Peer Review, Fall 2000

Vol. 3, 
No. 1
Peer Review

Resources for Academic Exchange

In these pages we offer brief descriptions of some of the key U.S.-based resources in study abroad and international exchange, in order to give readers a sense of how many and what sorts of organizations are involved in promoting global activities in higher education. For a more comprehensive survey of resources for students and faculty, consult the 2000 edition of the International Exchange Locator, a directory co-published by the Alliance for International and Cultural Exchange and the U.S. Department of State.

Academy for Educational Development (AED)
AED is a nonprofit organization that works on domestic and international development projects. It specializes on issues such as health, youth development, and the environment, as well as promoting academic exchanges and consulting with colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. Current government-funded projects include the College and University Affiliations Program and the Newly Independent States (of the former Soviet Union) College and University Partnerships Program, both of which focus on international faculty and curriculum development. AED also administers the National Security Education Project, a Defense Department program that supports graduate students whose research takes them to countries deemed vital to U.S. security.

AIESEC (originally an acronym for the Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciale) describes itself as "the world's largest student organization," linking 50,000 members in more than 85 countries. It arranges thousands of international exchanges and business internships every year, especially for college students interested in economics and management. Within the U.S., it maintains campus offices at 37 colleges and universities, as well as a main office in New York.

Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange
The Alliance is the major umbrella organization for the U.S.-based international exchange community. Its activities include lobbying and government relations, facilitating discussion among leaders in the field, monitoring relevant trends, providing workshops and consulting services, and building public support for exchange programs.

America-Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST)
Created in 1951, AMIDEAST is a nonprofit organization that offers training programs overseas, opportunities for study in the U.S., and technical assistance for higher education institutions in the Middle East and North Africa. It also produces guidebooks and videos for U.S. students and faculty studying and teaching in the Arab world.

American Council on Education (ACE)
Office of International Initiatives

The goals of the OII are to assist U.S. colleges and universities in developing international programs and to form linkages with associations and higher education institutions in other countries. The Office also sponsors the Commission on International Education, which is made up primarily of college and university presidents, and the Presidents' Network for International Education, which develops policy statements on international education and foreign languages. And, with funding from the Carnegie Foundation, the Office has just launched (in the fall of 2000) a major effort to identify best practices in globalizing the college curriculum.

American Council on International Intercultural Education
A project of the American Association of Community Colleges, ACIIE promotes international student exchange and faculty development among AACC member institutions. Supported by the Stanley Foundation, it also sponsors conferences and workshops on global and intercultural issues in community college education.

Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development (ALO)
Created in 1992, the ALO acts as a mediator between U.S. AID and six higher education associations that often contract with the Agency to develop international exchange programs. (The associations include the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, the Association of American Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.) ALO's resources include CUPID and ihelp, Web-based search engines that campuses can use to locate partner institutions overseas.

College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS)
CCIS coordinates study-abroad and faculty development programs for its member institutions, including roughly 120 U.S. colleges and universities and 17 institutions overseas (primarily in Europe). It also runs conferences and training workshops on international exchange, and it offers a range of travel scholarships.

Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC)
A project of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), CONAHEC promotes educational, economic, and technical partnerships among colleges and universities, associations, corporations, and government agencies in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. It also sponsors EL NET, a Web site meant to facilitate debate about educational issues in the three countries.

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
Serving over a million students a year, the Council describes itself as "one of the largest international education organizations in the world, with nearly 750 professionals and support staff working in more than 30 countries." It offers study abroad programs, faculty development seminars and study tours, volunteer and work/study internships, conferences and workshops, scholarly journals, student advising, and a popular student travel agency.

Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)
Created in 1947, CIES is a private organization affiliated with the IIE. On behalf of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (formerly the U.S. Information Agency), it administers both the Fulbright Scholar and the Worldwide Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence programs. (The former supports overseas research and teaching for U.S. faculty, and the latter brings visiting scholars and professors to U.S. colleges and universities.) In addition to the Fulbright, CIES runs a variety of other exchanges, including the Ford Foundation's ASIA Fellows Program and NATO's Advanced Research Fellowships and Institutional Grants Program.

Council of International Programs USA (CIPUSA)
CIPUSA is a non-profit organization that arranges internships and training programs for foreign students, placing them at U.S. universities, businesses, and other sites. It specializes in helping upper-level undergraduates and graduate students who require field placements in order to complete their degrees.

Global Higher Education Exchange
A joint project of the AED and the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the GHEE disseminates information on policy related issues to academic leaders around the world. It also sponsors an annual conference on international topics in higher education, and it offers various consulting services.

Institute of International Education (IIE)
IIE is the oldest major educational exchange organization in the U.S. Since its founding in 1919, it has promoted student and faculty exchanges, and for the past two decades it has also provided technical assistance, consulting, and professional development programs, often serving as a contractor for USAID. It is also a key source of research, data, and policy deliberations about international educational issues, as well as maintaining a network of student advising centers.

International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)
Founded in 1948, and affiliated with the Association for International Practical Training, IAESTE arranges paid internships for U.S. and foreign students in engineering, computer science, mathematics, architecture, agriculture, and the natural sciences. It coordinates short- and long-term programs, placing students in universities, research institutes, industry, and other sites in the U.S. and 70 member countries. (U.S. office)

International Partnership for Service-Learning (IPS-L)
Founded in 1982 and supported by a variety of foundations, IPS-L is a non-profit organization that promotes experiential and service-learning programs overseas, primarily for U.S. college students. It also runs a British Master's Degree Program in International Service.

International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)
IREX is a non-profit development agency that focuses on higher education in Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Near East. It offers faculty exchange programs, technical assistance, research support, and training to foreign scholars and universities, and it fosters cooperation among U.S. academics and their counterparts overseas.

International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)
Founded in 1979, ISEP promotes affordability in international college student exchange. It has a membership of over 200 colleges and universities in the U.S. and 35 other countries, all of whom offer reciprocal programs, with students paying tuition only to their home institutions.

LASPAU: Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas
Affiliated with Harvard University but governed by an international board of trustees, LASPAU is an educational development agency that works in Latin America and the Caribbean. Founded in 1964 (and originally called the Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities), it offers roughly 1,200 grants per year to bring foreign graduate students and faculty to U.S. institutions, as well as providing technical assistance and consulting to colleges and universities overseas.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators
NAFSA (originally the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers) is the main association for student exchange professionals, including directors of international programs, foreign student advisors, study abroad advisors, teachers of English as a second language, and others. Currently, it represents over 7,000 members, drawn primarily from colleges and universities in the U.S. but also including substantial overseas membership. It engages in a wide range of activities, such as policy analysis, lobbying, hosting conferences, and consulting, as well as sponsoring a number of special interest groups.

UNITWIN /UNESCO Chairs Programme
Although it isn't based in this country (its headquarters are in Paris), UNITWIN has recently attracted considerable involvement by colleges and universities in the U.S. Created in 1991, the agency promotes international partnerships (or "twinning") between colleges and universities, with an emphasis on strengthening college education and scholarly research in developing countries (while also working to prevent the "brain drain" phenomenon that often accompanies exchange programs). UNITWIN's efforts have been stepped up since UNESCO's 1998 World Conference on Higher Education, at which a number of UN and other officials called for greater international academic collaboration.

World Learning (and the School for International Training)
A non-profit organization founded in 1932 (and originally called the U.S. Experiment in International Living), World Learning includes an educational development agency, a range of study abroad programs, and a college that offers masters-level training in fields such as intercultural education and the teaching of Spanish, French, and English as a second language.

U.S. Government Resources

Agency for International Development (AID)
In 1997, then-director Brian Atwood announced that AID would place a new emphasis on the development of higher education overseas, expanding upon its longstanding support for primary schooling. Currently, AID funds a number of relevant programs, including Advanced Training for Leadership and Skills (ATLAS), which brings foreign undergraduates to study in the U.S.; The International Development Partnerships Activity (IDP), which supports partnerships between historically Black colleges and universities and institutions overseas; and Knowledge Exchange and Learning Partnerships (KELP), which help African universities to integrate instructional technologies into their curricula, with assistance from institutions in the U.S. AID also funds numerous educational development and exchange projects run by non-governmental organizations, such as AED, LASPAU, and IREX.

Department of Education
The Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education (which includes FIPSE-the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education) offers a number of grant competitions to support foreign language instruction, student exchange, overseas research centers, area studies, institutional partnerships, and curriculum development. The 2001 budget for international and foreign language programs is $72 million (up from $68.7 million in 2000 and $66.5 million in 1999), which includes roughly 450 grants to institutions and 1,000 awards to individuals.
The Department also sponsors the U.S. Network for Educational Information, a Web site that provides information on international educational opportunities for both U.S. and foreign students and faculty (

Department of State
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)
Taking on some of the roles of the now-defunct U.S. Information Agency, ECA sponsors a variety of international exchange programs, including the Fulbright Program (administered by the CIES) the Humphrey Fellowships (administered by the IIE), Overseas Educational Advising Centers, the Institutional Linkages and International Visitors programs, the Study of the United States program, and fellowships for students and scholars in Russia and the New Independent States.

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