IES Abroad Programs
The IES Abroad Madrid Program is designed for those who want to experience the vitality of Spain! Live in its capital city and through course enrollment at the Universidad...
Our French Language Immersion & Area Studies Program has two important goals: to improve your written and verbal proficiency in French through language and area studies courses...
Come supplement the value an undergraduate degree with a study abroad or international internship experience in London! Programs include: Economics, Health Practice, International...
Take advantage of the chance to live and learn in Sydney, one of the most beautiful and livable cities in the world! Students can immerse themselves in the academic and student...
Come study abroad in one of the most beautiful and famous cities in the world! Spend one semester or an entire year living, studying, and traveling through Paris, France....
The IES Abroad Paris Business & International Affairs Program offers students the option to take English-taught courses with French and international students at Novancia,...
Study abroad in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, Netherlands with IES, one of the oldest and most trusted programs in the business. With IES Abroad Amsterdam Semester and...
Open to students at all language levels, the IES European Society & Culture in Vienna program puts students in the heart of a country that plays a major role on the world...
IES Abroad Reviews
Upside down and backwards - and I wouldn't have it any other way
Submitted by Sabrina Westgate - University of Rochester | October 19, 2017
Travelling to New Zealand, a country on the other side of the world, was more than just a far-away country with new accents and foods. I wasn’t just on the other side of the globe – I was upside down and backwards. From navigating the airport and making my way to my new school, to walking on the other side of the street and greeting “Kia Ora!” to everyone I met, little things added up to create an upside down and backwards world. Even though everyone still spoke English, the language was different – and I don’t just mean the accent. Going to New Zealand with IES, though, gave me a steadfast support structure and people to help me navigate everything new. Our program director was there for any and every question I had, and the other people there with IES were immediate friends.
Going abroad with IES gave me an invaluable entry into Kiwi society that I would not have been afforded otherwise. In both New Zealand and during an IES sponsored trip to the Cook Islands, the IES Christchurch program gave me the opportunity to converse with local figureheads social, economic, political, and environmental issues. Moreover, our program director from IES took us on amazing trips throughout the semester to a wildlife sanctuary, showed us hidden highlights of the city, and brought us to a Marae. (A Marae is a Maori community meeting place, and you have to be invited to a Marae by one of it's members in order to visit. Once there, we got to learn Maori songs, language, art, traditions, and modern day culture.) All of these trips were just a few ways that I was welcomed into the Christchurch community that I would never have glimpsed if I hadn't gone with IES.
Studying Through IES in Nagoya: The Experience of a Lifetime
Submitted by Julia Krafcik - Villanova University | October 18, 2017
If you had told me a few years ago that I’d be studying abroad in Japan, I wouldn’t believe you. My application process was surreal: I’d looked up a countless number of photos, blogs, and reviews of study abroad in Japan, and I couldn’t believe that I was applying to go to a country so different from my own. When I applied and found out that I was accepted into IES Abroad’s Nagoya Summer Program, I was ecstatic: I was going to Japan! I had a new perspective the photos, blogs, and reviews that I’d seen and read. I would gather my own memories and photos just like those in the past who’ve studied abroad have done.
What I loved the most studying abroad through IES is the support system that I had from the minute I was accepted and even now as an alumna. I remember feeling butterflies (a bit from excitement, a bit from nervousness) when I thought my upcoming study abroad trip, but my advisor sent me a weekly newsletter and answered all of my questions (no matter how small or unimportant they seemed to me!).
The minute my plane touched down in Nagoya, two IES staff members greeted me in the airport. This was such a relief for me, as I had never been in a foreign country before--let alone one where the native language isn't English! The staff members were so polite and helped me and two of my fellow participants to the hotel that we'd be staying in for the weekend. On the train ride there, we introduced ourselves and talked various aspects of American and Japanese culture (in a mix of Japanese and English) and just our initial reactions at being in Japan. It was comforting to have them there with me, and they assuaged any lingering fears or worries that I had being in a country so far from home.
My first weekend in Japan was an orientation guided by two IES staff members. They gave us emergency resources, talked some cultural differences and difficulties that we might face, and organized a traditional Japanese meal for us. It was a perfect transitioning weekend that helped me and the other participants become comfortable with our new home for the next 6 weeks.
I won't lie and say transitioning to life in Japan was easy; being in a foreign country for the first time, especially when you don't speak the official language fluently, is tough. Tasks that I wouldn’t give a second thought to in America like doing laundry and buying groceries were challenging. My advice to overcoming these challenges is this: observe how your Japanese classmates carry out their day-to-day lives and never be afraid to ask for help.
My time in Japan was short, but I felt like I had seen a lot and learned a lot the places that I visited. Because of IES, I was able to see my host city in a new way, through several different cultural events like the community Tanabata celebration and the TAO drum performance. I also explored more of Kyoto than I ever thought I would; Kyoto is such a historically and culturally rich city with an abundance of shrines, temples, and historical landmarks, and our weekend field trip to Kyoto allowed us to visit a handful of the most famous landmarks in a short span of time. Although I was extremely tired after the trip, I'm glad that I had the chance to see so much of such a beautiful city. IES Abroad field trips supplemented an already incredible study abroad experience by helping me to see more of Japan, both geographically and culturally, than I ever thought possible.
One aspect that I loved IES is that they organized these field trips and events, but the time commitment was never overwhelming. I still had free time so I could hang out with my new friends and go to karaoke or a local ramen shop, or plan small field trips of our own to museums and castles.
As far as academics go, Nanzan University provided a rigorous and highly beneficial language learning environment. We had classes 5 days a week, around 3 hours a day with a 15-minute break in between, and then homework on a daily basis. What I loved Nanzan was that they provide so many opportunities for international students to interact with Japanese students, both inside and outside of the classroom. Every Friday, our sensei would invite Japanese students to our class and we would start off the class by having conversations with them for 20-minutes. There were also daily events such as the Japan Plaza where you could go and get homework help or just informally converse in Japanese, and other frequent events such as Coffee Hour where you could converse and play games with Japanese students. They also organized several field trips (some just for international students, some for international and Japanese students) to various places such as Shirakawa-go, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in the mountains, and even a sumo championship held in Nagoya! The environment that Nanzan University provided was so inviting and fun.
If you attend, I highly recommend staying in the International Student Dormitories. For the girls dorm, you’re guaranteed one Japanese roommate, plus up to 2 other roommates from anywhere in the world! The dorms are more like 4-bedroom apartments with a shared bathroom area, kitchen area, and common area. The guys dorms are single rooms, but there is still at least one Japanese student on each floor, so you won’t lose the opportunity to converse with native Japanese speakers, even when you’re settled in for the night.
Despite only being in Japan for 6 weeks, it felt like a lifetime because of all of the incredible people that I met and places that I saw. Overall, I highly recommend studying through IES Abroad if you’re looking to get the most out of your time abroad and explore every nook and cranny of your host country, with the support of a genuine and caring staff.
Life Changing Experience
Submitted by Jordan Ferguson - Indiana University | October 17, 2017
I studied abroad last Summer and had such a wonderful experience. The IES staff is extremely helpful and do everything they can to help you. The rooms were updated and in such a convenient location. The classroom structure was clearly explained and with the syllabus provided I was able to plan my trips ahead of time! I would highly recommend this program.
Program: IES Abroad London Summer - UK Today
A memorable and instructive study abroad experience
Submitted by Maya - Franklin & Marshall College | October 17, 2017
During the summer of 2017 I had the opportunity to participate in two intensive, 300 level museology / art history courses in Paris, Rome, and Madrid. I studied with European professors and experts in their respective fields. We visited the most prestigious museums and archaeological sites in Europe, along with many museums I would classify as hidden gems. I learned how each city is a museum in and of itself, and how to view the display of cultural heritage with a critical eye.
My study abroad experience exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I was surprised at how fluidly we were integrated into the neighborhoods where we lived in in each city. Even though we were only in each city for 2 weeks, it truly felt like I was moving out of my own apartment each time we left to travel to the next city. I feel like I have a connection to these residential neighborhoods that I probably would never have encountered had I traveled to the city on my own as a tourist.
As someone who aspires to work with art and cultural heritage for the rest of my life, this experience opened my eyes to the function of these objects in our society. Despite my own interest in the subject, everyone I was with on this program had a different reason for being there. I believe that anyone could benefit from and enjoy this program, and encourage you to consider it.
Amazing Experience in Granada
Submitted by Quinn - Wheaton Colllege (MA) | October 17, 2017
My only regret is not studying in Granada for anther semester. It is a beautiful, safe, eccentric city and you get to live right in the center of everything! Nothing is more than a 15 minute walk away, the weather can't be beat, and there are always wonderful musicians playing somewhere. Also, you can't beat the free tapas, the food is so dang delicious.
Before I even landed in Spain, IES Abroad sent specific packing lists and were always available to answer my many questions. From the beginning of the semester, they set up great activities and excursions to meet friends early on. They really gave us the chance to ease into living in Spain. I liked liked the small to medium size of the program and that I knew a lot of people in my program by name.
Another couple of highlights from my semester abroad were my homestay and the faculty at the center. My host mom was so loving and I loved having the chance to be more immersed in the language. The professors at the center were great as well. While the classes themselves were not always super interesting, the professors as a whole were really committed in getting to know the students as individuals.
I cannot recommend studying in Granada through IES Abroad enough, when I look back, I know those months spent in Spain will be regarded as some of the best in my life.