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

IES Abroad: Global Brilliance Begins Here

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Seven weeks of art history heaven

My time abroad can easily be described as the most amazing experience of my life. It's scary, of course, to commit to seven weeks in three separate countries, but it was so worth it. Learning about the art and histories of Paris, Rome, and Madrid were simply some of the most amazing educational experiences I could have asked for, and immersing myself into the cultures of these bustling cities was also incredibly important for my own world views and self growth. There's no need for textbooks and glossy printed pictures of masterpieces when you can have class with the artwork itself. Truly amazing and I am forever grateful for this program and the opportunities it gave me.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Awesome European Union program

My last semester with IES Abroad European Union Program was a life-changing experiences for me. The program was designed in the way that I could make the most out of the cultural experience, such as the notice board is always filled with suggestions for where to travel or what to try locally. Classroom was great, with professors being very knowledgeable about their field and caring much about students' learning as much as possible. What I like most about my program is the field trip part. Because of the nature of our topic, we were taken to many European countries to learn from real life experience. At each country, in addition to having a guided tour to all the attractions, we also got to talk to experts and professors to gain a deep understanding of the country and its role in the EU. I really appreciate that the staff works really hard to make sure everything goes smoothly and accommodates people' needs. Overall, I would highly recommend this program, as I learned so much while having fun and making good friends from all over.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Time of my life at Trinity College Dublin

Where to begin?! I was lucky enough to study abroad as a Directly Enrolled student at Trinity College Dublin through IES. I was in the amazing city of Dublin from early January until late May, and I can confidently say that it has been the greatest experience of my life thus far.

Because I was directly enrolled at Trinity College, IES was less involved in my day to day life. They organized my housing, and coordinated my enrollment with Trinity, meaning that I just had to show up! IES met me at the airport, and had an RA waiting at my apartment to meet me when I arrived. Though our housing had some hiccups (heating and plumbing issues) IES was VERY responsive in getting things sorted. These issues were beyond anyone's control, but the Director and staff were very helpful, and apologetic for any inconveniences.

In terms of academics, IES explained how we would register for classes, and offered support throughout the semester. As I said, because we were directly enrolled, IES played a smaller part here. Trinity itself was a bit tricky, and takes a bit of getting used to, but overall it was an incredible experience. You are in courses (modules) with Irish students, and you are learning from Irish professors, so the atmosphere is amazing.

Though our classes were not through IES, we were ALWAYS welcome to study in the IES Center, to print from their computers, or to just drop by for a chat. They planned trips for us, and had coffee meet ups during the semester to make sure everyone was settling in ok.

If I could go back and do it again, I would in a heartbeat. Dublin happens to be the hub for most RyanAir flights, meaning that cheap flights were super accessible (and encouraged!). I made friends that will last me a lifetime, and I strongly suggest that you spend your semester abroad in Dublin.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

A life-altering experience!

It's quite difficult to even start describing the extent to which I loved the IES Abroad: Istanbul program, and everyone at IES who played a role in getting me there. First, I found that the IES staff who helped students with their pre-departure issues were absolutely fantastic. I had such wonderful assistance from my representative at IES, and she helped me a great deal with all the little things that students have to do before departure. The staff on location in Istanbul were just as incredible - the Istanbul center director was the kindest, smartest, most passionate and helpful person. The students on my program, myself included, were so fond of him, and some of my favorite memories were of going on his walking tours of the city. Once I was finally in Istanbul, the culture shock and realization that I was finally abroad after over a year of preparation was rather overwhelming. However, after adjusting to all the new experiences, I had the most incredible time. I made life-long friendships and was lucky enough to experience one of the most beautiful cities on Earth. My program was even lucky enough to take a five day trip to Jordan, which was one of the most I wish I could do it all again - studying abroad pushes you in ways you never thought possible, but in your journey you realize just how much this experience changes you for the better. I'm so thankful I got to experience a semester in Istanbul and have unforgettable adventures every time I stepped out the door. I'm also incredibly grateful that IES made this possible for me... and someday I'll return to Istanbul with the friends I made to experience the magic again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Exploring the EU

IES has been helpful throughout my entire abroad experience! Even before I officially left the US, IES contacts were always available to answer any questions I might have had and provide any additional information needed. They really care about making their programs run smoothly and really getting to know their students. I participated in the IES abroad European Union program which is based out of Freiburg, Germany, but has various country trips that really add to the overall experience and learning through the program. All of the travel and classes then lead up to a completely unique experience, the Model European Union. The excellent staff and professors through IES really want you to succeed and are always available to make each trip more exciting. My favorite part of the entire experience and the main reason that I would highly recommend this program to any future students, is the travel aspect. With my program I was able to travel to seven countries, not including my program's base country. In each of the cities that IES takes you to, everyone meets with experts in their fields or diplomats discussing current events which really helps to provide an insight to the EU that would not be able to be provided through a typical classroom setting. I highly recommend this program and company to any students looking to learn a lot while having the greatest time of their lives!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A Summer in Barcelona

I spent summer of 2015 abroad in Barcelona with IES, and I could not have been happier with the program. They give you suggestions about housing and activities, but it is up to you where you reside and which group activities you want to attend. I lived in an apartment just a few blocks away from La Sagrada Familia, and everyone else I knew was placed in a great location also. The program activities were wonderful, ranging from a cooking class on a rooftop to a hike up to Tibidabo, and you were allowed to sign up for as many as you wished. In terms of classes, there could not have better instructors. My Spanish teacher was amazing and truly wanted you to be able to be comfortable taking the leap to speak Spanish inside and outside of the classroom. If I could do this whole experience again the only thing I would change is spending more than just a summer abroad with this program!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Can you get any better?

From what I have been told, compared to IES's other sites, IES Vienna is a bit more resourceful in transitioning students into the respective culture. Yet, I never felt like my hand was being held. What IES Vienna does well is provide resources and opportunities for students to experience the culture first-hand, while also giving space for students to explore the city and discover the culture for themselves. The field trips they hosted were fantastic, the staff is friendly and extremely helpful, and the location is perfect (in the middle of the city). Vienna is a wonderful city and though it may not be considered one's first choice, it's a perfect place for someone like me, a music and psychology double major, to deepen my knowledge in both areas. Every class I took with IES was extremely informative and challenging enough where I still remember what I learned to this day. Yet, the work was just enough where I could still travel every weekend and not have schoolwork be in the forefront of my thoughts. Since Austria is in the center of Europe, I was able to go to so many new countries, even ones that I didn't expect to go to.

The only (and I mean, only) criticism I have on this program is the mandatory German classes on Friday morning. Since most students want to travel, Friday is an ideal day to do so. However, preventing students from leaving in the morning can occasionally be inconvenient. The general policy on attendance is definitely more strict than college itself, but its leniency on a few absences gives me a reason to ignore this small complaint.

Overall, IES Vienna is an amazing program in an amazing city in the center of an amazing continent. As the philosophical Shia LeBeouf would say, "DO IT!"

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Summer in the city of lights

I loved studying abroad with this program. While in Paris, IES funded me to take a language assessment exam that I can use to apply for graduate programs taught in French. The staff also highly encouraged us to use French on a daily basis and organized wonderful cultural activities. My host family was wonderful. They included my housemate and I in their planned dinner parties and made every meal educational with discussion about current events and French cuisine. I was very independent while I was in Paris. I visited a lot of less well known sites and neighborhoods because I wanted to immerse myself as much as possible.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Remarkable experience abroad as pioneers

When I first decided to study abroad, little did I know how much this experience would change my life. All I knew is that it would be a remarkable thing to do and that it would enhance my life for the better. As I embarked on this journey, I was beyond ecstatic to fully immerse myself into new cultures, perspectives and a thrill for an adventure into the unknown. My program specifically was the right one for me because it included travels to 3 different countries in South America( Brazil, Peru, & Chile) and the courses related to my degree of Business Administration. I also liked the fact that I would be living in South America, the roots of where my family is from. I entered this journey with no expectations just a curiosity. I wanted to learn about these emerging economies and how I can a run business internationally. Thankfully this was all possible and a great experience. Each country was so special and unique, hard to say which one was my favorite. My highlight to this journey was the moment when we got to the top of Machu Picchu. I felt spiritually connected and a weight was lifted. IES Abroad was with me every step of the way, I felt I could easily talk to someone from each center. They were very helpful and made our journey one to remember. Being the pioneers for this program made it even more exciting. Our group particularly connected very well and we became a close family. At the end of this experience, I gained a global perspective in business and a deeper understanding of myself. I created remarkable memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Keşif

Keşif is what I named my abroad Facebook album so friends and a family at home could start to keep up with my soon undoubtedly fabulous lifestyle. In Turkish, Keşif mean "discovery", and I can honestly say that after almost five months living in Istanbul, Turkey, I discovered so much more than I thought I would. I experienced a culture completely different than the one I was used to in the United States and learned loads not only about myself personally, but what I wanted to accomplish in life. I have always loved to travel and have had decent exposure to the world, so choosing Turkey was a way that I could challenge myself and leave the comfort I felt of the Western world. I was dropped into a country that is neither European nor Middle Eastern, is plagued with an ongoing, internal conflict, and is a key nation in the fight against international terrorist groups (like ISIS) and the general stability of foreign affairs. All of this melted together created a very new and unknown world for me to discover. My time studying abroad widened my horizons, made me realize how lucky and blessed I am, and made me understand a different culture, style of thinking, and way of life. I would not trade any of my experiences while studying abroad. Yes, sometimes I found myself in difficult scenarios, but these instances kept life interesting and helped me learn critical skills that will benefit me later in life in, what we all timidly refer to as, "the real world." I made friendships that will last a lifetime and for all of this, I am so thankful. If studying abroad frightens you, I encourage you to stand up to the occasion and take the journey. I guarantee you there will be others on your program that are feeling the same way as you. If you are gung-ho to go abroad (as I was) I challenge you to choose a destination that is a little more outside of your comfort zone. I believe the purpose of studying abroad is to grow your knowledge of the world and consequently expand your levels of empathy and understanding. I hope everyone gets the opportunity to gain, experience, and discovered the uniqueness that is study abroad.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Trinity College Dublin with IES

My semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland at Trinity College Dublin was an invaluable experience, filled with wonderful people, extraordinary places, and vital life lessons. With the help of the staff at IES Abroad Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, and the friends that I made, Dublin became like home to me. The cultural field trips that were led by IES staff were very fun, as well as educational. The staff was always willing to help with any issues I had and share a conversation over a cup of tea.

As a student directly enrolled in Trinity College Dublin, I was able to join clubs and societies on campus, which helped me get involved and make new friends. Additionally, I was able to take classes related to my major, Speech and Hearing Science, at Trinity College Dublin, which gave me the ability to see my field of study in a different perspective. I was able to build relationships with professors and students from all over the world who are teaching and studying similar subjects. It was very beneficial and has given me the courage and confidence to explore postgraduate and professional opportunities abroad.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

National Park Excursions

In New South Wales, I explored four different national parks including Royal National Park, Blue Mountains National Park, Bouddi National Park, and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. I was able to experience the variety of beauty at each park including the mountains at Blue Mountains, the coastal views and Royal, the rock formations at Bouddi, and the woods at Ku-ring-gai Chase. It made me appreciate the concept of discovery and exploration.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

A Semester at Trinity College Dublin

Studying for a semester at Trinity College Dublin was an amazing, life changing experience. IES did a great job at preparing me before I arrived in Dublin. Adjusting to the city was an easy process, and through the help of IES I was able to navigate Trinity's confusing academic system. I am so happy I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Dublin and explore Ireland!