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IES Abroad merger grows study abroad ties

US-based IES Abroad and the Study Abroad Foundation have announced a strategic merger which will mean greater cohesion between the US-outbound not-for-profit and SAF which provides study abroad opportunities to students enrolled at universities in China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries.

IES Abroad runs a successful film festival for its students to showcase their experiences overseas. Winner in 2016: Jordan Cain of Indiana University. Photo: IES.

IES has provided more than 120,000 US students with the opportunity to study or intern abroad

“The merger strengthens both organisations and enhances our mission to provide innovative, high-quality academic experiences to students worldwide,” said Mary M. Dwyer, IES Abroad president and CEO, who will lead the new organisation.

“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.”

“We can make a transformative difference in the lives of even more students across the globe”

IES Abroad was founded in 1950 and is a well known name in US study abroad – it has provided more than 120,000 US students with the opportunity to study or intern abroad.

SAF, also a US-based not-for-profit, was founded in 2000 and has enabled more than 9,000 students from 180+ universities in Asia to study abroad on programs at 80 host colleges and universities in Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America.

The new organisation 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.

IES has also launched a number of initiatives to boost study abroad participation including offering $4m in scholarships and an online film festival which recently earned a bronze Telly award, in the ‘campaign not for profit’ section.

To participate, US students make a short film about their experience abroad, which is assessed by a judging panel including Willard Huyck, the Oscar-nominated writer of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Amy Ruhter McMillan, associate vice president of marketing, told The PIE News that the online film festival has generated huge viral awareness of study abroad and the IES Abroad brand.

“Students of the age that are about to study abroad, and are studying abroad, this is how they want to consume content so they can see it in motion,” she said.

“We knew that students now are all taking so many films on their cameras and it’s not like before when you had to really be a professional to go home and edit it,” she said.

“For us, we have almost 800,000 views on our Youtube channel. That’s huge because that’s the most authentic content we can have.”

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