FIE's 20th Anniversary

FIE Foundation for International Education 20th Anniversary Logo SQUARECELEBRATING 20 YEARS

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 Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusivity, and Social Justice at the heart of our organization.

The Twentieth Anniversary Task Force has been working to make sure 2018 is a special year for us all. We are thrilled to bring you the following webpages, which contain an events calendar, logos, and alumni stories from previous students, staff, and visiting faculty. 

John M. Pearson

Senior Vice President – Operations

Chairman – Twentieth Anniversary Task Force


20th Anniversary Calendar of Events

FIE Foundation for International Education 20th Anniversary Logo SQUARECALENDAR OF EVENTS 

Throughout 2018, we look forward to celebrating in London, the US, and Dublin with various events for our students, staff, faculty, partners, and colleagues. 

Special 20th Anniversary themed events will take place during Spring 2018 and Fall 2018 Orientation for our students, during our annual receptions for our partners and colleagues at the Forum on Education Abroad and NAFSA conferences in the US, and various special events for staff, faculty, partners, and the study abroad community at large in London and Dublin. 


FIE 20th Anniversary Events Calendar with Dublin Details

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


 Dates and Fees  Courses  Internships and Service Learning
Visas and Predeparture Housing Student Resources
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FIE Student & Faculty Profiles


FIE Foundation for International Education 20th Anniversary Logo SQUARE


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... and our alumni agree! If you would like to submit your stories and photos to be featured, please visit our links for the Student Alumni Survey or Visiting Faculty Survey.





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."

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 as our largest student residence with laundry facilities, mail pickup for all FIE residences, a 24 hour PC lab, and our dedicated Facilities Support Team. In January 2017, Metrogate House was renovated to accommodate two new classrooms for FIE students as well as a new office 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 Museumwhich 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 will also host part of the 2017 SGLC Student Global Leadership Conference (April 7-9, 2017) in the adjoining conference center. 

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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