Press Release

For Immediate Release

Mike Liberty, AIFS
(203) 399-5187,

Study Abroad Leaders Create First-Ever Special Collection of Education Abroad Historical Materials

CARLISLE, PA – MAY 17, 2013 – The Forum on Education Abroad, in partnership with Dickinson College, the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS), and the AIFS Foundation announce the creation of the AIFS/AIFS Foundation Education Abroad Special Collection within the Archives and Special Collections Department of Dickinson College. The special collection is the first-ever repository of materials that contribute to an understanding of the history and development of the field of education abroad in U.S. higher education.

“The Forum and Dickinson College continue through our strategic partnership to serve the education abroad field in critically important ways,” said Brian Whalen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Forum. “On behalf of the Forum, I thank AIFS and the AIFS Foundation for their generous support of what will be an essential resource for researchers and others interested in learning about the history and development of education abroad.” Recognized by the U.S. government as the Standards Development Organization for education abroad, the Forum and its over 650 institutional members are committed to high quality education abroad for their students.

“Dickinson is delighted to partner with the Forum, AIFS and the AIFS Foundation to engage in this important preservation project,” said Dickinson President William G. Durden. “As study- abroad leaders, we are committed to collecting decades’ worth of knowledge and experiences that will improve global-study initiatives for future generations.” An international leader in global education, Dickinson consistently ranks among the top five U.S. baccalaureate institutions for the number of students participating in long-term study abroad programs by the Institute of International Education.

“We are pleased to be able to support this project which will be the first comprehensive collection of its kind,” said William L. Gertz, President and CEO of AIFS and an AIFS Foundation trustee. “For decades to come, scholars and professionals working in the field of education abroad will be able to finally have a unique resource available.” AIFS and the AIFS Foundation are leading international education organizations whose programs impact 50,000 students a year.

The purpose of the special collection is to collect, preserve and make available for research primary and secondary materials relating to the history and development of U.S. education abroad, from its beginnings until and including the 1990s. According to Whalen, the collection will be utilized by graduate and doctoral-level students and scholars of international education. The special collection is expected to include:

  • materials relating to the development of education abroad as a professional field within U.S. higher education;
  • materials relating to specific education abroad programs of historical importance, such as those established early in the history of the field, or the first programs established in a particular geographic location or programs related to a particular academic discipline or topic;
  • correspondence, photographs, meeting agendas or minutes, or other material that provide meaningful and significant information about any aspect of the history and development of U.S. education abroad.

Those interested in submitting materials to or who have questions about the special collection, may contact Elizabeth Frohlich, associate director and ACLS public fellow, by e-mail at or by telephone at 717-245-1031.

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About the Forum on Education Abroad
Founded in 2001, The Forum on Education Abroad is the higher education association for U.S. education abroad and has over 650 institutional members. A 501©(3) non-profit association, the Forum is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the Standards Development Organization (SDO) for the education abroad field. The Forum develops and disseminates comprehensive Standards of Good Practice, promotes best practices and excellence in curricular design, engages in data collection and research, conducts program assessment and quality improvement, and advocates on behalf of its members and the field of education abroad. The Forum is located on the campus of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

About Dickinson College and the Archives and Special Collections Department
Dickinson College, founded in 1773, is a highly selective, private residential liberal-arts college known for its innovative curriculum. Its mission is to offer students a useful education in the arts and sciences that will prepare them for lives as engaged citizens and leaders. The 180-acre campus of Dickinson College is located in the heart of historic Carlisle, Pa. The college offers 42 majors with an emphasis on international studies, has more than 40 study-abroad programs in 24 countries on six continents and offers 13 modern languages. Dickinson enrolls over 2,300 full-time students from 41 U.S. states and territories and 48 foreign countries, and more than 50 percent of its students study abroad. The Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections Department houses a number of significant special collections in a state-of-the-art facility within its Waidner-Spahr Library.

About the American Institute For Foreign Study
Founded in 1964, the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) is one of the oldest, largest and most respected cultural exchange organizations in the world. With global offices in 6 countries, AIFS organizes cultural exchange programs for more than 50,000 participants each year. AIFS is a leading study abroad organization which enables 5,000 American students to study abroad each year through its summer, semester, academic year and J-term programs in association with 28 international Universities and affiliation with nearly 500 US colleges and universities.

About the American Institute For Foreign Study Foundation
The American Institute For Foreign Study Foundation helps young people from many nations and diverse cultures understand each other better. The Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity, established in 1967 with the assistance of the late Senator Robert Kennedy. The AIFS Foundation sponsors the Academic Year in America program, which brings 900 international students to the U.S. each year to spend a semester or year with American host families. AYA is an administrator of two U.S. State Department grants: the FLEX program, which welcomes students from Eurasia, the former Soviet Union states; and the YES program, which welcomes students to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries.

AIFS Organizational affiliations