FEA receives $400k to fund study abroad
The Fund for Education Abroad has received $400,000 in donations to its recently launched “Bringing the World Home” campaign, which seeks to increase access to international education for US students underrepresented in study abroad.
Since its inception in 2010, FEA has awarded 290 scholars over $1.3 million to study abroad and this latest gift of $400,000 was given in three separate donations of $100,000.
“We are only scratching the surface, but we are proud of the growth we have achieved so far.”
Co-chair of FEA’s Comprehensive Campaign Steering Committee and the former chairman and chief executive officer of American multinational conglomerate Honeywell, Michael Bonsignore issued a matching challenge, which three donors took up.
The first $100,000 donation was from co-founders of the Foundation for Global Scholars, Cynthia Banks and Shelia Houston, while the other two presents came from anonymous donors.
“These donations, like our comprehensive campaign, are really about ensuring we can send as many students abroad as possible,” said Martha Johnson, FEA Board chair and assistant dean of Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota.
“We’re focused on growing our capacity to fund greater numbers of students to make quality, life-changing international experiences accessible to all.”
The campaign is FEA’s first comprehensive fundraising effort.
FEA executive director Jennifer Calvert said campaign gifts give the next generation increased access to international education opportunities, and vital for the organisation to achieve what it has tasked itself.
“They provide a vehicle for donors to fund the most promising students with 100% of their gift, and we find there is no lack of enthusiasm for this type of generous, direct, human connection between those who have had opportunities with those seeking them.”
FEA announced 22 scholarships for its inaugural spring award cycle in 2019, bringing the total number of students to 122 for 2018 – a 70% increase in the number of students helped in a single year.
“The momentum over the last year has been incredible and generous donors are making the opportunities for study abroad available to an incredible group of students,” Johnson added.
“Considering the number of awardees to applicants, we are only scratching the surface, but we are proud of the growth we have achieved so far.”
Bonsignore noted the importance of a culturally aware and linguistically capable workforce.
“Having led a global business, I understand the need for well-educated professionals who are culturally aware, conversant in multiple languages, and experienced in building relationships with people across the globe,” said Bonsignore.
“FEA scholarships increase access to the study abroad for the students who are the least likely to afford it, increasing and diversifying the pool of Americans who are trained for global careers. To compete in this world, businesses need diversity and global perspectives.”