25 Professors You’ll Want to Take a Class With

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IES Abroad
November 7, 2018
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There’s something pretty special about study abroad professors. They don’t just teach you the course material – they also teach you things you won’t find in a text book. They teach you about their nuanced culture, their regional slang and dialect, as well as their favorite local sites and restaurants. Better yet, they often take you to these places themselves on course-related trips.

We think the IES Abroad professors, local faculty who teach at our Centers around the world, are incredible academics and incredible people. But don’t just take our word for it. Hear from our alumni about their favorite IES Abroad professors.

In Barcelona

“I enjoyed having Fred Anderson as my photography professor because he was very personable and encouraged us to be creative. He allowed us to do certain assignments the way we thought they should be done. I also appreciated that he brought us out of the classroom, which allowed us to see more of Barcelona and learn more about different places or parts of the culture.”
– Lyric L. (IES Abroad Barcelona – Liberal Arts & Business | Clemson University)

“I enjoyed having Ian Stephens as a professor because not only did he teach us about sports in Spanish society, he also encouraged us to go out an experience sports in Barcelona. We go to Camp Nou and the Olympic Museum, and he provided us with deals on soccer games or anything he thought we would enjoy. For his class we had to retrieve primary research, which enabled me to talk to people throughout the city about their perspective of issues in sports in Spain. I would highly recommend Ian as a professor.”
– Faith P. (IES Abroad Barcelona – Liberal Arts & Business | University of Redlands)

In Buenos Aires

Mercedes Pico was a fantastic professor for my Drugs and Violence class. She understood the importance of class participation, and so classes were less of a lecture and more of a group discussion of readings and other media. She understood during the course that some of the readings were dense and difficult, even for her, so as we dissected them, we were free to be honest about our comprehension and, as a class, we worked through the difficult rhetoric of some of our texts.”
– Joseph E. (IES Abroad Buenos Aires – Latin American Societies & Cultures | Western Washington University)

Natacha Llorente was by far the best teacher I have ever had in my four years as a university student! Natacha was so genuine and helpful in her teaching style. From the first day, the classroom environment was very comfortable and intimate becausewe got to practice our Spanish in a judgement-free environment. I enjoyed her class so much, learned more Spanish than I ever had, and still keep in contact with her :) She was always rooting for all of us to grow and still is!”
– Jessica D. (IES Abroad Buenos Aires – Latin American Societies & Cultures | University of Virginia)

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In Dublin

“My favorite professor was Dr. Darren Kelly who taught Irish Communal Identity. Through the incorporation of walking tours of Dublin, I truly felt that I was able to gain a greater knowledge of the new city I was calling home. Dr. Kelly took the time to immerse us in the changing culture of Dublin, explain the greater meaning behind sites we passed by every day, and articulate to us how the city had changed over time.”
– MollyMaeva L. (IES Abroad Dublin – Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology | University of Iowa)

Stephen McMahon is the most genuinely kind person I have ever met. He cares so deeply about what he is doing and is so incredibly selfless. No matter what he is doing, he will drop everything if he can be of any help to anyone. He is the type of person that gives you faith in humanity. All of these personal characteristics transfer into his teaching. He is fascinated with life and wants to share that with everyone.”
– Allison G. (IES Abroad Dublin – Irish Studies | University of Iowa)

On the European Union Program

“One of my favorite IES Abroad professors during my time abroad was Dr. Wendy Fehlner. She taught my internship course, which covered cross-cultural management, as we were exposed to working in an international workspace. She made each course interesting and engaging, utilizing a mix of lectures and interactive exercises. The activities gave us a unique perspective and knowledge that sticks much more effectively, as opposed to being given this information in a formal lecture format. She is passionate about her work and her students, and encourages them to be the best they can be.”
 Amy R. (IES Abroad European Union | Skidmore College)

“I enjoyed the subject material of Dr. Thomas Staub’s class and his overall passion. He was one of my favorite professors during my time abroad and he really taught me a great deal about the history of Europe and the European Union. He was also incredibly approachable and was incredibly friendly to sit down and have a conversation with, even if it was not about the course material. He also was a great proctor for the model EU and helped guide the group if we happened to go a little astray on the topics. Lastly, he also helped us understand the German culture by taking us on local excursions.”
– Melissa G. (IES Abroad European Union | Penn State University)

“One of my favorite professors for the IES Abroad European Union program was Iannis Carras! He did an amazing job of balancing history and current events, and facilitated true engagement with the material. He emphasized learning the material from different perspectives, and challenged us to think outside of our experience.”
– Jessica P. (IES Abroad European Union | University of Virginia)

In Granada

“While in all honesty I really did like all of my professors, one of my favorite professors was Guadalupe Romero. She taught Islamic Art and Architecture and was incredibly knowledgeable about this subject. Part of the class involved going on visits, and the visits were very educational, but also she would tell little anecdotes and truly was dedicated to the material.”
– Rachel R. (IES Abroad Granada – Study in Granada | Wheaton College, MA)

Ana Hernández Walta was such a kind, caring, humble, and honest professor. She taught my watercolor class and she saw the beauty in everyone's unique work, but was also able to honestly guide them toward further skill development. I really appreciated that she would take us to different places in Granada to paint and that most of our assignments were very open-ended. This provided room for creativity, and as a student, you really got out of the course what you put in. She also took an interest in each of us students and got to know us and our artistic style.”
– Anna S. (IES Abroad Granada – Study in Granada | University of Minnesota)

“One of my favorite professors from my time abroad with IES Abroad Granada was Antonio Rodriguez, my Spanish language professor. Antonio was extremely passionate about his work and always tried to bring creative ideas and activities to class. I feel like my Spanish improved greatly throughout that class. Antonio was also extremely helpful in his willingness to write recommendations for me a year after I studied abroad. I am so grateful I got to take his class!”
– Hayley S. (IES Abroad Granada – Study in Granada | Connecticut College)

granada antonio rodriguez sitting and smiling

In London

“My favorite professor was Gurnam Johal, who gave us a well-rounded overview of European healthcare systems in HL 305. Professor Johal really cared about his students. He took the time to get to know us and our interests right off the bat. He offered us personalized career advice. He asked us about our lives outside of school and encouraged us to get out and enjoy London. On International Women's Day, he took time for discussion on what the day meant to us.”
– Charlotte P. (IES Abroad London – Health Practice & Policy | University of Rochester)

“I distinctly remember sitting in Dr. Diane Atkinson’s class discussing the Suffragettes. She had an incredible way of teaching through storytelling. She also provided clear context and interesting facts about the women we were studying. She made me feel like I was in their shoes, experiencing their struggles, and that amazing part of history. I also greatly admired the way she applied her knowledge on the subject across books she authored, exhibitions she curated, and guest speaking opportunities in the media. In fact, randomly, I recently heard her speak on BBC Radio 2 the other day while I was at home in Chicago!  
– Abby B. (IES Abroad London – Study London | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

londaon di book launch

In Milan

Sylvia Regonelli taught the Leonardo Da Vinci art history course. Not only was she an art historian, but she was a tour guide who had lots of interesting factoids and stories to share about the pieces we were studying. She also was able to coordinate numerous field studies that of course involved art and Da Vinci. We got to see the Last Supper at the end of the semester, and it was absolutely unreal. She also was always interested in hearing what art we were seeing outside of class. Overall, she’s just a wonderful professor, and I wish I could go back and take another class. It was interesting to hear her perspective about tourists and how we could be more respectful and not make mistakes that a lot of tourists do. She also attended the final music recital, and it felt so nice to have support from my professor.”
– Bo S. (IES Abroad Milan - Music: Tradition & Innovation | DePauw University)

milan professor sylvia regonelli bo shimmin

On the Multi-Location: Buenos Aires & Santiago Program

Antonio Canale-Mayet was extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter of his classes. He also did an excellent job of teaching a typically subjective topic–economics–without allowing his personal bias to interfere. His assignments were useful and not superfluous, and he often gave us time in class to work on the final paper. He's young and super relatable to students. Our favorite memory with him was the field trip to a winery.”
– Emily N. (IES Abroad Multi-Location – Emerging Economies: Buenos Aires & Santiago | Texas Christian University)

In Nantes

Professer Charlot was without a doubt my favorite IES Abroad professor.  We had a small group of only seven in his sociology class, but I learned more in his class than certainly any other.  We studied French Society through a number of different lenses, including religion, secularism, women, youth, suburbs, politics and more.  His love of the subject matter and enthusiasm each day were a huge part of what made it so fun to attend, and a key reason why I got so much out of it.”
– Jacqueline B. (IES Abroad Nantes – French Language Immersion & Area Studies | University of St. Thomas)

nantes ies visit archives jacqueline bartlett

In Nice

“My favorite IES Abroad professor was my French professor Luminita Morelli. She was so supportive in class and really motivated us to talk, to write, and not to worry so much about being perfect. She also made helpful corrections while encouraging us to keep writing and to revise so that we could really get the corrections in our heads. She did a great job of helping us progress in every element of the language while also being incredibly kind, welcoming and helpful.”
– Rachel I. (IES Abroad Nice - Direct Enrollment Universite Nice Sophia Antipolis | Swarthmore College)

In Paris

Professor Mathieu Zagrodzki was filled with knowledge about not only French society and history, but also comparisons between France and the United States. Each class followed a unique and interesting planned topic, but was altered if needed for relevant discussions that arose, like current events. He constantly gave us time to ask questions. We also got the opportunity to go on field trips to better explore Paris and the topics of class. His intelligence and amazing teaching inspired a passion for History and Sociology that I never knew I had.”
– Erin C. (IES Abroad Paris – Business & International Affairs | University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“My favorite IES Aborad Professor was Mary DeGendre. She is American and was born and raised on the East Coast, so she really had an idea of life as Americans studying abroad. She would always ask us where we were traveling to on the weekends, and took a genuine interest in us, our experiences, and past knowledge that we brought into the classroom. Also, as the director of the Masters Programs at a local university in Paris, she offered up an opportunity to go to a presentation that the former VP of Starbucks France was giving at her school, and even afterwards introduced us as her American students. It was an amazing experience that I got to have because she was my professor.”
– Emily W. (IES Abroad Paris – Business & International Affairs | The University of Vermont)


In Rome

“I absolutely loved my professor Madda Cardarelli, who was my Italian 351-level professor! Words cannot describe how magical she was and is! I really appreciated having a relatable professor who was fun, energetic, and knew what she was talking about. First of all, the language course was conversation-heavy and taught through cinema and music which made for a unique and fantastic experience. I attribute my comfortability speaking Italian to her. One of my favorite memories was during our weekend program trip to the Amalfi Coast where she was one of the "adults" accompanying us. We traveled to lemon-scented Sorrento, visited the ruins of Pompeii, ate fresh cuisine in Positano and sunbathed on the Amalfi beach. She was so fun to be around and so informative throughout! I can't wait to be back!”
– Osiris M. (IES Abroad Rome - Language & Area Studies | Johns Hopkins University)

“I really enjoyed Pier Paolo's field studies to engage us in Art History. Being in Rome, which is filled with art, we were able to see a lot of pieces. We also took a field trip to Florence, which was my favorite course-related trip all semester. I got to give my final presentation in the Uffizi Gallery on one of Michelangelo's paintings, which is definitely an experience I'll never forget. I appreciated his learning approach and the access he gave us to seeing famous works of art in person rather than simply lecturing with a PowerPoint.”
– Nicole S. (IES Abroad Rome – Language & Area Studies | Penn State University)

In Siena

Alice Friscelli was one of my favorite professors because her class was fun and dynamic. She was also one of the best teachers I have ever had. She didn't just teach us about Italian language – in any given class period, she would also teach us about Italian culture, through films, discussion and stories which related to the vocabulary we were learning. In doing so, she gave us a unique introduction to the town we were studying abroad in, while simultaneously providing us with tools to communicate with the people around us.”
– Alexis W. (IES Abroad Siena Summer – Tradition & Cuisine in Tuscany | University of Washington)

In Vienna

“My favorite IES Abroad Professor was Heidi Rössler, who taught the Teaching Internship in IES Vienna. I enjoyed her course as a whole, her methods of teaching, and her emphasis on experience as the best teacher. I loved every class seminar we had, every field trip, and all of the experiences I had over the course of the semester. She was an extremely caring, enthusiastic person and professor.”
– Jess A. (IES Abroad Vienna – European Society & Culture | University of Rochester)

“I took Music and Politics with Professor Erik Leidal. The class was very engaging and relevant to current events. I appreciated his passion about the topic and effort to challenge us to view a topic from multiple perspectives.”
– Naomi K. (IES Abroad Vienna – Music | Emory University)


Learn more about our standards for academic excellence. Want to hear more from a recent alumni? Contact an Ambassador who is eager and willing to talk about their own study abroad experience.

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