Formalizing Our Values

Academic excellence transcends the classroom. We believe that study abroad changes lives, and changed lives change the world.

Our guiding principles—inspired by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals—are designed to focus and showcase our mission-driven desire to not only educate students, but to open their eyes to some of the greatest challenges the world faces today. Students work together with fellow classmates and faculty to research and identify opportunities and potential solutions for those challenges in the local context of where they are living. Our three important principles and values include: Sustainable Living, Equitable Living, Human Well-Being

These values are underpinned and supported by IES Abroad’s overarching Global Good Commitment—aimed to ensure that we are doing all that we can to be active participants in bettering the world. This commitment is a multifaceted approach to creating a more sustainable and just world that grounds who we are as an organization and what we do within four key categories: People & Equity; Education, Academics, Curriculum, & Career-Readiness; Engagement & Resources; and Sustainable Operations & Services. 

Our commitment to global good is also lived out through an innovative course called Designing the Sustainable City. In this course, students engage in a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural learning community through the lens of a specific and relevant global issue.

Global Good Commitment

The Global Good Commitment is an organization-wide initiative that aims to uphold our Global Pillars. Based on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our Global Good Commitment is a multifaceted approach to creating a more sustainable and just world grounds who we are and what we do within four key categories. 

a group of students pose for a photo while on a hike through New Zealand's coast

People & Equity

In big and small ways, we intentionally create global good for a more sustainable and equitable world, today, tomorrow and for the future. We are committed to matters of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism, uphold inclusive hiring practices, incorporate ethical principles, and lead the field in standards of health and safety.

a line of students with a professor walking up the peak of a mountain range

Education, Academics, Curriculum, & Career-Readiness

We develop courses, curriculum, experiential learning, and co-curricular programming rooted in sustainable practices. We also maintain a growing a network of internship partners working towards a more sustainable world.

students sitting in a Berlin Center classroom during a lecture

Engagement & Resources

We understand the importance of stating our values, and that it's equally important to put those beliefs into practice. That's why we foster a community of global thinkers through events like our Global Leadership SerIES, networks like the Center of Excellence in Teaching & Learning Abroad, and alumni engagement opportunities.

Group of People in a Group Smiling in front of Forest

Sustainable Operations & Services

We make it personal. Faculty and staff at our Chicago Headquarters and Centers abroad live out these values in ways like: changing the way we consume and produce at our operating locations, mindfully printing our catalogs on 100% post-consumer recycled material, using soy-based ink, reducing air travel, and building a cross-departmental internally sustainability team.