Studying abroad with IES Abroad is a world-shaking discovery that has long-lasting benefits—just ask our alumni. Our research findings show how their academic interests, cultural development, personal growth, and careers are impacted by their one-of-a-kind IES Abroad experiences. 

In honor of the 50th anniversary of IES Abroad, we conducted the largest quantitative survey of study abroad alumni—the IES Abroad 50-Year Alumni Survey. This survey was conducted to assess the long-term impact of study abroad by exploring how our alumni perceive their study abroad experience and its impact on their careers, education, and world views.  Survey findings indicate that studying abroad makes a difference — a long-lasting difference — in the lives of its participants, and results demonstrate the far reaching affects the experience has on participants, not only academically but professionally and personally as well. 

Moreover, our Recent Graduate Survey found that study abroad may be one of the best ways for college students to find jobs sooner after graduation, related to their majors, and at a higher starting salary. Study abroad students also show success in being accepted to graduate and professional schools.

NOTE: Any and all uses of survey results conducted by IES Abroad, Institute for the International Education of Students, must be accompanied by proper citation. 

50-Year Alumni Survey Results Highlights

Academic Attainment
87% of alumni claimed that studying abroad influenced subsequent educational experiences.
Cultural Development
90% of alumni said studying abroad influenced them to seek out a greater diversity of friends.
Career Impact
76% of alumni reported they acquired skills while studying abroad that influenced their career.
Personal Growth
97% of alumni reported that studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity.
50% of alumni felt that their IES Abroad program experience helped them to get their first job.

Recent Graduate Survey Highlights

a student intern passing out pens to elementary school students
of alumni claimed that study abroad helped them build job skills
of alumni found a career-related position within a reasonable amount of time or more quickly than expected
of alumni got into their first or second choice graduate/professional school
Dotted map of the world with images of a few locations
of alumni found study abroad effective for developing job-related skills

Articles About Our Findings

We invite you to explore our findings by accessing the many articles and presentations that highlight our research. Links to articles, where available, are included below. Links to back issues that can be ordered for a fee are also provided below in cases where the articles are not provided for free.

“During the graduate school admissions process, I emphasized the work I did abroad. This was one of the highlights of my application, and I was told that the experience was so unique that it made me standout as a candidate.”
Michelle W. • Penn State University • Rome Summer – Internship

Discover Alumni Spotlights

Our Alumni Spotlights feature highlights the impact that studying abroad has had on the careers of alumni.

Learn More
Students in Vienna in the late 1900s.