faculties for Ciencias Sociales and Derecho: it is a five minute walk from your room to half of the department classes (it's a 15 minute walk to the IES center, where the mandatory IES Lengua class takes place). Also, you will have your lunch paid for on a once-per-day meal swipe (a worth of 6 euros) at one of three dining halls. The food is good, but absolutely forget eating there is you have food restrictions (like being gluten-free or vegetarian/vegan). Also, if you like healthy food like fruits and veggies, be prepared to eat lots of potatoes, plain iceberg lettuce, canned vegetables (or vegetables cooked with mystery meat) and other non-healthy food that they will claim is healthy! The dessert of any given day is your choice of a piece of fresh fruit or yogurt. As a dorm resident, you will have to pay for your breakfast, dinner and snacks. There is a small supermarket (El Dia) about 5 minutes away, and a larger all-purpose one (Marcadona) about 15 minutes away. There is also a small gym, study rooms on every floor, inexpensive wash/dry (4 euros per load), and a gaming room (billiards, tv, ext). If you are in a home stay: know that your food schedule is completely decided by your host family. The food is not always varied, but they are able to accommodate food allergies/restrictions. There is even a family that is great with providing food for those with Celiac-- the moral of the story is don't pick your housing based on food restrictions! As a student staying in a home stay, you also will have more of the money you saved/brought to spend on what you want (instead of what you need) because your host family will provide three meals a day and snacks. Be ware that host families can be a little overbearing and/or may not want you in their space-- they do not always consider you part of their families. Some students who lived in home stays were not allowed to be anywhere in the house except their rooms and the dining room (and especially not allowed in the family room where the tv was).

    2) Internet: You need a connecter for the ethernet. Some laptops ave it built in, others you will need to buy a convertor for the thunderbolt (for Mac, not sure about PCs). The dorms do not have wifi in the rooms, but fast and reliable internet on the ethernet. You can also set it up so your computer emits wifi (just look it up) so you have it on your phone in your room. In the home stays it is hit-or-miss: some houses are great, others have spotty internet.

    3) Walking: be prepared to walk everywhere. Two weeks after your arrival here in Salamanca, you will think a 20 minute walk is short. On average, I walked 6 miles a day in Salamanca without even trying. From the dorm to the IES building, it's about a 15 minute direct-route, downhill walk (nearby there is a dining hall). It is about 5 minutes to the Ciencias Sociales/Derecho faculties, about a 5 minute walk to the nearest dining hall, about 20 minutes to the Plaza Mayor, about 15 minutes to calle Van Dyck (a well-known, tapa bar street), and about 25 minutes to the Cathedral (and the plaza that has the Filologia/Language faculty). If you live in a home stay, it can be hit-or-miss. I suggest that you put location as one of your top priorities for housing because it will make your life much, much easier! No home stay was more than 25 minutes away from the IES center (which is about 5-6 minutes away from the Plaza Mayor).

    4) Communication while in Salamanca: you are required to have a phone where you can be reached while in Salamanca with IES. Some students used their US phone and cell number. Others bought the Spanish SIM card (usually from a store named Orange) and added euros to it as necessary. Still others had two phones: their home one and a cheap (about 40 euro) flip-phone with a Spanish SIM card. Do what is best for you, but know that it is IES policy to have a working phone with you at all times!

    5) Registering for classes: GOOD LUCK. The IES staff here are the least organized people. They also don't seem to care to help you, yet have all these obligatory/mandatory titles on everything. It was BS.

    Overall, I loved my time, made great friends and got to travel plenty while still getting to know Salamanca but if I could do it all over again, I would do Madrid if I was studying in Spain.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 0
  • Owen
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Decorah, Iowa
    Luther College
    Amazing Experience in an Amazing City
    02/15/2015

    There are many aspects of the IES European Union program that appealed to me. First of all, the program was situated in Freiburg, Germany, a city of approximately 220,000 people located in heart of the Black Forest on the Swiss and French borders in Southwest Germany. I was attracted to a smaller city, as opposed to Berlin or Vienna in Austria, because I felt I would be more intimately immersed in the culture and have more opportunities to meet and establish friendships with locals, as well as strengthen my German language skills.

    I also appreciated the extensive travel that was included in the program. We took three trips that covered a large portion of the European continent and met with a variety of European Union representatives and political activists. In addition, the travel allowed us to spend time in some of Europe's most extravagant cities, including Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Prague, and many more. Although there wasn't an abundance of time set aside for independent travel, I was still pleased our group's excursions to some of Central Europe's most prominent sites.

    Learning in the program was extensive and occasionally could be quite intense. Those who were not well informed of European politics before entering the program left with a vast knowledge of institutions, policies, and issues of the European Union. The Model European Union simulation that was held in the final weeks of the program also enhanced this experience.

    Becoming immersed within another culture is one of the greatest benefits of studying abroad. By attending cultural immersion classes upon arrival in Germany, I was better prepared to move in with my flatmates. Language courses, which differ according to the ability of students, were also held four days a week. These classes allowed me to pick up some simple German phrases that I could use in restaurants or other day-to-day interactions with the German people. For me personally, the living environment was definitely one of the highlights of the program. Living with German students from the local university provided me with wonderful opportunities to establish friendships with locals. I enjoyed learning how German students spend their leisure time while improving my communication skills through conversations with them.

    In addition, I found the IES staff to be incredibly helpful and friendly. Staff members were always willing to assistant students regardless of the situation at hand. Throughout the semester, I developed great relationships with both the IES staff and professors. It was not uncommon for them to personally show students around Freiburg or even to invite them to join them for lunch or dinner.

    The IES European Union program provided me with fantastic opportunities for travel, cultural immersion, building new friendships, and exposure to diverse learning experiences. Although the workload from classes could sometimes feel overwhelming, every student with whom I spoke described his/her experience as "life changing." That was certainly the case for me. For all of us who participated in the program, Freiburg will always be our German hometown. I would recommend this program, without reservation, to any student who has the desire to learn more about the European Union and to see the world.

    How could this program be improved?

    The academics were often more difficult than they needed to be with absences from class carrying heavy grading consequences in addition to some difficult grading.

    Independent travel is also difficult as there are no major breaks and class attendance requirements are strict.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Halee
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    United States
    Western Washington University
    Barcelona Fall Semester
    02/04/2015

    I had a great time with IES in Barcelona. The program staff were always so nice and helpful, and being there during the Catalunya independence protests was very interesting and educational. My living situation (a homestay) was very welcoming. My only complaint would be that there were 300+ American students in the program, which makes it very hard to immerse yourself in the local culture. Also, all but one of my classes were taught in English. IES set me up with an internship once I got there, which helped with my Spanish and feeling like I was more involved in the local activities while I was there. Overall, I had a great time!

    How could this program be improved?

    A smaller group of students - or larger facilities to accommodate them - too many people in one small space.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Sarah
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    University of Michigan
    Irish Studies
    02/01/2015

    My time in Dublin holds a very special place in my heart and I owe this to the wonderful IES staff and students. The academics and field trips within the program allowed me to gain a better understanding of Irish culture and history. I made lifelong friends during my time abroad and would highly recommend this experience to anyone who is looking to expand their horizons, grow, and see the world around them.

    How could this program be improved?

    N/A

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
View All Reviews