IES Abroad


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

  • Tara
    Age: 19-24
    Washington, DC
    The Catholic University of America
    Slowly then all at once

    Paris has always been my dream destination. When I arrived in the City of Love my expectations and reality were not quite on the same level. But within a month I quickly adapted and fell in love with the beautiful city! It was interacting with the local people, eating the food, going out to the bars with new friends, walking around by myself and experiencing the city that made my expectations reality. Even more the IES Staff were super helpful and caring during the time of adaptation. Paris lives up to her hype.

    How could this program be improved?

    The courses are difficult. The french teachers tend to lecture rather than actually teach. Frankly, I would have rather been out exploring the city than stuck in the classroom for hours every day.

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  • Julia
    Age: 19-24
    Philadelphia, PA
    University of Virginia
    Spring 2015

    I studied abroad with IES: Santiago in the spring of 2015. It was, by far, one of the best decisions I have made. Class sizes at the program center were small and the opportunity to take classes at one of the local universities, Universidad Pontifica Catolica de Chile, helped me to feel integrated into the city. My internship afforded me the greatest opportunity to practice Spanish, and I feel it contributed the most to the advancement of my ability to speak Spanish. Santiago as a city is safe and welcoming and a great jumping-off point if you are looking to travel both within and outside of Chile. The program size was small which allowed me to get to know everyone in the program and living in a home provided a fantastic cultural experience. I highly recommend this program!

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  • Rebecca
    Age: 19-24
    Boston, MA
    University of Rochester
    An incredible semester!

    The IES Nantes program is perfect for someone wanting to become immersed in the French language and culture! I loved living in the city of Nantes. It was the perfect size with plenty of things to do and quickly felt like home. It is also a very walkable city, which I came to love. The home stay was one of my favorite aspects of the program and was definitely where I made the greatest strides in my language skills. I felt that the classes were very manageable and enjoyed the opportunity to take a class at the local university. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in improving their French!

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  • Victoria
    Age: 19-24
    DePaul University
    Taste of a New Culture

    Studying abroad in Paris was easily the best decision of my life. It allowed me to finally experience a culture that I had been learning about in textbooks for 6 years. I learned more about the French culture in the 4 months abroad than I had throughout the years in French class. I believe anyone studying a language or culture must travel and see that culture first-hand.

    At IES, I took 5 courses all in French: French Literature, French Language in Context, Paris Museums, an internship seminar and I also took a phonetics course at Universite Catholique de Paris. The course load I will admit was more than expected, but it was also key to helping me improve my French and boost my confidence in the language. My grammar course in particular focused on current events and hot topics in France and for that reason I enjoyed this class the most.

    I also stayed with a great host family on the southwest side of Paris right in between the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Needless to say, my commute was always a pleasant one. My host family was very informative on where to go and what to see in Paris, dinner was always phenomenal, and the girls were around the same age as me so we would often talk about pop culture and current events at the dinner table. I'm lucky I got to stay with a family with such a great sense of humor. And my host mom was an amazing artist! She's going to be having an art expo of her own very soon!

    The IES Center itself was a great place to be. There is a beautiful garden just outside of the classrooms and student lounge. The lounge has a piano and there is also a computer lab located in the basement of the student center along with a small library. I would often spend time here getting homework done or just hanging out with friends between and after classes.

    IES also helped me get an internship while abroad. I interned with a market research firm and learned a lot about the work culture in France first-hand, which was supplemented by class reading in my internship seminar.

    I will always remember and cherish the 4 months I spent abroad. In a beautiful city like Paris, any where you turn is a history lesson, a beautiful monument, a work of art.

    Everyday I learned something new, faced and overcome hurdles, and everyday I grew. I grew to realize that different parts of the world do things differently, and with different motivations. Studying abroad has only deeper encouraged me to keep traveling and keep exploring the world and the cultures that call it home.

    How could this program be improved?

    The academics of this program is very Americanized even with a French curriculum. I spent a lot of time doing homework which impeded me from exploring the city sometimes. I would recommend lessening the workload just a tad bit.

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  • Saphir
    Age: 19-24
    Tampa, FL
    Emory University
    Vienna Spring 2015

    The classes are not demanding allowing students to travel often or go out and explore the city. Classes did not take up all of my time with homework or frequent exams/papers, so there was always still more than enough time to explore the city and beyond. I appreciated that many of my classes made an effort to take us on field trips around the city to make real world connections relevant to the course. Each class works to intertwine the history and culture of Vienna and Austria into the subject matter and we often compared our own cultures to Austrian culture. There is a library, computer lab, and printers on site that students are able to use.

    The staff was always available for us and willing to offer cafe suggestions, travel tips, local advice, etc.

    The location of my apartment was incredible! I was placed in the 6th district central to the U4 line (main subway line), the Naschmarkt (outdoor market), Mariahilferstrasse (main shopping area), and so much more. The location is extremely important when you study abroad because I was always able to drop my stuff off after class and continue my day walking around the city. My apartment houses six of us- a single room for our Viennese RA, a double room, and a triple room.

    There were options of living in large houses with spacious accommodations in the suburbs. However, the commute was extremely long and many of those students weren't able to participate in many social events after classes because their commute could be over an hour and a half.

    Austrian cuisine is extremely heavy and meaty. However, there are many options for other types of food. There was a wonderful sushi restaurant next to my apartment I would go to often with friends. The cafe culture is integral to Austrian history, so that is where you'll find great coffee and Apfelstrudels. Many people cooked for themselves and brought lunch to the IES Center because Vienna is pretty expensive.

    Social Integration:
    I lived with an Viennese RA, I had a language buddy, and I attended many local events. However, I still did not feel integrated with the locals. IES classes are strictly with American students in the IES center away from the University. There is an opportunity to take sports classes through the University and also classes in the University, but they are taught in German.

    Culturally, I felt that I sought spots in the city and events only locals would go to and I was able to find some pretty unique spots/events by googling and asking the staff and my RA.

    I was sick twice during the program and I was able to easily access medicine in the pharmacy.

    Vienna is absolutely one of the safest cities I have ever been to. There was honestly never a moment I felt unsafe or scared to be alone.

    School Preparedness:
    My home university prepared me with meetings with my study abroad advisor and a larger meeting with everyone going abroad in the spring that included any and all topics that would be relevant to being abroad.

    Vienna is a very expensive city and it's hard to live on a student's budget.
    Money was mainly a concern towards the beginning of the program because I constantly wanted to explore new cafes and museums with friends. After about a month of constant spending, I began cooking my own meals and taking lunch to the IES center and budgeting my expenses. I made a list of priorities that I was comfortable spending money on and lessening how often I ate out at cafes.
    At the beginning of your program, begin listing what you spend your money on and noticing what you should expect to spend more on and what you should expect to spend less on.

    We were required to take German class three times a week for about an hour and a half each class. We had activities where we were required to go out into the Naschmarkt and use German to order our groceries. The class had an oral, reading, and writing focus. We had a test every two weeks and a quiz almost every class. My German teacher was very kind and willing to help us truly learn the language.

    Everyday really does go by so quickly so make the best of everyday. Go out and explore a new street or cafe every single day. In the long run you'll be glad you made the most of your time abroad.

    How could this program be improved?

    Diversity of schools represented- IES tends to attract students from Penn State

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