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IES Abroad and The Study Abroad Foundation Announce Merger

Two of the most highly regarded not-for-profit providers in international education, IES Abroad and The Study Abroad Foundation have entered a strategic merger designed to offer students from around the world the most academically and culturally enriching study abroad experiences available.  

The merger of IES Abroad and SAF fulfills a key part of IES Abroad’s 2020 Strategic Plan, which incorporates a goal of expanding IES Abroad’s mission to include providing students from around the world the highest quality study abroad experiences.

Students who study on an IES Abroad program are connected to one of the largest study abroad providers in the world. There’s no study abroad organization quite like ours as IES Abroad and SAF combined have more than 80 years of experience in the field, and have provided more than 129,000 students with the opportunity to study and intern abroad. Our expertise allows us to deliver quality study abroad programs and provide exceptional experiences for all of our students. 

With the merger, SAF and IES Abroad combined have more than 350 study and intern abroad programs across 20 countries offered under the highly esteemed IES Abroad, The Study Abroad Foundation (SAF), IES Internships and IES Customized Programs brands.

Dr. Mary M. Dwyer, IES Abroad President and CEO, will lead the new organization. “The merger strengthens both organizations and enhances our mission to provide innovative, high-quality academic experiences to students worldwide,” said Dwyer. “This is an exciting time for IES Abroad and SAF to share best practices and to learn from one another, which will ultimately accelerate the growth of both of our organizations. This merger also opens up the range of services we provide to the educational institutions with which we each partner. Together, we can make a transformative difference in the lives of even more students across the globe.”

Founded in 1950 and based in Chicago, IES Abroad has provided more than 120,000 U.S. students with the opportunity to study and intern abroad. Established in 2000, SAF has provided study abroad opportunities, including academic internships, to university students enrolled at SAF member universities in China, Japan, Korea, and other select Asian countries. More than 9,000 students from 180+ universities in Asia have enrolled to study abroad with SAF on programs at 80 host colleges and universities in Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States.

The new organization will now serve an academic consortium and international university network of more than 500 top-ranked universities in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, North America, and South America.