IES Abroad

33 West Monroe Street Suite 2300 Chicago, IL, 60603 United States


About IES Abroad

Year Founded: 1950

We are a highly-charged force of study abroad enthusiasts that together offer 130+ study abroad and internship programs worldwide. We believe every college student should have the opportunity to go abroad--especially in a fun, safe, and superior academic and cultural environment.

Our Mission
IES Abroad educates students to become global leaders through premier study abroad and internship programs, which offer students worldwide experiential learning opportunities that meet the highest standards of academic quality.

From our headquarters in Chicago to our 35 global locations and our staff on-site, we all work toward the common goal of providing mind-bending, life-changing, opinion-altering study abroad opportunities.

How will study abroad redefine you?
We can't wait to find out.

Discover Programs

IES Abroad Granada - Study in Granada

Spain : Granada

Many travelers who visit Granada insist it's the must-see city in all of Spain. With one of the clearest windows into Spain's unique historical symbiosis of Islam, Christianity,...

IES Abroad Madrid - Language Area Studies Semester/Year


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...

IES Abroad Nantes - French Language Immersion & Area Studies

France : Nantes

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...

IES Abroad London - Study London Semester/Year Program

England : London

Come supplement the value an undergraduate degree with a study abroad or international internship experience in London! Programs include: Economics, Health Practice, International...

IES Abroad Sydney Direct Enrollment - Semester/Year Program

Australia : Sydney

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...

IES Abroad European Union - Semester Program

Germany : Freiburg

Taught in English, the IES Abroad European Union Program gives you the chance to study Politics, Economics, Business, and International Relations like you never have before....

IES Abroad Paris - French Studies Semester/Year Program

France : Paris

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....

IES Abroad Vienna - Music Semester/Year Program

Austria : Vienna

For more than 60 years, IES has been building quality study abroad programs. IES offers a unique opportunity to music students to study in Vienna and explore the performance...

IES Abroad Paris - Business & International Affairs

France : Paris

The IES Abroad Paris Business & International Affairs Program offers students the option to take English-taught courses with French and international students at Novancia,...

IES Abroad Salamanca - Study in Salamanca

Spain : Salamanca

Situated on the northwestern corner of the beautiful Castilian plain not far from the border of Portugal, Salamanca proudly identifies itself as the home of one of Europe's...

IES Abroad Milan - Italy Today

Italy : Milan

Ciao e benvenuti in Italia! Milan is a wonderful blend of classic architecture and Italian culture as well as a global center for finance, education, commerce, design, and...

IES Abroad Vienna - European Society & Culture Semester/Year Program

Austria : Vienna

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 Santiago - Study in Santiago

Chile : Santiago

Santiago is a modern metropolis, one that visitors will come to know for its lively neighborhoods and unique charm. A Spanish-immersion program, the IES Abroad Santiago Program...

IES Abroad Rome - Semester/Year Program

Italy : Roma (Rome)

Gain valuable international experience by studying in Rome! The unique city is filled with over 1 million people going about their days in a modern society while commuting...

IES Abroad Amsterdam - Study Amsterdam Semester/Year Program

Netherlands : Amsterdam

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...

IES Abroad Freiburg - Language Area Studies Semester/Year Program

Germany : Freiburg

Located in Freiburg, Germany, IES Abroads Language and Area Studies program offers students the chance to live in a city steeped with medieval history. Yet, the city is

IES Abroad Christchurch DE - University Of Canterbury

New Zealand : Christchurch

Direct enroll and study for a semester or academic year at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand with IES Abroad. Students can take part in amazing outdoor activities...

IES Abroad Barcelona - Liberal Arts & Business

Spain : Barcelona

Spend a semester or year living in the Mediterranean sunshine of Barcelona. Located on Spain's northeastern coast, Barcelona's international population and famous art scene...

IES Abroad Milan - Business Studies

Italy : Milan

Milan, Italy is the perfect location for business students to study abroad. Students interested in expanding their knowledge of European commerce will love this program in...

IES Abroad Beijing - Contemporary China & Chinese Language

China : Beijing

Our Contemporary China & Chinese Language program offers students an array of Chinese language courses, including upper level, topic-based Chinese language electives, and...

IES Abroad Buenos Aires - Advanced Spanish Immersion

Argentina : Buenos Aires

Live and study in Buenos Aires with this IES program specially designed for those with advanced Spanish language skills! What better way to perfect the language than chatting...

IES Abroad Dublin - Irish General Studies Semester/Year Program

Ireland : Dublin

Located in Dublin, Ireland IES Irish General Studies Semester/Year Program allows students to live and study in the famed capital of Ireland. Classes focus on tradition,

IES Abroad Berlin - Language & Area Studies Semester/Year Program

Germany : Berlin

With IES Abroad Berlin, students can take their German language skills to the next level. IES offers students the opportunity to take classes at several different universities...

IES Abroad London and Oxford - Health Practice and Policy

England : London, Oxford

Since 1950, IES Abroad has been building quality study abroad programs and introducing U.S. students to new places, studies, and ways of thinking. A non-profit educational...

IES Abroad Nagoya Direct Enrollment - Nanzan University

Japan : Nagoya

Students with a desire to deeply experience Japanese culture will find their perfect study abroad experience in Nagoya. Students will be directly enrolled into the university...

IES Abroad Madrid Summer

Spain : Madrid

The seat of Spain's government, Madrid is also a cultural center and home to many famous museums. Participants can visits the Prado and the Reina Sofia, where Picasso's Guernica...

IES Abroad Barcelona- Language & Area Studies Summer Program

Spain : Barcelona

This program is designed for students who want to experience contemporary Spanish culture from the Catalonian perspective in a challenging academic environment. Language

IES Abroad Madrid - Engineering Semester Program

Spain : Madrid

Madrid is a leader in industry, commerce, and technology. The bustling hub of worldwide activity offers the perfect setting for a study abroad program focusing on engineering...

IES Abroad Siena - Study in Tuscany

Italy : Siena

Prepare to be charmed by Siena's medieval history and rich culture. Located on three hills in the heart of the enchanting Tuscan countryside, this ancient city's historical...

IES Abroad Buenos Aires - Latin American Societies & Culture

Argentina : Buenos Aires

Practice your Spanish language out of the classroom by living and learning in one of Latin Americas most exciting cities: Buenos Aires. Open to students of all language levels,...

IES Abroad Beijing Summer - Language Intensive

China : Beijing

Students can study in Beijing this summer and improve their language skills through this intensive program. Offering an ideal environment for acquiring and improving Chinese...

IES Abroad Auckland DE - University Of Auckland

New Zealand : Auckland

Study abroad in beautiful New Zealand with IES Abroads Auckland Direct Enrollment at the University of Auckland program. With programs running through the fall and spring...

IES Abroad Santiago - Health Studies January Term

Chile : Santiago

Ideal for students considering careers in health-related fields, this program offers students the opportunity to learn about health care policy and delivery systems in the...

IES Abroad Barcelona - Advanced Spanish Studies

Spain : Barcelona

If you've had at least four semesters of college-level Spanish, this is your chance to directly enroll in a local university and speak, write, and understand Spanish to the...

IES Abroad London - Theater Studies Semester Program

England : London

Engage in London's rich historical and contemporary theatrical tradition through the IES Abroad London Theater Studies program! In your core curriculum, you will analyze

IES Abroad Shanghai - Economy, Business & Society

China : Shanghai

Experience first-hand all that Shanghai has to offer! The city is an economic and cultural hub of more than 18 million people where students can learn to communicate in Mandarin,...

IES Abroad Vienna Summer - Psychology

Austria : Vienna

In Vienna, the birthplace of psychoanalysis and home to Sigmund Freud and numerous other legendary psychologists, students can experience both the history and practice of...

IES Abroad Milan - Music: Tradition & Innovation

Italy : Milan

This is the perfect program for students with a passion for music and a desire to immerse themselves in Italian culture. Milan has always been a staple of musical innovation....

IES Abroad Rabat - Study in Rabat

Morocco : Rabat

Delve into the fascinating layers of this North African nation as you learn Modern Standard Arabic with courses at all levels (no prior language experience is required).

IES Abroad Berlin Summer - Language & Culture

Germany : Berlin

Earn up to nine academic credits while spending the summer studying in Berlin, Germany. This program helps students develop German language skills with courses taught in

IES Abroad London Summer - UK Today

England : London

Spend a summer in London experiencing the true Londoner charm and culture. While taking two classes for six credits, students have the opportunity to live abroad for a summer...

IES Abroad: Global Brilliance Begins Here

-Multi-Country Locations : -Multi-Country Locations, Argentina and 18 other locations , Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Turkey Show less

IES Abroad offers 130+ programs in more than 35 locations worldwide for undergraduate students. We're a little obsessed with study abroad, and not at all ashamed to admit...

IES Abroad Dublin Direct Enrollment - Dublin City University

Ireland : Dublin

Study abroad in Dublin through the IES Abroad Dublin Direct Enrollment Program. This program is available to those students who wish to take all of their classes at an Irish...

IES Abroad Arles Summer - Arles Summer

France : Arles

The IES Abroad Arles Summer program provides a unique opportunity to for students to immerse themselves in French language study. Students experience the culture of the Midi...

IES Abroad Santiago Summer - Health Studies

Chile : Santiago

Chile offers its residents a community-centered public health care system so studying in Santiago offers the opportunity to spend a summer gaining unique medical experience....

IES Abroad Tokyo - Language & Culture

Japan : Tokyo

Expand your understanding of Japan by immersing yourself in contemporary Japan and its culture and what better way to learn the Japanese language? At Kanda University of

IES Abroad Dublin Summer - Irish Studies

Ireland : Dublin

Study in Dublin, Ireland for the summer with IES Abroad Dublin - Irish General Studies Summer Program. Students participate in an intensive academic introduction to Irish...

IES Abroad Paris Summer - Intermediate Language

France : Paris

Learn about French culture and history while improving your French language abilities as a student in the IES Abroad Paris Summer Intermediate Language Program! While studying...

IES Abroad European Union - Summer Program

Germany : Freiburg

Based in Freiburg, Germany, known as the "Jewel of the Black Forest," the European Union Summer Program takes students on extended field study trips. Students will visit

IES Abroad Freiburg - Environmental Studies & Sustainability Semester/Year Program

Germany : Freiburg

The environmental movement took root in Freiburg long ago and now it's a way of life. Freiburg is known for taking the lead in the development of eco-friendly technologies...

IES Abroad Salamanca - Summer Program

Spain : Salamanca

Not far from Portugal and less than 125 miles from Madrid, Salamanca is in the center of the old kingdom of Castile, where Spanish originated. Central to the rest of the

IES Abroad London - Direct Enrollment Semester/Year Program

England : London

IES Abroad (Institute for the International Education of Students) offers a direct enrollment semester or year program in one of the top universities in London, England.

IES Abroad Siena Summer - Tradition & Cuisine in Tuscany

Italy : Siena

Nestled in the Tuscan countryside, Siena is a beautiful medieval city located 35 miles southwest of Florence. Immerse yourself in Italian society, cuisine, and culture, while...

IES Internships Rome Summer - Internship

Italy : Roma (Rome)

This is the perfect opportunity for a student who wants to boost their resume through relevant experience, while having the adventure of a lifetime. Living and working in...

IES Abroad Dublin Summer - Intensive Acting

Ireland : Dublin

The IES Abroad Dublin Summer Intensive Acting Program will give you the opportunity to explore Dublin as you gain an intensive, practical approach to performance. Over the...

IES Internships Dublin Summer - Internship

Ireland : Dublin

Superb internship placements will expose interns to Dublin's exciting political, literary, and business life. The IES Abroad Dublin Summer Internship Program takes participants...

IES Abroad Rome - January Term Program

Italy : Roma (Rome)

Home to the Vatican, Rome provides the perfect setting to study the early Christian church. Enroll in one course during this three-week program that focuses examines the

IES Abroad Paris Summer - Beginning Language & Marketing

France : Paris

Learn French while studying international marketing and brand management in Paris, one of the world's great cities home to Global Fortune 500 companies and luxurious brands,...

IES Abroad Beijing - Contemporary Issues in China Semester Program

China : Beijing

Beijing is a city of contrasts - a modern Asian boom-town that strives to preserve the cultural landscape of its glorious past while all around the glass and steel emblems...

IES Abroad Nice Direct Enrollment - SKEMA

France : Antibes, Nice

Take the opportunity to learn and live alongside French and international students through direct enrollment at SKEMA Business School. Their state-of-the-art business campus...

IES Abroad Nice - French Studies & Business on the Riviera

France : Nice

Bask in the wonderful things that Côte d'Azur offers while studying the history and culture of French Mediterranean coast, learning about business, and improving your language...

IES Abroad Dublin - Writer's Program

Ireland : Dublin

Through the study of contemporary Irish authors, as well as those of the past, our Writer's Program is designed to inspire and challenge writers to elevate their skills to...

IES Abroad Amsterdam Summer - Society, Culture & Gender

Netherlands : Amsterdam

This summer, study abroad in Amsterdam with IES Abroad Amsterdam Summer - Society, Culture, and Gender program! With a reputation for having an open mind and a liberal attitude...

IES Internships Barcelona Summer - Internship

Spain : Barcelona

The IES Abroad Barcelona Summer Intensive Internship Program is designed to develop students' Spanish language and professional skills through an internship placement. Students...

IES Internships London Summer


The IES Abroad London Summer Internship Program focuses on practical experience in the workplace, complemented by classroom learning, and the cultivation of global leadership...

IES Abroad Berlin - Metropolitan Studies & Architecture Summer Program

Germany : Berlin

The IES Abroad Berlin Summer Metropolitan Studies & Architecture Programs give the opportunity to learn about topics in Urban Studies, Architecture, and Environmental Studies...

IES Abroad Berlin - Metropolitan Studies Semester Program

Germany : Berlin

The English-taught IES Abroad Berlin Metropolitan Studies Program examines issues relevant to major cities today by using Berlin as a case study. Students study topics such...

IES Abroad Quito - Area Studies & Language

Ecuador : Quito

Quito is home to over 1.8 million people and a UNESCO World Heritage Site just waiting to be explored! Programs begin in the fall and spring but students can stay the whole...

IES Abroad Rome - Language & Area Studies Summer Program

Italy : Roma (Rome)

The IES Abroad Rome Language & Area Studies Program provides you with the opportunity to begin Italian language studies or improve existing skills, while studying Art and...

IES Abroad Vienna - Music Summer Program

Austria : Vienna

As an important crossroads between north, south, east, and west, the city of Vienna has become a natural melting pot for new ideas. The city of about 2 million host this

IES Abroad Milan Summer - Made in Italy

Italy : Milan

Study or intern abroad for a summer in Milan, Italy! The city is bursting with life in the summer months as locals and tourists from around the world take in the endless

IES Abroad Tokyo - Tokyo Summer

Japan : Tokyo

This program is excellent for serious students at all levels who seek to study Japanese language in an intensive 6-credit course and delve into an exciting exploration of...

IES Abroad Siena - Business & Economics of Italian Food

Italy : Siena

This program is one of our affordable 12 for 12 for 12 programs (12 weeks of study, 12 credits, for $12,000). The intersection of culture and cuisine is taken to the next...

IES Abroad Rome - Tourism & Cultural Heritage Management

Italy : Roma (Rome)

This program is one of our affordable 12 for 12 for 12 programs (12 weeks of study, 12 credits, for $12,000). Enroll in four courses to immerse yourself in tourism and...

IES Abroad Buenos Aires - Business & International Relations

Argentina : Buenos Aires

This program is one of our affordable 12 for 12 for 12 programs (12 weeks of study, 12 credits, for $12,000). Buenos Aires isn't just the capital city of Argentina, it’s...

IES Abroad Berlin – International Affairs & Security Studies

Germany : Berlin

This program is one of our affordable 12 for 12 for 12 programs (12 weeks of study, 12 credits, for $12,000). Imagine studying the European and global challenges that

IES Abroad Internships Berlin – Internship

Germany : Berlin

Welcome to Berlin—the economic and political center of Germany! Berlin boasts a thriving arts scene and some of the world’s most spectacular architecture. When you intern...

IES Abroad Internships Shanghai - Internship

China : Shanghai

Intern in the fourth largest city in the world that is speeding through economic development and globalization! Shanghai is one of the most influential financial, economic,...

IES Abroad Nice DE – Université Nice Sophia Antipolis

France : Nice

Get the chance to enroll directly at France. The program is ideal for students with advanced French language skills, interested in learning and living in Nice, experiencing...

Multi-Location- Art & Culture in Paris, Madrid & Rome

-Multi-Country Locations : France, Italy and 1 other location , Spain Show less

Why study abroad in one great European city during the summer when you can explore the cultural heritage of Paris, Rome, and Madrid? This seven-week program offers a unique...

Multi-Location - Emerging Economies: Santiago and Rio

-Multi-Country Locations : Brazil, Chile

Designed for students interested in economics, sociology, political science, and business, this multi-location interdisciplinary program offers a unique comparative perspective...

IES Abroad Shanghai - Engineering

China : Shanghai

What better place to study engineering than the world's fastest growing economy and manufacturing center? Starting Fall 2015, you will have the opportunity to study either...

IES Abroad Dublin - Entrepreneurship & Technology

Ireland : Dublin

An entrepreneur is someone who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to be successful. Let IES Abroad present you with an opportunity to learn in Dublin,...

IES Abroad Shanghai Summer - Engineering

China : Shanghai

Who says Engineering majors can't study abroad? In this program, you will spend 13 weeks studying Mechanical Engineering or Electrical and Computer Engineering in English...

IES Internships Santiago Summer - Internship

Chile : Santiago

Intern in one of Latin America's strongest economies while improving your Spanish Language skills. Home to more than six million people, Santiago is Chile’s industrial

IES Internships Paris Summer - Internship

France : Paris

Intern in one of the world's highest regarded cities for culture and international business. Walk or take the bus through the city's vibrant streets, or hop on the Metro

IES Abroad Dublin - Intensive Conservatory Training J-Term

Ireland : Dublin

Experience a unique opportunity for actors and actresses alike! Enroll in a three week acting program at the Gaiety School of Acting-National Theatre School of Ireland (GSA-NTSI)....

IES Abroad Auckland DE - University of Auckland

New Zealand : Auckland

Enroll alongside local students at the University of Auckland for a true taste of Kiwi student life. If you plan to study in Auckland for the Spring term, you are encouraged...

IES Abroad Amsterdam - Direct Enrollment Semester/Year Program

Netherlands : Amsterdam

Welcome to Amsterdam--a progressive city defined by its cutting edge contributions to the arts, business, politics, and social policy. Students who are eager to take an independent,...

IES Abroad Shanghai - Language Intensive Semester Program

China : Shanghai

Witness first-hand how globalization affects the city and how China's increasing influence affects the world. In this economic and cultural hub of more than 18 million people,...

IES Abroad Oxford Direct Enrollment -St. Catherine's College

England : Oxford

The IES Abroad Oxford Direct Enrollment program offers the opportunity to directly enroll in St. Catherine's College, one of the 38 self-governing colleges that make up the...

IES Abroad Barcelona Summer - Language Intensive

Spain : Barcelona

The IES Abroad Barcelona Summer Language Intensive Program is designed for students who want to engage in intensive Spanish language and culture learning. Students will learn...

IES Abroad Cape Town - University Of Cape Town

South Africa : Cape Town (Kaapstad)

Field experience in and around Cape Town is a core component in our Cape Town Direct Enrollment - University of Cape Town program. Enroll in an IES Abroad field experience...

IES Abroad Galápagos Islands Direct Enrollment - GAIAS

Ecuador : Galapagos Islands

With the IES Abroad Galapagos Islands Direct Enrollment program, students get to experience the islands and animals that changed the world's view on science, religion, and...

IES Abroad Quito Summer - Environmental Studies

Ecuador : Quito

Designed for students interested in environmental studies in South America, IES Abroad Quito and Galapagos Islands Summer Environmental Studies Program combines coursework...

IES Abroad Quito Direct Enrollment - USFQ

Ecuador : Quito

While in Quito on the IES Abroad Quito Direct Enrollment program, students will enroll at the Universidad de San Francisco Quito (USFQ) and take all of their courses at the...

IES Abroad Rabat Summer - Francophone Studies & Arabic

Morocco : Rabat

Rabat boasts a cosmopolitan mix of European Modernism and North African and Islamic tradition. Its unique blend of culture, religions, languages, and identities creates a...

IES Abroad Cape Town - Summer Health Studies Program

South Africa : Cape Town (Kaapstad)

Spend your summer living and learning in Cape Town, South Africa nestled at the base of Table Mountain. The nearly continuous layer of clouds that gather at the top is known...

IES Abroad Rio de Janeiro - Brazil Today

Brazil : Rio de Janeiro

This program leverages Brazils rich history and culture, the academic excellence of the local universities, its booming economy, and the unmatched opportunities for living...

Istanbul - Gateway to the Middle East and the Islamic World

Turkey : Istanbul

The immaculate and historically diverse city of Istanbul, Turkey is dynamic and exciting! Experience the the city where east meets west while studying both Turkish and Middle...

IES Abroad Istanbul Direct Enrollment - Bogazici University

Turkey : Istanbul

Istanbul, is a culturally rich, city bustling with life. This is the perfect location for students with a heart for adventure to study. IES students take courses at Bogazici...

IES Abroad Istanbul Direct Enrollment - Sabanci University

Turkey : Istanbul

Time spent in Istanbul will never be forgotten or even understood. The city is such a deep mixture, constantly combining cultures, the new and old, and the native with the...

IES Internships Milan Summer - Internship

Italy : Milan

Intern in the economic, fashion and financial hub of Italy. You can practically feel Italy's pulse in fast-paced Milan. Getting to work is affordable with the tram, subway...

IES Internships Sydney Summer - Internship

Australia : Sydney

A relatively young city, Sydney has grown to become one of the world’s most multicultural cities—international fusion of culture, languages, and ideas with more than

Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

  • Kiah Zellner-Smith - Marketing Assistant & IES Abroad Alum

    Kiah Zellner-Smith - Marketing Assistant & IES Abroad Alum

    Kiah is the marketing assistant at IES Abroad. She earned her bachelor’s in American studies, education, and psychology from Macalester College. While completing her undergraduate degree she studied abroad on the pilot semester of the IES Abroad Rio de Janeiro program, inspiring her to enter the field of international education. When not at work she enjoys daydreaming about traveling the world, journaling, and going to live music events. Kiah now lives in Chicago.

    You were a standout alumna of IES Abroad’s Rio de Janeiro program. How did your experience abroad impact your life and your decision to make a career in international education?

    My experience abroad provided a strikingly clear reflection of who I am as a person, how I adapt to new surroundings, and who I am away from the influence of others. It forced me to confront a lot of cultural biases I didn’t know I had, and allowed me to see what areas of myself needed work. I truly believe studying abroad polished me in ways that would have been impossible had I not gone.


Shopping on Ilha Grande Island, Brazil

    On a weekend excursion to Ilha Grande, an island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro

    After such a powerful and humbling experience in Rio de Janeiro, it was evident that I wanted to encourage students like myself to take advantage of studying abroad. I think if more people were given the opportunity to travel and actively step outside their comfort zones, we would see a huge change in the way our world operates. There would be a positive shift in how we approach and interact with one another, our understanding of “community” would broaden, and we would open ourselves up to the unfamiliar. Instead of fearing the unknown and the different, we would see the immense value in it and would actively invite it into our lives. I’m passionate about international education because I believe it is one of the most effective ways to bring people together.

    What advice would you give to other minority students as to why they should study abroad?

    Studying abroad in Rio de Janeiro was invaluable for me because there are few places in the world where so much of the population identifies as mixed race, and it was the first time in my life where I was more conscious of my nationality than of my racial identity. It was a unique opportunity to live in another country with the same deep ties to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, but shaped by its own particular cultural and political forces. I was and still am very interested in the history and distinct culture of Afro-Brazilians, in comparison to that of African-Americans. I find the relationship between the past and the present intriguing, what changes and what remains between people with shared origins and shared histories.

    I think students of color should study abroad because when you immerse yourself within another culture, you inevitably develop a deeper, more well-rounded sense of self. You come back from abroad with a more nuanced understanding of your own racial identity and you gain a glimpse into the complexities of culture and community worldwide. When you learn about others you also explore deep parts of yourself, and I think taking that leap into both external and internal discovery is greatly beneficial to anyone.

    As a student you were awarded IES Abroad’s Blogger of the Year award for your video blog of your experience in Brazil. As a result, you attended IES Abroad’s Annual Conference and presented with the Rio Center Director. What was this experience like?

    It was one of the most fulfilling and affirming experiences of my life. I got to meet all these wonderful people who had watched and enjoyed my videos, and I had no idea I was going to receive that kind of support. I also had the honor of presenting on the first semester of the Rio de Janeiro program with my Center Director, Octavio di Leo, and I broke down in tears at the end of my presentation. That was the moment it became clear to me that the challenges I faced abroad were worth it. Brazil pushed me more than I thought I could withstand, but it took that breaking point to realize what I was capable of, as well as all the things I had already accomplished along the way.


2013 IES Abroad Annual Conference presentations

    Presenting at the 2013 IES Abroad Annual Conference with Rio de Janeiro center director, Octavio di Leo

    How did you make the transition from program participant to IES Abroad employee?

    While at the IES Abroad Annual Conference I was taken under the wing of the marketing department, so I felt a certain level of camaraderie with them right off the bat. Then, the following summer I was asked to present at the IES Abroad annual board of directors meeting, which once again was an overwhelmingly positive experience. From studying with IES Abroad in Rio, to presenting at their Chicago headquarters twice, I got to know them both as an organization and as individual people. This year, when a position opened up that I was qualified for, I think on both their end and mine we thought it could be a good fit.

    What does an average day as marketing assistant entail?

    Each day I do some tasks related to IES Abroad Study Abroad Film Festival, which I manage. I also typically help our graphic designer with catalog and print materials, like assisting in finding photos and quotes or checking edits. I write the original content and news stories for our site, work on video projects, and am a superuser for our China and Japan centers. Because I assist multiple people, the range of my tasks is fairly broad and changes on a daily basis; I never get bored!

    What made IES Abroad stand out to you when looking at study abroad program options?

    I knew Rio de Janeiro was where I wanted to study abroad, but every program I found had either Spanish or Portuguese language requirements, and I had studied French for the past seven years. I was genuinely interested in Brazil and didn’t want that to stop me from studying there. Luckily IES Abroad’s Rio de Janeiro program accepts students who don’t have backgrounds in those languages. They also offered awesome weekend trips, like the Amazon and Ilha Grande, which I knew would be too difficult to plan on my own.


Piranha fishing in the Amazon

    Piranha fishing in the Amazon

    Your academic background is in American racial studies, educational studies, and psychology. How do you apply this knowledge to your role in marketing and to your work with diverse student populations?

    No matter what I’m doing, I find it important to draw from both my own experiences and my studies, an understanding of social justice, racial politics, and culturally-relevant education models. Even if it’s a task that at first glance doesn’t seem like it pertains to underrepresented students, I want to still be thinking and acting in a progressive, conscious, and equitable manner. I think it’s imperative that as an organization with a large focus on diversity and accessibility, we be aware of how we can offer all of our students dynamic and supportive study abroad programs.

    You’re fairly new to the IES Abroad team, what has been your first impression now that you are on the other side?

    Being on the other side has shed light on how hard everyone in this office works for the benefit of our students. I was an IES Abroad student just two years ago, and at that time I didn’t realize how many people were behind the scenes working on my behalf. I now have a greater appreciation for everyone involved every step of the way; it takes a village.

    What is your favorite part about working for IES Abroad so far?

    I have a great team that has been supportive and patient with me as I learn and grow here, and I appreciate that immensely. Even though I don’t have a background in marketing, they help me hone other skill sets I have that are just as applicable and useful to this position.

    I also find it inspiring to be in a such a worldly environment. The constant trips my co-workers take, compounded by the multitude of places our students travel to, has further opened my eyes to how exquisite the world is. I now have a list of sites, like the Longman Grottos in China or the Casa Del Arbol in Ecuador, that I am passionate about visiting. Working at IES Abroad has pushed me to see the bigger picture, that there are no limits to where I can go or what I can do, and overall, that one should always keep an element of adventure in their life!


Listening to music at Pedra do Sal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Hanging with my roommates during a class field trip to Pedra do Sal, a historical site that hosts live music and samba dancing

    What are your goals for the rest of 2015 when it comes to effectively marketing of IES Abroad to new groups?

    As a team we are looking into several new ways to promote our programs to college students across a variety of platforms. Individually, I would really like to focus on our usage of video media and how we can better utilize that to show students the amazing things we offer. I would also like to explore how we might expand our social media marketing, because millennials are very temporal in the way they communicate with one another. Reaching them in creative, captivating, and relevant ways is a continuous goal of mine.