The Academic Leader in Study Abroad

Our mission is simple: to provide students with the best study abroad programs possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. 

Our academic leadership relies on the development of outstanding programming—by educational and study abroad staff with years of professional experience — and continual assessment and program enhancement.

Led by President and CEO Dr. Greg Hess, we have consistently set new standards in academic excellence, including the development of initiatives, such as the IES Abroad Model Assessment Practices (MAPs), that have become standard-bearers for the entire field.

Most recently, after a careful review of IES Abroad’s internal evaluation policies, the Forum on Education Abroad recognized IES Abroad for its achievement in program measurement and improvement, and is, to date, the only organization to hold this honor.

Achieving high standards of academic excellence requires the involvement and participation of our consortium schools; an Academic Department at our headquarters in Chicago; highly skilled academic Center Directors around the world; and world-class university partners. Together, these groups provide consistent academic excellence in study abroad.

Our Academic Department

Based at our headquarters in Chicago, the Academic Department works closely and directly with the academic consortium to develop programming and maintain program and curriculum excellence. The IES Abroad Academic Department features an organizational structure similar to that of colleges and universities.

The following are among the key functions in the department:

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Program Quality - QUIP Designation

In 2010, IES Abroad received the prestigious Quality Improvement Process (QUIP 2A) designation from The Forum on Education Abroad, which confirms that we are in substantial conformity with the Forum’s Standards of Good Practice, the highest standards in the education abroad field.

A group of older individuals standing in front of a mirror with the flag of Vienna and smiling for the camera.

Academic Credit

Students studying on our programs may receive full academic credit through programs approved by their home schools or through programs accredited by IES Abroad’s School of Record, the University of Rochester, a long-standing academic consortium member.

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IES Abroad MAP Series ©

In 1999, IES Abroad assembled outstanding leaders in both international and U.S. higher education to address the growing need for more effective program development and assessment in international education. The result of their research and analysis was the IES Abroad Model Assessment Practice for Study Abroad Programs (IES Abroad MAP), the first evaluation tool of its kind.

Evaluation & Assessment

Every semester, IES Abroad evaluates every academic program and overseas Center as part of its comprehensive evaluation system. Each Center also undergoes periodic, rigorous on-site reviews conducted by academic consortium members and IES Abroad staff.