IES Abroad Named Finalist for Four GoAbroad Innovation Awards

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Ashley Houston
April 26, 2016

We are excited to share that for the second year in a row IES Abroad has been named a finalist in four categories of GoAbroad's 2016 Innovation Awardsthe most of any study abroad organization or institution!

For more than 15 years, has been the web's premier resource for discovering meaningful international experiences and alternative travel opportunities. GoAbroad’s annual Innovation Awards celebrate and acknowledge the most original, creative, and exceptional ideas in international education.

We were named a finalist in the following categories:

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1. People’s Choice

Nominated by study abroad professionals, this award honors the top international education organization for offering great service to students and staying true to its mission of providing meaningful educational experiences abroad.

Vote for us:



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2. The STA Travel Start the Adventure Award

Sergio Rodriguez Camarena (European Union, Pomona College)

Sponsored by STA Travel, this award recognizes an individual making travel more accessible to student and youth travelers.

Sergio is an undocumented student, who, until June of 2012 when the Secretary of Homeland Security announced new guidelines under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was ineligible to travel outside the United States, though his International Relations major required it. Thanks to the study abroad office at Pomona, Sergio was able to acquire Advance Parole and study abroad on our European Union Program. After returning home, Sergio became actively involved in international education outreach, helping lead predeparture orientations, faculty presentations, and email campaigns. He presented about undocumented students and Advance Parole at the NAFSA 2015 Region XII Conference in Hawaii, and helps advise undocumented and underrepresented students interested in studying abroad.



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3. Innovation in Alumni Engagement

IES Abroad Alumni Weekends

This new award acknowledges those who prioritize having creative and effective programs that tap into the fervor of returned participants.

Whether it has been five years or 50, IES Abroad alumni love to reconnect with their study abroad classmates. To embrace their enthusiasm, we launched IES Abroad Alumni Weekends at select Centers in 2015. More than 200 alumni and guests traveled to Nantes, Paris, Freiburg, or Vienna last year to meet-up with former classmates, explore their old stomping ground, tour the IES Abroad Center, learn about today’s programs, and participate in faculty-led tours and other excursions. Participants, as well as those unable to attend, submitted their story to their Class Book, so classmates could read about where life has taken them since studying abroad. Online photo albums were created for alumni to relive their memories and make plans for next year’s program. Alumni Weekends continue in 2016 and planning’s underway for programs in 2017 and beyond.  




4. Innovative Student Video

Abroad Sweet Abroad by Adrienne Picciotto (IES Abroad Rome, Mount Holyoke College)

This award recognizes a student-created video that captures the true essence of an international education program. Unlike the other Innovation Awards, the student video is selected based on the number of votes it receives through an online poll.

Adrienne's film is a reflection of her experience studying abroad in Rome in Spring 2015 as told by hundreds of photographs and an entire semester's worth of introspection condensed into three minutes of spoken word.

Watch and vote for Adrienne’s video

All winners will be announced at the GoAbroad Innovation Awards Reception during the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Check out all of the 2016 GoAbroad Innovation Award finalists!

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Ashley Houston

IES Abroad News

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