IES helped make summer 2016 unforgettable. After being accepted into the program they did everything they could to make us feel ready for our time in the UK. When I decided to study abroad one of the first things I was worried about was traveling internationally for the first time. The staff at IES provided multiple resources that made me feel very prepared. I felt comfortable flying to a new country, getting my passport stamped with immigration, and making my way to the residence hall. This great customer service continued after we arrived in London and throughout our program. Once we arrived in London, they provided a comprehensive training that included topics like health and safety in London, transportation, traveling on the weekends, and their academic policies.
Choosing to study abroad with IES was a great decision because they went above and beyond to teach you how to immerse yourself into London’s culture, and that was one of my main goals of studying abroad. Within hours of arriving in London they showed us the best places to eat, grocery shop, and how to use the transportation system in our neighborhood. They encouraged us to ride the tube, read the Evening Standard, and visit pubs and neighborhoods outside of tourist attractions. Oftentimes I visited the staff members after class and asked for restaurant suggestions or interesting activities to try on the weekend.
The academic program itself provided some of the most interesting classes I’ve taken in my college career. I had to opportunity to take a class on London Architecture and another on British censorship. Both of my instructors were very knowledgeable in their fields and the workload was perfect because it left time to explore London. I had one class per day Monday-Thursday and I would often plan activities before or after class. This schedule also allowed everyone on my program ample time to travel elsewhere.
I traveled to Paris and throughout the UK with students from my program. I also went on trips that IES planned and subsidized. These trips went to Stonehenge, Bath, Salisbury, and Brighton; I thought they were well done and enjoyed the guides that IES hired. My favorite trip was the one that toured Bath/Salisbury/Stonehenge over a weekend. This is mostly because my group was assigned a guide named Jeany. Jeany took us on a walking tour in each of these places, and she was hysterical and very well spoken. She had me so interested in the history and stories of these places I ended up doing research on my own time.
IES is a wonderful organization that aims to teach students about new cultures and living abroad, and you can see their passion in the excellent programs they provide. Highly recommend!