Paul & Brita Koutny Founders Scholarship

Scholarship Information

  • Fall/Academic Year Deadline: May 1
  • Spring/Calendar Year Deadline: November 1

The late Paul Koutny, along with Clarence and Alberta Giese, founded IES Abroad in 1950 and enrolled 23 American students. Held as a political prisoner by the Nazis at the age of 17 for his activity in the anti-Nazi underground, Paul dedicated himself to rebuilding Austria after World War II. It was his year abroad at St. Thomas University, sponsored by the Fulbright Commission in 1949, that inspired his ambitious dream: the founding of an organization that would create life-changing experiences for young Americans and help bridge the cultural divide between two continents.

In the early years, Brita assisted Paul in coordinating activities in Vienna and ran the kitchen at NeuerMarkt 1.  In the ensuing 60+ years, over 85,000 students have studied with IES Abroad.  Paul remained involved as the Director of the Extension Division which ran customized programs and musical tours at IES Abroad until the early 1970’s.  In an April 1953 article in Today, Paul said, “The main idea of the Institute [IES Abroad] is to create a better understanding between the two continents and to exchange cultural advantages with each other.”

This scholarship honors the legacy of the Koutnys and is funded by the generous donations of IES Abroad Vienna alumni.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must: 

  • Enroll in a semester or full year IES Abroad program. 
  • Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $30,000 or less.