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We're GoAbroad.com Innovation Award Finalists

Fresh off of being named GoAbroad's Top Study Abroad Organization of 2016, we're excited to share that IES Abroad has been named a finalist in four categories of GoAbroad's 2017 Innovation Awards (for the third year in a row!).

For more than 15 years, GoAbroad.com 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've been named a finalist in the following categories:

1. Innovation in Marketing & Digital Media

This award recognizes a creative and groundbreaking marketing, advertising, or digital media campaign.

Our Global Citizen of the Year Award recognizes an IES Abroad student who has made an impact through academic, philanthropic, or personal efforts during their experience studying or interning abroad. In our search for the 2016 Global Citizen of the Year, we were reminded of a profound and personal truth: Each of us has the power to make the world a better place.

The 2016 Global Citizen of the Year Award Winners prove that when we follow our passions on a global scale — be that through volunteer work, research, or anything in between — we truly can change the world through study abroad. This was the inaugural year for Global Citizen of the Year Award, and the winners, finalists, and honorable mentions provide wonderful examples of how students make the most of their study abroad experiences while on our programs.

2. Innovation in Philanthropy

This award recognizes philanthropic efforts that have impacted an individual, group, or local or global community. Sponsored by the GoAbroad Foundation, the award seeks to honor organizations that demonstrate innovative corporate responsibility and philanthropy. 

On November 29, 2016, IES Abroad participated in #GivingTuesday — a global day of giving. Our goal was to inspire 100 gifts — 100% of funds raised empower students with financial need to study and intern abroad next year. Our aim was to support and ensure study abroad — and the life-changing benefits it provides — remains accessible to all students, no matter their financial circumstances.

More than 180 donors (98 of which were IES Abroad employees!) gave in support of IES Abroad scholarships—the highest number of gifts we have ever received in a single day! We exceeded our original participation goal by 180%, AND we raised more than $27,000.

3. Innovation in Technology

This award recognizes the creation and/or use of an innovative technology or tool specific to international education.

When it comes to study abroad, it can be difficult to picture what your daily routine in Cape Town might look like, or your classrooms in Vienna, or your neighborhood in Buenos Aires, and we’ve found that these uncertainties create apprehension if you're not familiar with study abroad.

With our 10 Virtual Reality experiences, featuring 360-degree video, panoramas, photos, and guided narration along the way, we’re expanding how students visualize study abroad and making it convenient for them to find answers to their own questions. Our Virtual Reality Tours are as close as you can get to studying abroad (without actually hopping on a plane!). We pride ourselves in being able to share such a detailed, realistic, and engaging portrait of study abroad with our audiences, and for being the first study abroad provider to do so.

4. Student Video

This award recognizes a student-created video that captures the true essence of an international education program.

Motion in the South by Oliver Lowe (Gettysburg College | Cape Town, Spring 2016) captures Oliver's study abroad journey in Cape Town through, you guessed it, motion. The film was a 2016 Film Festival Semi-Finalist and received an Honorable Mention for his creative, inspirational work.

Oliver not only captured the breathtaking scenery of South Africa’s landscape, he captured the people, providing an authentic insight into daily life in Cape Town. The visuals, paired with Oliver’s moving narrative, provide a perfectly-choreographed cinematic experience. The film moves you, and truly captures the essence of study abroad.

The winner of this award is decided by public vote. What are you waiting for? Watch and vote for Oliver's video.

All winners will be announced at the GoAbroad Innovation Awards Reception during the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, June 1st.

Check out all of the 2017 GoAbroad Innovation Award Finalists.