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...
IES Abroad Reviews
No pasa Granada
Submitted by Bella - UNC-Chapel Hill | September 25, 2017
My semester in Granada was truly fantastic. IES Abroad facilitated the best combination of classes, trips, and living arrangements for all of us, and I would not have changed much about the way the program was run. Living in Granada was immersive but friendly. IES allowed for the perfect balance of fun, school, and adventure.
An unforgettable semester in Freiburg
Submitted by Molly - Ithaca College | September 25, 2017
I had an amazing experience with the IES Abroad EU program, and there honestly isn't much I can say that was bad about my semester. Not only did I love living in the beautiful, sunny, and student-filled city of Freiburg, but I also learned so much about the EU that I never would have back home at my own university. The course excursions and extensive program travel were a highlight of my semester, and the trips were well-planned, offering us the invaluable opportunity to travel across Europe and visit many cities, while getting a unique political, historical, and cultural perspective on them that I likely wouldn't have gotten by visiting on my own. Both IES Abroad in general and the IES staff at our center in Freiburg were so helpful and organized and really made an effort to make all students feel comfortable and engaged while abroad.
Freiburg is an absolutely wonderful place to study abroad; it is a charming university city bustling with bikers (Freiburg is very eco-friendly!) and there are tons of things to do in one’s free time. Not only are there tons of restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bakeries to enjoy if you want to enjoy the wonders of German food, but there are also opportunities for shopping, enjoying local parks and the river Dreisdam, or venturing off on a short train ride into the neighboring Black Forest, where you can bike, hike, or ski! The EU program has so much travel incorporated into the semester, often to large European capitals, so having a home base in Freiburg, where it’s not overrun with tourists, was really great.
I lived in a student apartment complex with five German students and one international student. We each had our own rooms and shared two bathrooms, a kitchen, and living area. This living situation was nice because I had a lot of independence and my own space, but I still was able to engage with German students, practice my speaking, and learn about their lifestyles, studies, and interests.
On the topic of costs, which is often an important factor to studying abroad for many people, I would say that doing this program was really affordable, largely because the cost of living in Freiburg is fairly low. There are many options of where to buy food (stores and the local Münstermarkt), and groceries, toiletries and other living necessities were very inexpensive and much less than what you would pay for the same thing in the US (for instance, I could find a jar of jam for 1 Euro or a loaf of good German bread for 2 Euros). Although I’m vegetarian, I found that there were still many options for food, both eating out and buying food at the store. Freiburg also has tons of restaurants, pubs, cafes, and even a pretty good (and very inexpensive) student cafeteria, so there are lots of options for students at very reasonable prices. I won’t lie, the abundance of bakeries and cafes in Freiburg made me quickly addicted to the large array of delicious fresh German bread, pretzels, and pastries.
Although the course workload was definitely vigorous (probably more than other average abroad programs), I learned so much and gained a greater perspective on the EU, world events, and various European cultures. I might also briefly note is that this program is definitely focused on politics, international relations, and economics, and less so on intensive German-language development, understandably. However, being someone who really wanted to practice my German a lot, as I’ve been studying it for many years, I will say that I was a bit disappointed that most students on the program had little to no German language background, so I could not have those types of language engagements with them. Nonetheless, I still had many opportunities to practice German out in public and at home with my flatmates. I would recommend, however, for anyone thinking about studying abroad - to take a semester of German beforehand or have learned a little bit. It makes getting around and having simple interactions with locals much easier!
Overall, my experience in Freiburg and with the EU program was one that I truly will not forget. From visiting many beautiful and historic cities across the EU, to enjoying the Biergartens in Freiburg, to spontaneously deciding with two other students to venture on a 60km bike trip from Freiburg to France and back, the experiences I had were really irreplaceable. Without any hesitation, I would recommend this program to any student interested in the subject matter or who wants to experience life in an active, but charming German university city!
Berlin is great, IES is great
Submitted by Jake Ward - Tulane University | September 25, 2017
Let me start by saying: I became convinced over the course of my semester in Berlin that it's basically the best place in the world. It's a capital city, but without many of the things that ruin a capital city and make it boring and unlivable. It's cheap, young, political, and there's an incredible amount happening. There's great music, bars, parks, even multiple lakes for swimming not too far away (some with sand beaches). But in addition, the city also has so much history, including incredible museums, monuments, and memorials. I've travelled a fair amount in my life, and lived in the UK and the US, and I found Berlin truly unique. All of this is not to say that Berlin is without problems, but you'll learn about those in your courses and become more attuned over time. None of it persuaded me to revise my opinion.
The IES Programme itself was also great. The people that work there were always available and helpful, whether with course questions or health insurance queries. I took half of my courses within the programme. I would especially recommend Multicultural Berlin with Sabine Berking-- I learned a lot about Berlin and Germany, and we took some awesome field trips to places around the city. My German improved unbelievably quickly just from being there and being immersed, and I'm so glad I had this opportunity.
I would say that I did not feel hugely academically stretched by my IES courses, but they catered well to a wide range of German abilities, and if you are feeling more confident, there is an opportunity to take classes with ~real~ German students at Humboldt. This is something I would absolutely recommend. Though it was a little effort to make it work, it was definitely worth it to meet people outside the programme and feel like a real Berlin student. For this reason, if you are only going for one semester and it is an option for you, I would definitely recommend going in the spring, as the Humboldt semester doesn't line up particularly well with our semesters, and in the spring the extra couple months run into summer rather than your spring semester back in the US (I was in Berlin until the end of July). Plus it means that the weather only gets nicer and nicer while you are there!
Most of my friends in the programme lived in home-stays in the city. I personally had an amazing experience and grew close with my host mum. Others had more difficulties, which is tough for IES to solve, though they will talk things through with you. A couple other of my friends organised living arrangements outside of IES, and so lived alone or with other students, which is an option to consider if you're feeling very motivated.
My spring semester in Barcelona, Spain
Submitted by Lucy Schmitz - University of Wisconsin Madison | September 25, 2017
I studied abroad spring of 2017 in Barcelona, Spain, and I could not recommend a program more! From enthusiastic and helpful staff to simply being in an upbeat city, it truly elevated my undergrad experience. Although academics may be surprisingly difficult to students, there was plenty of time to immerse yourself in the culture of the city and also to Travel! The program also created opportunities for students to meet and travel with other students, as well as explore important aspects of the city! Additionally, I never spoke Spanish before this semester, which turned out totally fine, but also allowed me to learn a lot of another language in a relatively short time! If I could do it again I would definitely pick IES Abroad Barcelona.
Siena, my true love!
Submitted by Nataly - Kenyon College | September 25, 2017
Siena was the perfect place for me to go abroad. It is a small enough city for someone who was nervous about living in the city for the first time and perfectly located to go explore other parts of Italy. I got to improve my language so much and I got over my fear of public transportation. The Siena IES program is a wonderful group of administrators and professors who really love what they're doing and are always willing to answer your dozens of questions. Over two semesters I learned so much on Siena's colorful history, made friends with the wonderful people there, and had dozens of new experiences. I recommend this program to those who don't mind having a less touristy experience.
Program: IES Abroad Siena - Study in Tuscany