We rolled out the red carpet for our Film Festival at VenueSIX10 in downtown Chicago on Thursday, October 12th—all in benefit of IES Abroad scholarships.

Sami Stidham (University of Wisconsin Madison | IES Abroad Barcelona, Spring 2023) took home the Grand Prize for the 9th annual Study Abroad Film Festival for her film "Take the Goggles Off."

The award was presented by Film Festival host, Patrick Jager, an IES Abroad Vienna alum, Study Abroad Film Festival Juror, and an award-winning media executive who led the development and production team behind such hits as A&E “Biography”, VH1 “Behind the Music,” and the creator of HGTVs mega hit “Fixer Upper.”

She received the $1,500 Grand Prize and secured the newly created $5,000 IES Abroad Barbara Bobrich Annual scholarship for a future University of Wisconsin Madison study abroad student in financial need, made possible by a $600,000 donation by the late Barbara Bobrich.

Interested in our past festivals? Check them out here:

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 20202022

Relive the Magic of IES Abroad's 9th Annual Film Festival


Sami Stidham

Take The Goggles Off

"'I think anyone in this room would agree that studying abroad changes your life, and it certainly did for me. I want to thank Grace, who is the girl on the coast who shared that quote with me and largely inspired the film. So thank you to her and keep those goggles off."

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Student standing in front of building in Barcelona

Silent Echos

William Moore-Jones • University of Texas at Austin • Barcelona,  Spring 2023

Two female students reading in grass abroad

Lost Time

Emily Greenzang & Grant Didway • University of Rochester & Whitman College  • Granada, Spring


Student staring longingly while sitting on kitchen counter

The Premonition

Lauren Taylor-Carrillo •  Meredith College • London

student smiling against paris background

What It Means to Live

Yirui Wu • Occidental College • Paris

Student nervously staring into camera screen

First Date

Macyn Barth • Hope College • London

student holding up glowing birthday cake

Birthday Blues

Lucia Carson • American University • London

two men clutch rosaries with their heads down


Juan Uribe Brandi • Emory University • Rome

Student in the woods of Freiburg

Cuckoo Countdown

Bobby Marcinauskis • University of Rochester • Freiburg

Female student waving happily at camera

Dear Mom

Ruthie Scherschel • Whitman College • Freiburg

Student looks in mirror confused while wearing professor's clothes

The Switch

Allison Steglitz • University of Michigan • Granada

Student reading newspaper next to skeleton

Love Me Forever

Ava Vinton • Sarah Lawrence College • Barcelona

Student researching his family history on a computer

Opi's Memoir

Sam Dushin • Temple University • Berlin

Relive the 2023 Film Festival

Couldn't make it to our Film Festival? Not to worry. We live-streamed the whole event! Enjoy all this year's student films and the live announcement of the Grand Prize Winner from the comfort of your home!

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“This year’s Finalists capture the spirit of study abroad and its importance better than we could have imagined.”
Amy Ruhter McMillan • Senior Associate Vice President of Marketing and Founder of the IES Abroad Study Abroad Film Festival

Join the Study Abroad Film Festival

a student takes a photo of the ocean on the beach in Barcelona