IES Abroad Ambassadors Discuss Friendships Made While Studying Abroad

You are here

Ask any of our IES Abroad Ambassadors about their favorite stories from studying abroad, and it will almost always revolve around the people they met, and who they spent time with. The people you meet while studying abroad – fellow classmates, host families, IES Abroad staff and faculty, internship supervisors, travel buddies – often become friends and contacts for life!

Read on to hear stories of friendships that blossomed abroad and have continued – even if miles apart – when they arrive home.

Katie Donahue
Katie Donahue
IES Abroad Rome, Fall 2016
Tulane University of Louisiana

 

"My friends from my program are as present and important in my life as my friends at Tulane. I am also beyond ecstatic to be able to welcome Gabriella, my Italian Student Companion (ISC) when I lived in Rome, who will come stay with my family and me, and celebrate Thanksgiving with us this year during her first trip to the United States."

Read more about Katie’s experience studying abroad in Rome on her IES Abroad Blog.

Maia Gordon
Maia Gordon
IES Abroad Vienna, Spring 2017
University of Redlands

 

"Although I only studied abroad in Vienna for a few months, I became very close friends with an Austrian who worked at the music therapy practice where I held an internship. Despite her only speaking some English, and myself only speaking a small amount of German, our communication and friendship have continued to blossom after my return to the United States, and we even had a chance to catch up when she visited me in California in September."

baylee bunce
Baylee Bunce
IES Abroad European Union, Summer 2017
Purdue University

 

"I was able to make connections with peers from around the United States, as well as academics, activists, and politicians across Europe. It's amazing the network of academics and professionals that I can draw from for advice and information!"

marisa nobs
Marisa Nobs
IES Abroad London, Fall 2016
University of Tampa

 

"I made lasting friendships with both Americans in my program, and British students at my school (Queen Mary University of London). All of my adventures and experiences were enhanced by the people I got to share them with. I miss them every day but sincerely believe I will see them again. In fact, I'm planning a trip to Penn State next semester to visit someone!"

nicolas aguilar
Nick Aguilar
IES Abroad Granada, Fall 2016
Miami University

 

"I made closer friendships on my trip than I ever did in school. It was a joy to spend time with them and harder than I could have imagined to leave them."

sarah waldman
Sarah Waldman
IES Abroad Cape Town, Spring 2017
Texas Christian University

 

"I studied abroad in Cape Town in a group of just 18 students. Going to a place halfway around the world and so far away from all of my friends and family at home, I learned that it is okay to fully immerse yourself in study abroad life. Your friends will still be there when you get back. Being in such a small group allowed me to form new relationships and create lasting friendships with people I never would have met otherwise – I am so grateful for this!"

charles hunter
Charles Hunter
IES Abroad Nagoya, Fall 2016
University of Rochester

 

"I have been able to meet up and go on adventures with friends from across the United States and even our Japanese classmates that have come to visit! Our friendships remain strong, so we always can count on having a language partner to continue to improve our fluency with. If it weren't for IES Abroad, I don't think I would have ever been able to have such a meaningful socio-cultural experience."

matt uecker
Matt Uecker
IES Abroad Berlin, Spring 2017
Whitman College

 

"While abroad, I met some of the most wonderful people in the world. Between my incredible host family and the close friends I made, who live on the other side of the United States from me, I can confidently say I gained friends that will last a lifetime. They made studying abroad in Berlin exponentially better, and they're all still active members of my life today. I couldn't ask for anything better."

amelia emery
Amelia Emery
IES Abroad Arles, Summer 2017
Northwestern University

 

"I lived with a host family, and only spoke in French with them. At first I had no idea if I would even be able to communicate with them for necessities, such as when we were eating, but I was surprised by how easy to was to communicate with them, even at more than a superficial level. Expressing enthusiasm and interest in getting to know a person goes a long way in overcoming small language barriers."

Follow along with our Grateful for Study Abroad series as recent alumni share the many incredible ways their study abroad and internship abroad experiences changed their lives:

What will you be thankful for when you study abroad? Find out more about our programs, internships and the benefits of study abroad.

 

Recent news & press

Nov 28 3:57pm

How We Celebrated Thanksgiving Around the World

by IES Abroad

Check out the Instagram-worthy photos from our Centers! Our Fall students and Center Staff made Thanksgiving their own with a range of exciting events.

Read more
Nov 21 10:00am

27 Reasons to Give to IES Abroad Scholarships on #GivingTuesday, November 27!

by IES Abroad

For the fifth year in a row, IES Abroad is participating in #GivingTuesday—a global day of giving. On November 27th, join us as we set out to increase access to study abroad by raising funds for IES Abroad Scholarships.

Read more
Nov 19 3:58pm

A Thanksgiving Note To You. Yes, You!

by IES Abroad

This week at IES Abroad, we've paused to thank the people who make IES Abroad such an extraordinary global community. One of the most important people to thank is you.

Read more
Nov 19 1:57pm
Buenos Aires

Finding Entrepreneurial Inspiration in Buenos Aires – Alum of the Month Ely Key

by IES Abroad

Meet Ely Key (IES Abroad Buenos Aires, Spring 2006), President and CEO of Up Mountain Switchel. In our interview, discover how seeing young Argentines celebrate and share their culture inspired Ely to co-found Up Mountain Switchel.

Read more
Nov 19 11:43am

IES Abroad Alum & Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter Willard Huyck Honored at Our Study Abroad Film Festival

by IES Abroad

Willard Huyck honored with the Standing Ovation Award for his contributions to the IES Abroad Study Abroad Film Festival.

Read more
Nov 15 9:26am
Granada

Sharing the Joy of Studying Abroad | October Ambassador of the Month Meredith Hawley

by IES Abroad

We're thrilled to announce Meredith Hawley (Granada, Spring 2018) as our October Ambassador of the Month! As a volunteer Ambassador, Meredith shares her study abroad stories and advice back on campus at Loyola University - Chicago. Read more about Meredith's experience in Granada and how it motivated her to inspire future study abroad students.

Read more