The Institute of International Education’s Influence upon American Undergraduate Study Abroad Programs, 1927–65

Friday, January 3, 2014: 2:50 PM
Washington Room 6 (Marriott Wardman Park)
Eduardo Contreras Jr., Harvard Graduate School of Education
Established in 1919 immediately after the First World War with funding from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Institute of International Education (IIE) was created to facilitate student and scholar exchanges in order to establish international goodwill between the United States and other nations around the world through a variety of educational activities. Although most of the IIE's student exchange endeavors focused on inviting foreign students to the United States, in 1927 the Institute established the Committee on the Junior Year Abroad and began providing scholarships for undergraduate students to pursue overseas study. From that year forward, the IIE included outgoing study abroad programs in its portfolio of activities and worked with American institutions of higher learning to encourage undergraduate students to study abroad. From the late 1920s until 1965 the IIE contributed in a variety of ways to shape the form of institutional sanctioned study abroad programs. Additionally, over this period, the IIE increased its ties with the U.S. federal government and worked with the State Department and other agencies on integrating student exchanges with different elements of foreign policy. This paper will examine the IIE's role in influencing formal study abroad programs for undergraduate students, and will question how the ideological underpinnings of the institute changed over time to meet the changing needs of the U.S. government. This paper will also address the ways in which the justification for study abroad at different American institutions of higher learning conflicted or corresponded with the ideals of the IIE.