We’re proud that our students are as diverse as the countries where they study abroad.
Integral in fulfilling our mission is a commitment to the representation and integration of diverse perspectives, cultures, and ideas.
At IES Abroad, we understand that diversity must be cultivated and supported in several ways and at multiple levels—from accessibility and inclusiveness of a diverse student body to the learning environment and courses offered. We are dedicated to broadening access and cultivating a diverse, globally-savvy workforce.
Initiative to Diversify Education Abroad (IDEA)
In 2008, we launched our Initiative to Diversify Education Abroad (IDEA) to creatively address the relatively low participation of underrepresented students in study abroad.
To us, underrepresented students are broadly defined and include, but are not limited to, students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, first generation to college students, students from low income families and students with a history of overcoming adversity.
As part of the IES Abroad Diversity Initiative, a comprehensive effort to make study abroad accessible to more underrepresented students, IES Abroad hosted a Think Tank on Diversity in Study Abroad. The participating leaders from academe, not-for-profits, and industry convened in Chicago to discuss the importance of and barriers to underrepresented students participating in international education programs. IES Abroad has produced a monograph of this event that includes a background concept paper on the lack of diversity among study abroad students and a summary of the discussion and recommendations of the Think Tank.
In the ten years following the launch of our IDEA initiative, we have built a dedicated Diversity Team, expanded the financial and informational resources for students, collaborated with new partnerships, increased participation in outreach activities, and more. Since launching the Initiative, we have increased enrollment of ethnically-diverse students across all our platforms (study abroad, internships, and customized programs) by 77%; and in 2017-18, ethnically-diverse students made up 26% of the IES Abroad student body.