IES Abroad

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About

IES Abroad offers 140 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.

Reviews

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Lindsey
10/10

Studying abroad through IES Abroad Granada was the best decision I could've made. From the amazing program staff, to my beloved host mom, and the city Granada itself, I felt supported, challenged, and excited on a daily basis. I had the opportunity to take fun and engaging classes- a Spanish class, flamenco dancing, a literature course, a feminist film course, and a class on Islamic architecture (you get to have class in the Alhambra!!). The program offers support in helping students engage in the community. Through IES, I was able to take an extracurricular painting class at a local community art center. Every week, an email of all the amazing events and activities going on goes out- language meet ups, cool tapas bars to check out, museum exhibits... anything under the sun! IES takes students on incredible excursions- one of my favorites was our trip to Morocco, where we had the opportunity to stay in homestay families in Rabat and explore a bunch of different cities. I cannot say enough good things about the staff- Javier is absolutely the best person on the planet for this job, and I loved getting to know the folks at IES Granada. They strike an excellent balance of making students feel comfortable and supported while giving students independence and opportunity to shape their own experiences.

Granada itself is truly a magical city, with beautiful mountains, tons of nooks and crannies to explore, an abundance of tapas, and wonderful people. I loved sitting in a plaza with a café con leche after class, soaking up the Spanish sun and reading a book or talking with a friend. It's very walkable, very beautiful, and the ideal size for studying abroad- big enough where I felt like I had plenty to explore, but small enough to get to know well. There is also access to nature right outside of the city. I would hike often in the nearby rolling hills, or take a short bus ride to the beautiful Alpujarra, where you can explore the Sierra Nevada and take a breather from the city.

One of the biggest highlights for me was my host mom- she was undoubtedly my best friend while I was abroad, and I learned so much from living with her. She made me feel like family right off the bat, and hanging out with her skyrocketed my Spanish speaking abilities. We went shopping together, went for churros and chocolate, and spent many hours having long chats about life! Living with her was so special, and an experience I will hold in my heart forever.

I also had a really special experience with my intercambio, a local student from the University of Granada. She became one of my close friends, and we would meet for coffee or tapas every couple of weeks. I loved hanging out with the orientadores, local students who lead fun excursions for IES students and also help with orientation at the beginning of the semester. I did a bunch of cool activities with them- went to art exhibits, to cafés, on a hike in a nearby town. I established a strong relationship with one of them, and was invited to her house for lunch at the end of the semester! (a big deal in Spanish culture!)

IES Abroad Granda is an amazing program! I truly loved it and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an immersive experience full of challenge, fun, and adventure!

Yes, I recommend
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Sabrina
10/10

I got to study with a master violinist, perform a lot, see major ensembles like the Vienna Phil and Vienna State Opera for free or for very cheap, take classes that I could use for my major, and meet a lot of locals, one of them being a lifelong friend that I'll never forget. I also learned so much more German in just one semester than I thought I would, seeing as I didn't know any when I got to Vienna. I lived in an apartment that was about 20 minutes away from the city center, which I thought was really nice--close enough and far away from all the tourists. I also took advantage of a lot of the IES Abroad opportunities like Student Council and Student Forum, which I found rewarding. There really is nothing more that I would have wanted.

Yes, I recommend
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Elizabeth
10/10

Studying abroad in Buenos Aires through IES gave me the best possible experience I could have asked for. I got to do everything I was expecting to be able to do, like traveling, improving my Spanish, making international friends, exploring the nature of Argentina, and more. More importantly, however, I gained a lot of knowledge and experience in ways I didn't expect. I got to deeply understand the culture and history of a country I admittedly knew very little about before going there, and I now feel intimately connected to a completely different part of the world. The community of Buenos Aires was so intertwined with all of my experiences there that I left feeling like I had truly become a knowledgeable part of it. IES gave me so many of the opportunities I took to get connected to the city, and I am so thankful that they as a program understand that studying abroad is a multifaceted experience. In classes and outside of classes, IES provided the framework I needed to have my ideal study abroad experience.

How can this program be improved?
This program is pretty great as is, and I cannot think of an obvious improvement.
Yes, I recommend
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Kira
10/10

IES abroad made sure that everything was taken care of so all I had to do was show up and have the time of my life! Living in the Galapagos is a whole other world; the community is incredibly tight-knit and so kind. Latino culture is extremely warm and living with my host families was an absolutely amazing experience. We bonded over cultural differences and it was an opportunity for me to be immersed in their culture while also being able to teach my families about my own culture. This program is extremely hands-on and research based! If you love being outside this program absolutely takes advantage of being in the Galapagos and each course has a ton of field trips and outdoor excursions so that you really get to know the Galapagos Islands and all they have to offer! If you are scuba certified and in the Marine Ecology track each of your classes has a scuba component too! This program absolutely changed my life and it will change yours too!

Yes, I recommend
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Jacqueline
10/10

From childhood, I’ve known I love to travel. As I grew up I imagined studying abroad in high school, I talked about it, hoped for it, and never did end up putting anything together. As I entered college I renewed my hopes, and made plans for junior year. I was serious, I was excited, and I was going to France. Nantes, France, to be exact.

After all the planning, all the excitement, I was terrified when I got to Nantes. I arrived at the IES Abroad building, which I would later grow to love, and I met a whole crowd of other students, each one of us more or less quiet, just waiting for our host families to come pick us up. The first few days passed like you would expect, people saying their names over and over, trying to talk to as many other students as possible, and sharing all kinds of information about their lives at home in the US and about what their host families here in Nantes are like. IES took us on lots of weekend trips, especially at the start, and little by little we grew to be as comfortable as if we had spent years with each other. The little table in the kitchen and the big mass of tables in the library became regular spots to gather and talk, and I made friends in Nantes who I still talk to and remain close with despite the fact that we are now spread out all over the US and France.

My host family, more than anything, was one of the most impactful parts of my time in France. I was far more tearful and sad on the day I left France and my host family, than on the day I said goodbye to my real family, because them I would see again in only four short months. I was blessed with a host family who I grew to think of as my own family, as my mom, dad, three younger sisters, cat and dog. Each one of them welcomed me as if I was some long-lost member of the family, coming back from a lengthy trip. I fit into their life and routine quickly and with ease, and I could talk to each of them about whatever came into our heads. IES couldn't have done a better job placing students in their host families.

The classes I took, both with IES and at the University, were challenging, but rewarding more than anything. And challenging though they could be, there was always a tutor, a friend, or the teacher standing by to help however they could. Though I had my worries about whether or not I would be at ease with the language before arriving, every fear was quelled shortly after arriving. There was a learning curve, and adjustments had to be made along the way, but the fact that everyone in your sphere wants to help you, coupled with the fact that simply being immersed in the language will help you to learn quicker than you could have believed, makes everything seem all the easier.

I loved my semester in Nantes more than I even realized I could before arriving there, and I wouldn't change it for anything. I came home with lifelong friends, knowledge of a beautiful culture and country that I never imagined I would understand so well, memories that will say with me as long as I am still going, and skills in a language that I will be able to use for the rest of my life.

Yes, I recommend

Professional Associations

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