20 Years of FIE

20 YEARS OF INNOVATION IN STUDY ABROAD FIE Foundation for International Education 20th Anniversary Logo SQUARE

Since 1998 FIE: Foundation for International Education has grown from a small, one-site operation with thirty students, two partner universities and three full-time staff, to the multi-site operation with 50+ partner universities and colleges we see today. Most importantly we couldn’t provide the support to the future world leaders that walk through our doors without the dedication and hard work of our Dublin, London, and US staff and faculty.

Founding Chairman Sharif Rahman’s vision for FIE lives on, with our articulated values of SustainabilityDiversity & Inclusivity, and Social Justice at the heart of our organization.

FIE's specially commissioned video, The Changing Face of Study Abroad, is a collaboration between FIE staff and students to showcase where study abroad has been and where it is going. 


Over the past 20 years, FIE has welcomed students, faculty, visiting faculty, and countless other colleagues, such as site supervisors, staff, and service providers. 

FIE has been in contact with many of our previous alumni and are excited to share some of the stories of FIE from then and now. We believe the impact of studying abroad can have an immediate effect on career, education, and personal life.



Student Alumni

Clint Fraser

Clint Fraser

Police Officer
2001 London Winter Quarter Study, Cal Poly Pomona
TinaMarie Shea (Cortina)

TinaMarie Shea (Cortina)

Marketing Director/Account Manager
2007 London Fall Semester Internship, Marist College
Elizabeth Horowitz (Castellani)

Elizabeth Horowitz (Castellani)

20th Century Fox, Booker
2008 London Fall Semester Internship, Marist College
Clare Woessner

Clare Woessner

FIE Program Coordinator
2011 London Spring Quarter Study, University of Wisconsin - Madison
LaToya Stroman

LaToya Stroman

Television Producer & Talent Manager
2011 London Spring Semester Internship, Temple University
Zachrey Thornbury

Zachrey Thornbury

2011 London Spring Semester Internship, Temple University
Taylor Kingery

Taylor Kingery

2014 Dublin Fall Semester Study, College of Charleston
Griffin Bailey

Griffin Bailey

IT Associate
2015 Dublin Spring Semester Internship, Lewis & Clark College
Shakora Bamberg

Shakora Bamberg

2015 Dublin Spring Semester, Winthrop University
Ved Kumar

Ved Kumar

2016 Dublin Fall Semester, Elon University

Visiting Faculty

Dr. William Anthony Nericcio

Dr. William Anthony Nericcio

London Summer in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016
Professor of Cultural Studies (Literature/Film)San Diego State University
Joe DesJardins

Joe DesJardins

London Spring in 2004, 2015
Professor of Philosophy, CSB-SJU
Camille Langston

Camille Langston

London Fall in 2005, 2012
Associate Professor of English and Communication Studies, St. Mary's Unviersity
Jack Klotz

Jack Klotz

London Summer in 2005, 2013
Director, Recording Industry Concentration / Academic Director for Global Opportunities, Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University
Paul Soukup, S.J.

Paul Soukup, S.J.

London Fall in 2006 - 2016
Professor, Department Head (Communication), Santa Clara University
Josh Machamer

Josh Machamer

London Summer in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016
Chair, Theatre and Dance Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Tom Bensky

Tom Bensky

London Summer in 2008, 2018, 2014, 2017
Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Carolyn Kitch

Carolyn Kitch

London in Fall 2003, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Summer 2016
Professor of Journalism, Temple University
Mary Jo Festle

Mary Jo Festle

London in 2015
Professor of History, Elon University
Karen Curry

Karen Curry

London Summer Study in 2016
Executive Director, Rudman Institute for Entertainment Studies, Drexel University




Name: Eli Jellenc

Program: 2001 Summer Internship in London

University: University of Mississippi

Current Occupation: Vice President, Cyber Threat Intelligence (at Stroz Friedberg, Ltd)

Did studying with FIE influence your career choices?: "Studying abroad in London through FIE, in particular, did certainly and profoundly change both the way I think about life and the way I chose to live it.  It definitely enhanced my worldview and career. FIE helped me obtain an internship with Chatham House; my research and other work there proved to be a very compelling feature on my CV and no doubt helped me secure more valuable opportunities later. The changes in worldview are complex and difficult to summarize, but they were numerous, significant, lasting, and entirely beneficial. I would not trade these developmental experiences for anything."

Name: Greg Pardo

Program: 2004 Fall Semester Study in London

University: St Mary's University Texas

Current Occupation: US Diplomat

How did studying abroad with FIE change the way you think about life?: It made me want to explore other cultures further and gave me ideas of what type of international programs I should try to do at home. After studying in London, I spent time in India and Bangladesh. My international experiences made me a strong candidate for the US Foreign Service.


Name: Michael A. Genovese

Program: 4 Times in London in Fall Semester

University: Loyola Marymount University

Did your participation in study abroad change the way you think about your teaching?: "I've been doing study abroad for so long that, it did not change the way I teach, but it did reinforce certain goals and methods I had been employing. It made me more conscious of developing opportunities for other students to travel and study abroad."


Name: Sean Heuston 

Program: London Summer from 2016 - 2013

University: The Citadel

Did your participation in study abroad change the way you think about your teaching?: "Working with FIE for over ten years has been a joy. Our FIE program has tremendously enriched the lives of our students, many of whom have gone on to graduate programs or jobs overseas thanks largely to the excellent experiences they had in our FIE program. FIE's combination of outstanding academics and outstanding staff members who are also genuinely nice people helps our students learn a great deal in the classroom and beyond while benefiting from FIE's expert handling of program planning and logistical support. Working with FIE made me even more aware of how important it is to expose American students to the rest of the world."


Welcome to FIE

Dear Family,


FIE is passionate about Study Abroad and our team is committed to providing the opportunities and the environment that make the very best student experiences both inside and outside the classroom. We consider it an honor to play our part in the development of students during their Study Abroad experience with us. It is a responsibility FIE takes seriously and with great pride.

FIE offers a holistic education where our core values of social justice, sustainability, diversity, and inclusion are taught and lived in multiple ways. Central to achieving our goals is the health and safety of students and we are very aware of how family members can worry about loved ones so far from home. Please rest assured that they are in good hands.

Students depart their Study Abroad experience with a greater understanding of and appreciation for the wider world and their place in it. This is important for their personal growth and also for enriching their value in a competitive employment market.

I look forward to welcoming your family to FIE in London, Dublin, and Amman.

Yours truly,


John M. Pearson

Senior Vice President - Operations


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What We Do

FIE: Foundation for International Education is a London-based non-profit educational organization, providing customized partnership programs and individual student enrollment programs in London, Dublin, and Amman for undergraduate students.

Students from over 50 US colleges and universities attend our study abroad programs. As part of their academic undergraduate experience abroad, our students have the option to enroll in Study or Study and Internship programs in London or Dublin for a semester or quarter throughout the academic year. Students can study a variety of academic subjects while with FIE London or Dublin, including Art, Business, Communications, History, Literature, Politics, and Theater. We also offer a summer Study program exclusively for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Amman, Jordan.

FIE supports students not only academically, but with our dedicated Student Life, Residence Life, and Administration teams who provide guidance and assistance on day-to-day matters while abroad.

Our world headquarters is based in South Kensington, London, so our students and staff are surrounded by some of the world's greatest cultural destinations such as the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace. Foundation House is home to our administrative staff offices and classrooms. FIE student housing is within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and well connected by the Gloucester Road and South Kensington Tube stations. 

FIE Dublin offers students the opportunity to enroll with any of our three educational partners (Dublin Business School, Trinity College Dublin, and University College Dublin) while taking advantage of FIE's dedicated Resident staff and extra-curricular calendar. 

The Peace and Conflict Resolution summer program in Amman, Jordan is in partnership with AMIDEAST. 

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FIE Annual Summary 2013

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FIE Annual Summary 2016

FIE Annual Summary 2017/2018

FIE Annual Summary 2018/2019


 Dates and Fees  Courses  Internships and Service Learning
Visas and Predeparture Housing Student Resources
FIE Kensington Campus 350x102 Our Staff Handbooks and Policies

FIE Kensington Campus

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FIE London uses the entire area as our campus. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, one of London’s most attractive and desirable locations, provides a beautiful and historic living and learning environment for students. Within walking distance are some of the world’s greatest cultural institutions such as Royal Albert Hall and the Natural History Museum. The hustle and bustle of High Street Kensington combined with laid back independent shops and restaurants make up the friendly local neighborhood. South Kensington is well connected to the rest of the city in Zone 1, with Gloucester Road and South Kensington London Underground (Tube) stations serving the majority of our campus locations. 


FIE’s academic and administrative hub is Foundation House, a five-story Edwardian mansion housing modern classrooms, staff offices, and a student lounge. Our Administration, Academic & Experiential Education, Communications & IT, Facilities, and Student Life teams are located in Foundation House. All of the classrooms in Foundation House offer advanced IT infrastructure including high-speed fibre internet, interactive SMART boards, projectors, and laptops. Paired with additional technology such as digital conferencing stations and cameras, FIE Global and Digital Classrooms allow students and faculty to connect in real-time with professors or other students on the home campus.

Metrogate House serves our students with laundry facilities, mail pickup for all FIE residences, a 24 hour Study Area with PCs, and our dedicated Facilities Support Team. In January 2017, Metrogate House was renovated to accommodate two new classrooms for FIE students as well as new offices for our Residence Life team, allowing our staff to be easily accessible to students.

From time to time, we also utilize our local neighborhood partners for additional teaching space, including the Royal Geographical Society, The Academy at Holiday Inn Kensington, and Baden-Powell House, which are located within walking distance of Foundation House. All of our external classrooms are carefully vetted, examined for academic suitability, and held to the same high standards as Foundation House and Metrogate House classrooms.


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Our student residences are mostly situated in Kensington, within walking distance to Foundation House. Generally, students will live in converted townhouses with shared rooms, modern kitchens, renovated bathrooms, and study spaces. From time to time, students will live outside of Kensington in areas such as Kings Cross; a vibrant and student-friendly location and an easy Tube journey to Foundation House. You can find out more about our student accommodation on the London Housing page.


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The Royal Family

FIE students can enjoy the world of Kensington at their doorstep with easy access to hundreds of museums, shops, and historical centers. Thanks to Kensington Palace (less than a mile from Foundation House and half a mile from Metrogate House), the childhood home of Queen Victoria and current home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, students live and learn in a 'Royal Borough'. One of the largest Royal Parks, Hyde Park sits on 350 acres and offers many recreational opportunities for biking and running and lies just to the east of Kensington Palace.



The area that FIE calls home has been an educational and cultural destination since Victorian times and is sometimes known as 'Albertopolis', a nickname given after Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, purchased the land for the Great Exhibition of 1851 and it developed into the location of many colleges and museums. Within just a few city blocks, institutions such as the Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Royal Institute of Navigation, and Imperial College Londonopened their doors, making Kensington a premier place to study.

Imperial College London is one of the world's top universities and often hosts Orientation sessions and the FIE Welcome Reception for our semester students during their arrivals week. FIE students have access to the Imperial College Union, which boasts more than 300 clubs, organizations, and projects for students to get involved in during their time in London.

Along Exhibition Road are the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum which are free to visit and open to the public. FIE students can pop in during their break from classes or after their internship and grab a cup of coffee at the V&A cafe! Our faculty often make use of the museums' incredible collections during co-curricular activities to enhance classroom learning.

Royal Albert Hall is on the northern border of Albertopolis and hosts about 400 events a year including the BBC Proms as well as classical, rock and pop concerts, ballet, opera, film screenings with a live orchestra, sports, award ceremonies, school and community events, charity performances. Students often have access to discounted tickets for events! The Albert Memorial sits just across from Royal Albert Hall and is an iconic part of Hyde Park. 


Other Locations

Baden-Powell House is the site of our FIE Welcome Reception for summer students, with a lovely rooftop deck and view of the Natural History Museum grounds just across the street. B-P House is named after the founder of the Scouts, Lord Baden-Powell, and serves as the site of many of the sessions during our annual Student Global Leadership Conference.

Students also have the opportunity to combine their world-class surroundings with academics. Each FIE course is required to have an experiential component and students may find much of their time is spent out and about in the city of London. Our FIE faculty love to use the city as a classroom and frequently utilize historic and cultural centers within Kensington and in other areas such as Brick Lane, the South Bank, and Westminister.  


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FIE Supports

The following are a few of the organizations, causes, and programs FIE supports through donations, fundraisers, and events. If you would like to donate to any of our FIE Supports organizations, please click on the donation links below:

 Marol Academy
 Love Orphanage
 Time to Change
 Armed Forces Covenant
 Meat Free Monday
 Orchestra Vitae

Since 2008, FIE has raised and donated $60,000 to the Marol Academy, a California-based non-profit organization dedicated to supporting sustainable education in South Sudan, the world’s newest country. Fundraising efforts by both FIE staff and students have included bake sales, second-hand book drives, and charity runs. FIE maintains a close relationship with Marol and its founder, Jok Madut Jok . Dr. Jok was born and raised in Sudan and is currently a professor at Loyola Marymount University, one of FIE's partner universities. Dr. Jok was the opening keynote speaker at the 2015 FIE Student Global Leadership Conference in a session titled: Global Encounters, Education, and the Art of Leadership.


The sales of our second-hand book drive have also supported Love Orphanage, a charity dedicated to providing a stable and safe space for children to develop their physical, emotional and mental well-being in Haiti. FIE learned of the organization through staff at our partner Drexel University. Together with donations to Marol Academy, the second-hand book drive has raised over $5,000 since Fall 2013

Time to Change Pledge SigningTIME TO CHANGE

FIE is committed to supporting Time to Change, a joint venture between Mind and Rethink Mental Illness committed to tackling mental health stigma and discrimination. Through internal and external communications, FIE's Diversity & Inclusivity team opens up the conversation about mental health for our staff and our students through the Time to Change campaigns. SInce 2015, FIE has held awareness-raising events in support of Time to Talk Day in February, as well as World Mental Health Day in October.
On March 31, 2016, John M. Pearson signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge on behalf of FIE’s Senior Leadership Team. The Employer Pledge demonstrates FIE’s commitment to mental health and wellbeing and to breaking down mental health stigma and discrimination within the workplace.



FIE is proud to support members of the Armed Forces and their families through our commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, a pledge that states that we as an organization recognize the value serving personnel and their families contribute to our business and our country. 

We endeavor to do this by:

  • Promoting that we are a forces-friendly organization, enabling dialogue and open conversation
  • Seeking to support the employment of veterans young and old and working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) where possible

  • Striving to support the employment of Sevice spouse and partners

  • Offering a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses around deployment

  • Seeking to support our employees who choose to be members of the reserve forces by accommodating their training and deployment where possible












From the Meat Free Monday website: "Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of eating meat, and to encourage people to help slow climate change, preserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one meat-free day each week."

At FIE, we’ve created MFM magnets as a reminder for staff and students when opening the fridge, hosted staff meat free ‘pot luck’ lunches, created meat-free recipe cards for the residence halls and even engaged students in meat-free cooking sessions.  Among our core values are sustainability and social justice, and getting on board with MFM is an excellent way to demonstrate our commitment to these values.



 Orchestra Vitae is a 63-piece orchestra of young professionals, aiming to break the boundaries of formality between the orchestra and audience and connect with people from all walks of life through music. OV regularly engages with local communities through outreach, concert talks, and collaborations with other musical genres. Former FIE RLS Michael Cobb went on to co-found OV and is now the orchestra's Conductor. Michael and Orchestra Vitae remain close partners with Orchestra Vitae presenting a session at FIE's 2015 Student Global Leadership Conference and hosting our students at a private concert at St. Stephen's church during arrivals weekend. Students away from their home campus are welcome to rehearse with OV during their program with FIE. 



Occasionally, our students find that they've purchased or brought a few more clothes than they can take home with them at the end of the semester. During the Donation Drive, students in FIE residence halls can donate extra clothing in designated bags left in their rooms. The clothes are given to iCollectClothes and TRAID (pronounced "trade") to be reused. With iCollectClothes, you can choose a charity to receive your donation, and the charity will receive £200 for every ton of clothes donated. TRAID describes itself as "a charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. We turn clothes waste into funds and resources to reduce the environmental and social impacts of our clothes. It is a circular and sustainable approach to the problems of clothes waste tackling disposal, production, and consumption."


FIE is proud to financially support the Palestine Association for Children’s Encouragement of Sports (PACES). The central aim of this charity is to provide healthy, structured after-school sports programs for Palestinian girls and boys; for boys who would otherwise be on the streets and exposed to extremism and violence, and for girls as a means of getting them out of their homes and into programs that empower them.  These programs offer an escape from being idle on the streets or in homes, an escape that is fun, healthy, and encourages excellence, team-work and the importance of work ethic through commitment to sports and to practice. PACES’ work is concentrated in and around the most marginalized communities, refugee camps and remote villages across Palestine, reaching the most vulnerable and needy children between the ages of eight and sixteen. PACES partners with local and international NGOs to provide the children with workshops and exposure beyond sports that give them additional development opportunities.