Founded in 1999, IEF is a non-profit foundation promoting international education. IEF offers grants and scholarships on a selective basis to college level students for international programs in Italy offered by the Study Abroad Italy (SAI) organization, with undergraduate and graduate level course work in a variety of fields. IEF also funds special projects related to international education. IEF seeks to empower young people by fostering expanded global awareness and focused study in their specific fields of interest.
Because increasing globalization places new demands on students and decision-makers, many undergraduate programs now require study abroad. It is critical for today’s student to understand the interconnection of world affairs and to experience, through living abroad, cultural difference and diversity.
For students of business, politics and international affairs, an international education is crucial. Without the broad view provided by study abroad, students risk serious misunderstandings of environmental, economic and industrial issues. Individuals who study a language in its mother country experience subtle nuances of meaning and more specific understanding of culture. For students of history and the arts, there is no substitute for viewing masterpieces of art and architecture in person.
All international students undertake an unforgettable personal journey. As students discuss issues and make friends from around the world, they see themselves and their homeland from a global perspective. As young people, they will make educated career choices, and throughout their entire lives they will retain an expanding world view.
IEF scholarships provide opportunities for students who might not otherwise afford an international education. Many of these students will become teachers and managers – decision makers who have great influence at home. We understand the critical need for teachers who have a wide view of cultures and differences, for artists who incorporate cultural awareness, and for leaders whose practical understanding may provide solutions to worldwide environmental, industrial and business issues.
“There's a lot of fear in our society today. Students who travel learn that fear is for people who don't get out much. And they learn that the flip side of fear is understanding. Travelers learn to celebrate, rather than fear, the diversity on our planet. Learning in a different culture and place allows us to see our own challenges in sharp contrast, and with more clarity, as we observe smart people in other lands dealing with similar issues.
American college students understand the value of study abroad. Four out of every five first-year students aspire to study overseas. But at any given time, only about 2% of students are able to.
Educators are particularly concerned that the lack of opportunity for students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds will cause a "global divide" between students who've benefited from a global education … and those who haven't. And students for whom foreign travel is not easily affordable are the ones who benefit most from the experience. As a society, we can help enrich the education of our younger generation, and brighten their futures, by making this experience more accessible. The Paul Simon Study Abroad Act, currently being considered in Congress, would dedicate $80 million annually to incentivize study abroad, with the goal of encouraging a million American students from a wide range of backgrounds to study abroad each year.”
Please help IEF provide students with these life-changing opportunities by making a tax deductible donation today. Donations may be made by credit card, electronic check or personal check.