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IES Abroad

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.

Founded
1950
Headquarters

33 W. Monroe St.
Suite 2300
Chicage, IL 60603-5405
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Sarah
10/10

IES Granada was an awesome experience, and I would recommend it to anyone with a Spanish language background willing to explore this beautiful city and culture!

IES Abroad and IES Granada staff were super helpful, from the beginning by making sure we got our visas ready to our 2-day orientation program in Málaga. Throughout the semester, they made sure that we were settling in okay, meeting locals, and then preparing for our return home. I ended up having a foot injury that lasted throughout the semester, but the staff was super kind about checking in on me, and also arranging doctors visits with a translator and taxi up to the hospital.

We always knew what was happening in Granada because of the weekly Agenda email that we received. Our orientation leader joked that she forwards it to all her friends because it is the most comprehensive list of events in the city. IES also planned field trips within Southern Spain and to Morocco to help us learn more about the region's history and stunning sites. The Morocco trip, optional but most students choose to go, was carefully planned to be more than just a tourist visit, as we stayed with host families for 2 nights and met with 2 NGOs and a lot of local students.

The best part about my experience was getting to know locals. I found two groups of local students, one through an "intercambio" program that IES set up to give us each a language partner, and the other through the university church group. Both groups welcomed me in, and I was able to improve my Spanish a lot and and learn more about Spain through these friendships. I´m already trying to figure out when to return because of these strong connections that I made!

On the academic side, IES has a lot of great classes to offer its students at its own program site, with professors from the University of Granada. I was able to take all of my classes in Spanish, but in a smaller classroom than at the university. We were able to explore much of the city and its history through classes like Islamic Art and Architecture, or take classes I wouldn't usually get to take, like watercolor.

My living situation was great! I had a lovely set of host parents who really welcomed us into the family. My roommate and I were even able to travel with our host mom to her hometown and meet her father and brother. Her cooking was excellent, and although not everyone had such a positive experience, I think overall most students in both homestays and residential living were happy with their choices.

Overall, the IES Granada semester was well-run and made sure we felt at home. They even cooked us a Thanksgiving dinner :)

(note: I am an Ambassador for IES Abroad, but only because I felt so much support from IES with my injury and semester, that I wanted to share my experience with others!)

How can this program be improved?
Not all of my friends loved their classes (some were better than others), but I was really happy with most of them and to have the opportunity to take them all in Spanish.
Yes, I recommend this program
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McKenzi
10/10

Overall, my experience was better than I could have imagined. The classes were fun, engaging and I learned tons of material I would not have back at my home university. The IES teachers were well versed in their subjects and had interesting life experience. It really helped me get a better picture of career options and ways to get there. The program staff was extremely helpful and down to Earth. They were always willing to help but did not try to micromanage everything. They also do a great job of sending out weekly emails to tell you whats going on in the city and ways to get involved. In addition, they send links to tons of volunteer activities that are a way to meet locals and really helped me feel like I was doing something to give back during my free time. It was really nice and helped push the students to be independent! I stayed in a more residential area with tons of families and animals really close to campus which was so convenient. I enjoyed the area but my only wish was to be closer to the action. Like I said, overall, the experience was wonderful and I glad I picked IES.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Curran
8/10

This program is great for anyone who wants to improve their Japanese language skills and learn more about Japan. There are lots of chances for students to go out into Japan, as well as communicate with Japanese students. The program places students at Kanda University of International Studies, which is a language school. Many of the students at the school speak very good English, so even students who have no prior Japanese knowledge will be able to make great friends. The staff at IES Tokyo are really fun to spend time with and always there for whatever you need. I had a great time staying with my host family, and really enjoyed all of the friends I made while I was in Japan. It is important to keep in mind that this program is actually located in Chiba, which is about a 45 minute train ride from central Tokyo. I really loved this location because it shows you a different side of Japan, away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo proper.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jordan
9/10

How can I begin to describe my semester abroad? This was by far the best semester of my life. There's just something about moving to Italy for 4 months that changes everything you ever thought you knew. Don't get me wrong, it was absolutely terrifying to pack up your whole life into two suitcases and move across the world. From the beginning, I knew it would be worth it because of the wonderful people at IES Abroad. I was kept informed every step of the way. From the predeparture checklist, to help with the Visa, to personal emails from the staff, I was nothing but impressed with IES. Once I got to Italy, the IES Milan staff put together a week long orientation that helped to create the friendships that have lasted past my time in the program, inspire confidence in the program, and ensure that I made the correct decision. But, beside all of that, the bets part of IES Milan were the professors. I took 5 classes in Milan and I couldn't wait to go to each of them each week. I was pushed harder than I ever have and it absolutely paid off. Another great part of this program were the field trips. I participated in the trips to Parma and to Sienna. During these trips I got to know the staff and the students on a more personal level and I got to explore places I never would have thought to go. I have absolutely nothing but good things to say about IES Abroad Milan. I can honestly say my life has been changed for the better because of this program.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Aleena
9/10

The IES BIA Program gave me the opportunity to learn more about the political, economic, social, and cultural institutions in France through their planned excursions, weekend recommendations, and ticket giveaways for the Opera, Ballet, rugby games, and cooking classes. My French not only significantly improved through these immersive experiences, but also because of my host family, which was perhaps the best part of my experience. My host mom was kind and supportive, always helping me improve my French and introducing me to the different facets of French culture and cuisine.

The classes were engaging and the small size allows you to interact with both the professors, which come from prestigious universities around France, as well as the students. Coming from a university with larger class sizes, this was something I appreciated. The classes also offered excursions; I went to the cinema with my French class to watch a movie and went to the World Trade Organization Headquarters in Geneva with my Market Trends and Economics class. I learned a lot about the policies that France and the European Union implement; a lot of the material presented in my classes as well as the presentations I completed impressed employers when doing internship interviews.

My study abroad experience only grew my identity as a global citizen and shaped my ability to communicate across different cultures, which in an increasingly connected world is important. My decision to immerse myself as much as possible refined my French and by the end of the five months, I was confident and it was easy to carry on discussions in French.

I highly recommend this program to others who are interested in learning about the facets of French culture and are studying business or international affairs because the knowledge you acquire is invaluable and will aid you in the future. I also recommend doing a homestay - it was probably one of the best decisions I made while abroad.

Yes, I recommend this program

Programs

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Professional Associations

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