PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

IES Abroad participants in Sydney Opera IES Abroad participants in Sydney Opera

IES Abroad Barcelona- Language & Area Studies Summer Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Experience of a Lifetime

Studying abroad was the best decision I ever made, and IES was a large part of that. Going to another country where you may not no anybody or not even know the language may seem scary, but a good program to go with is key in making the most of your time. IES was very concerned with your integration into Barcelona culture and making sure you had a great experience abroad overall. I honestly didn't know what to expect when I first came to Barcelona but it wasn't long before I fell in love with the city. Another great thing about Barcelona is that you learn a lot about not just Spanish culture but Catalan culture as well. In case you weren't aware, there are two main languages spoken in Barcelona: Spanish and Catalan. It can be hard at first to distinguish between the two, but soon you get the hang of it and the overall experience is enhanced. Studying abroad was not always easy, to be completely honest, but it was most definitely worth it. I knew that when I went to study abroad, I wanted to travel a lot while but that caused me to sacrifice my time in Barcelona itself. Keep in mind that if you want to really be a local in the place you are living, you must be willing to find a good balance between seeing the rest of Europe and actually living in the city itself. Barcelona has a lot to offer and even after living there for almost four months, I have yet to see all of it. Finally, IES did a great job in integrating us into the local culture and showing us the beautiful city. I would HIGHLY recommend this program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Cultured, Spanish & Fabulous

IES Abroad is nothing short of spectacular! I just returned from the program in Barcelona (Fall 2014) and every bit of my expectations were surpassed. IES works to emerge their students in all the wonders of the city they live in, especially within the first month. They offer so many activities within the city, all guided by either professors and/or locals. In the program center, the staff is consistently there to help you with any problems or questions you may have, from getting housing reassigned to figuring out where to get a flu shot. I personally got REALLY lucky and had an amazing Spanish professor who worked to educate us so much on the country, culture, and language— and was always ready for our questions!

When I first made the decision to go abroad my number one priority was traveling as much as I possibly could, as it is for many students. I never gave much thought to how the program I chose when I went abroad would affect my experience. IES had such a large affect on making my abroad experience one that was life changing, and I truly felt like a local of Barcelona and gained a much more well rounded understanding of the culture. If you're currently on the prowl for the perfect program, IES (Barcelona) won't disappoint!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

IES Barcelona

IES Barcelona was an amazing experience. The course work was at an appropriate level for a study abroad program. I had some really great professors and was able to take classes to learn more about Barcelona as a city! Living in Barcelona for three months and studying with IES is an experience that I will never forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    9

Far Exceeded Expectations

My favorite experience was going to the Flamenco dinner and dance with IES Abroad. The dinner was an original tapas meal with sangria (typical Spanish meal). I was able to experience a part of the Spanish culture first hand.

They offer a variety of courses that are more academically rigorous than other programs, which allowed me to transfer credits back to my university. But don't worry! Classes are not too hard or too long, and trust me, there is pleenttyy of time to travel and enjoy your time abroad.

I was in a homestay set up by IES Abroad and I could not have been more satisfied with my arrangement. My roommates have become some of my best friends. Our homestay mom taught us so much about her culture and helped us navigate our way around the city. She cooked us dinner every night which was absolutely delicious!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Far Exceeded Expectations

INCREDIBLE! This program was perfect in every category. I was immediately welcomed to Barcelona with a friendly, encouraging staff. There were orientation networking events to meet people right off the bat. The events they set up for us were awesome. You will get the amazing experience of studying abroad with any program, but IES Abroad will help make the experience the best!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The best adventure of my life!!

IES Abroad was amazing! The staff are always there to help, whether giving suggestions of where to eat or getting you to a doctor if you get sick. They make sure you are comfortable upon arrival and throughout your stay. The teachers are all very smart. I loved the classes so much because they were not like your typical college course, but instead, they taught more about the culture, including pop culture. I cannot even begin to describe how incredible Barcelona is.! The city is so lively and beautiful. There is so much to do and see in Barcelona. I wish I could go back for another semester!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

If you're looking for the best summer of your life, you have to go to Kunming and Southeast Asia with IES, no other choice!

I cannot say enough amazing things about IES Kunming program and its staff! It kicked off my study abroad experience in China and I am grateful for the opportunities that I had, from meeting villagers being directly affected by the environmental issues we were studying and officials from organizations like the Asian Develoment Bank to riding elephants! The 7 weeks went by too unbelievably fast!

Those who do this program will
1. learn so much about the important growing region of the world of southwestern China and Southeast Asia
2. get to study in amazing and fun cultural and diverse Yunnan AND travel through Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam
3. have made the best decision and experience an unforgettable summer that will make you want to come back/never leave!

Academics:
It was so much more than in class learning. We took multiple field trips to different organizations, landmarks, and cities, as well as met up with officials who actually deal with the environmental issues we were learning about throughout Southeast Asia! Truly incredible and irreplaceable!

Living Situation:
For my experience, I was living next to Yunnan University in a roomy apartment with another student on the program, which was great! I know that IES Kunming has established the center in its own building on Yunnan University now so housing will be on campus in the future.

Program Administration:
The best staff around. For the area studies courses/general directory, staff is very knowledgeable about China, Southeast Asia, inter-regional issues and situation, culture, and more! For Chinese courses, small classes led by wonderful Chinese teachers who care about students' individual progress and learning of the language. In general, the staff is in tune with the group's feelings, needs, dynamic, and meshes well with many different personalities.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Worth Wild Experience

Studying abroad was the best experience I ever had. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity where you learn more about yourself, the world and people you would never normally meet. I was nervous to go at first but IES helped a lot through the whole process and how to adjust to a new culture. They were completely safe and made sure you knew how to handle the adjustment as well as being open for help if needed. I had an amazing time learning and exploring and I couldn’t of done it without IES Abroad. I walked into my homestay with no idea of the language but my host family chosen by IES was so welcoming it was hardly a problem and in the end I had a spectacular time. There were challenges but that made the whole experience worth it and I am so much better for studying abroad with the IES Abroad program.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Fulfilling

It has been a life-changing experience for me. I learned so much in 6 weeks about Japanese cultures, language and people. And most importantly, I discovered my passion in learning Japanese and exploring the intricacies of Japanese culture. The IES program did a great job in helping students to experience local culture to the fullest by providing exciting field trips such as Nikko, Kamakura and homestay. In experiencing life in another country, I found myself becoming more open-minded and, as a foreigner who spoke little of the native language, I felt humbled and appreciative of the kindness shown to me by IES staffs, students and host family. By far, it has been the most fantastic experience ever!

Academics:
Apart from participating frequently in class, you will have to work extra hours everyday to achieve an A grade.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

IES Abroad review

Studying abroad is undoubtedly one of the best experiences I have had while in college. From the beginning, it was important to me that I find a program that would provide a solid academic foundation, while enabling me to immerse myself in the culture of my host country. IES exceeded these expectations. My classes were rigorous, yet not overbearing. My professors were intelligent but helpful, and the administration constantly had the best interests of the students at heart. Being in a city like Barcelona, where so many cultural activities and events are occurring, I really tried to explore and to do things that I would not have the opportunity to do in the United States. Through course excursions, as well as program trips (such as the one to Tarragona), I was able to immerse myself in Spanish culture and make memories that will last a lifetime. I highly recommend IES to students that wish to study abroad in the future.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Liberal Arts and Business Fall 2104

I had the most incredible semester studying through IES Abroad in their Liberal Arts and Business program in Barcelona, Spain. Through the experience I learned so much not only about the country I lived in, but also about myself. I chose to study in Spain because I wanted to learn a new language (I already speak french and took a year of Italian in college), and the IES program offered a variety of classes that I could take in both of my majors. The program offers four different kinds of housing options: home stays, local dorms, apartments, and independent housing. With no Spanish under my belt, I opted for the apartments with other IES abroad students. It was great to meet other students right away, and I enjoyed the independence of this living option. We lived with the most amazing RAV, who was an invaluable resource whenever we had any questions. She showed us around the city, recommended local sights to see, and was helpful with any problems we encountered over the course of the semester.

I really liked that this program places an emphasis on field studies, which provides an alternative way to consider the topics being discussed in class. To name a few, I visited a bunker built during the Spanish civil war, the organization SOS Racisme, the Islamic council of barcelona, a restaurant specializing in the deconstructed potatoe omelette, several local markets, and many more. Another feature of IES Abroad that I particularly enjoyed was the DiscoverIES trips the program organized. These were excursions throughout not just barcelona but also Spain, that were led by both IES staff and local guides to help show us the most important areas in each location. I did a cyclo tour of barcelona, a cooking class, a wine tasting, and travelled to Granada and Madrid. These were great opportunities to not only bond with other IES students, but also to experience each place through the perspective of a local.

The only critique I have with the program I participated in is that I did not learn as much Spanish as I had anticipated. Although I had never taken a Spanish class before, I still expected to pick up basic conversational Spanish quickly. However, I found that the way the Spanish classes were structured focused more on acquiring important vocabulary and less so on grammar. As a result I struggled to articulate myself whenever I tried to engage in a conversation with a local. Additionally, I was always surrounded by American students, and therefor was never forced to communicate in Spanish. Despite this small complaint, I would definitely recommend both studying abroad and the IES program to anyone. It provided me with a entirely new perspective on the world, and for that I am incredibly grateful!