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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.

Website
Founded
1950
Headquarters

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

Reviews

Default avatar
Ellie
10/10

I came into my semester in Granada nervous. I would describe myself as someone who likes routine and familiarity and these 4 months were anything but that. But looking back, going abroad to Granada with IES Abroad was absolutely the best decision I could have made. Although it may sound cheesy and/or unrealistic to some, I can honestly say that since going abroad I can see so much self growth in myself. At the end of the semester, I was so surprised by how hard I found it to say goodbye to the new life I had created. Today Lately I have been finding myself missing so much about my "2nd home". I miss the relaxed "no pasa nada" lifestyle in Granada that was such a refreshing change from my always busy U.S. life. I miss being able to walk anywhere and everywhere. I immensely miss my incredible host mom who not only always made sure my housemate and I were well fed, but also always supported and comfortable. I miss the IES staff and professors who taught me so many new things I would never have been able to learn at my home school, organized amazing activities for us in Granada (ex. cooking classes, wine tastings, open mic nights), planned trips for us ranging in location from nearby Cordoba to Morocco, and most importantly, were always there if we needed anything at all. I miss being able to meet up with my friends for tapas and tinto de verano and maybe gelato from Los Italianos afterwards. I miss studying in the IES center and getting to look up and see the Alhambra above me. Most of all, I miss the person I was able to be in Granada: similar, but also different to the person I am back in the U.S. Both the city of Granada and the IES Abroad program gave me so much, both personally and academically, and I will be forever thankful that I chose to push myself to go far outside of my comfort zone and study in Granada. Although it may have only been 4 months, I know that I will hold this experience close and continue to learn and grow from it for a long time.

Yes, I recommend
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Guy
9/10

Studying abroad is such a unique experience, and I feel like I was able to get the most out of my time by studying through IES. The program staff in Japan were fantastic, and they held regular events to help us explore the local area and culture. These included trips to nearby cultural or historical landmarks, such as the big Buddha statue in Kamakura or the shrines in Asakusa, as well as kabuki theater and a glass-blowing shop where we made our own Japanese-style wind chimes. I definitely recommend participating in as many of these and similar events as you can.
The school I attended, Kanda University of International studies (KUIS) or 神田外語大学, was also special and helped my time in Japan be as amazing as it was. As a foreign language school, everyone at KUIS is required to study English. While the majority of students are of course not yet fluent, this meant that they were overall more comfortable in speaking English and, more importantly, more eager to interact with overseas students and make international friends. I came in with several years of Japanese study already under my belt, and improving my language skills was probably the biggest reason I decided to study in Japan. I was very glad to attend a school where everyone was excited to talk to me and would be more than happy to help me with my Japanese when requested. I was easily able to make many close friends who I still keep in touch with.
In terms of housing options, we could either do homestay or live in a dorm or an apartment. Students were on average probably 45-60 minutes away from the school via train and walking or biking; this commute was a little tiring every day, but that's not too bad for Japan, and you get used to it. I personally lived in the apartments, and I really enjoyed it. It gave me more freedom than the dorms or homestay (I didn't have a curfew, for instance), and it gave me the chance to cook more and explore the local cuisine rather than being on a meal plan in a dorm. I had a single, with two other people (local Japanese people) living in the same apartment, but they mostly kept to themselves so it honestly felt like I was living alone sometimes. This was nice at times, but I had also hoped to be able to talk with them more and become friends. From talking to my other friends living in the apartments, this seemed to be a somewhat common experience.
My main complaint about the program would be the classes; in particular, the three-hour lecture-based classes were often tedious, and I felt like most of the classes didn't cover their topics as deeply as I would have liked. The required Japanese language course was an exception - I improved my language skills a lot, and the teacher was extremely helpful. I wish we had learned a bit more kanji, but the class focused on mostly grammar, vocab, and speaking, which, in my opinion, are probably the most important aspects of learning Japanese. Other classes could be boring at times, but the workload was very manageable and left plenty of time to enjoy the local culture.
Overall, my study abroad experience in Japan was definitely the best time I have ever had in my life, and I would recommend it to anyone.

How can this program be improved?
It could offer a wider range of courses (such as some that focus on STEM subjects) and revise some of the existing ones to make them more engaging.
Yes, I recommend
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Amy
9/10

I am truly grateful for my experience with IES European Union. After years of lecture-based learning, I was thrilled to finally experience something new. My program incorporated travel to several European Union countries, which exposed the students to a wide array of languages and cultures. I was able to live with German roommates, which provided me with such an immersive experience to the German lifestyle. The program taught me, and other students alike, to be independent, adaptable, knowledgable and culturally aware both through travel, and living independently in a new city. Learning occurred outside the classroom in the most spectacular ways, and I am so happy I was able to receive this experience.

Yes, I recommend
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Sam
9/10

There is a reason Amsterdam has a reputation for being a great city. From nightlife to museums to shopping to a combination of modern technology and historic architecture, Amsterdam has it all. Since I grew up in a suburb and go to school in a college town in the United States, I wanted to experience the thrill of a big city, and Amsterdam did just that for me. There is always something to do in Amsterdam, and I wish I had more time to live there and experience everything I missed out on.

How can this program be improved?
Housing should be in the city center, to allow for easier access (there would be less need for Uber, public transport stops around 1230am) to attractions, nightlife, and better culture immersion. This could also allow for more interaction with students from other Study Abroad programs. I also would have benefitted from a mandatory foreign language requirement to make daily life more interesting, even though most everyone speaks almost fluent English. Also would have enjoyed taking more IES Abroad classes and less at the University of Amsterdam, and more organized/mandatory trips out of the country.
Yes, I recommend
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Destiny
9/10

Studying abroad in Sydney, Australia was the best experience of my life so far. I went to Sydney to experience and learn from the people around me and I came out with lifelong friendships and a deeper understanding of the world. I’d never traveled before and I never thought in a million years I would be able to study abroad. IES Abroad was a great bridge for me. Allowing for friendly faces from the first day you touch down, to an office staff who answered any and all questions during, prior, and even after my study abroad period. Once I arrived in Sydney, IES Abroad planned events throughout the semester; from break excursions to meals and surf camp. The staff there value you as people and take the time to get to know you and take care of any issues that may arise; whether it was issued with housing or navigating timetables (schedules) and finding tutors. I attended the University of Sydney and lived in an apartment complex located less than a fifteen-minute walk from campus and conveniently located in the heart of Newtown next to great restaurants, movie theater, and plenty of stores. The apartment complex also offers a host of events throughout the year, which is a great way to get to know and make friends with people who are either also exchange students or locals. For me, the best part of the University of Sydney was the ability to take classes at the Conservatorium of Music. It’s located about forty minutes away by public transportation, however, the professors are amazing and it’s a unique opportunity to learn with very talented and passionate musicians. I would highly recommend anyone who is even thinking about studying abroad to look into IES Abroad and its ability to create an amazing experience.

Yes, I recommend

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