Student Emergency Initiatives (SEI)


Student Emergency Initiatives

Education in emergencies is one of the most underfunded sectors in humanitarian aid with higher education often considered a luxury. Through our Student Emergency Initiatives, IIE provides students impacted by armed conflict or natural disaster with an opportunity to start or carry on their higher education to foster economic development, improve public health, and build safer communities in crisis-ridden countries. IIE SEI includes IIE's Platform for Education in Emergencies Response (PEER), the IIE Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis, and the IIE Emergency Student Fund.

Julia Stasch-IIE Scholarship for Refugees

IIE is currently supporting 39 students who are studying at one of the City Colleges of Chicago, or a Community College in Chicagoland. Students who were awarded with a scholarship came to the United States as resettles refugees or were granted asylum. Completing an Associate's Degree puts students with refugee and asylee backgrounds on strong footing for their pathway forward.

Awardees receive $10,000 to cover any tuition balances, living expenses, and other expenses related to their education such as books and transportation in addition to a 1-week leadership program.

To learn more about the IIE-Julia Stasch Scholarship for Refugees, please contact

IIE Platform for Education in Emergencies Response (PEER)

In response to the world's global education emergencies, IIE, supported by the Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education, developed the Platform for Education in Emergencies Response (PEER), an online clearinghouse enabling the displaced and refugee students to connect with educational opportunities so they may continue formal and informal higher education. 

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IIE Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis

The crisis in Syria has created an academic emergency, with the break down of higher education within the country and major obstacles facing Syrian students. The IIE Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis is a network of colleges and universities providing scholarships for Syrian students whose education has been disrupted as a result of the war.

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IIE Emergency Student Fund

IIE responds to urgent crises through the Emergency Student Fund by providing financial support to international students in the United States when emergencies in their home countries threaten to jeopardize the completion of their studies. Since 2010, IIE has awarded more than 800 emergency grants to students from Haiti, Iran, Japan, Libya, Nepal, the Philippines, Syria, Thailand, Yemen, and Venezuela, whose home sources of financial aid were impacted by crisis or natural disaster, providing approximately $3 million in financial aid.

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Past Efforts

IIE Scholarship for Syrian Students

In 2016, IIE announced the IIE Scholarship for Syrian Students. 26 students were awarded with full scholarships to help them complete their studies in a safe environment. Students are currently studying at the Bachelor's and Master's levels in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Finland, and Turkey. IIE also awarded 135 top-up grants to Syrian students studying at Syria Consortium Institutions to help them cover academic expenses. 

IIE PEER Travel Grant for Displaced Students

In 2018, IIE awarded 25 Syrian students with travel grants of $2,000. Supported by the Open Society Foundation, grants helped students cover expenses such as the costs of visas, airfare, and other expenses students incurred related to their travel to their host university. Students supported by this grant are currently studying at the Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD level in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Lithuania, France, Italy, Canada, Mexico, and Switzerland.

For any inquires, please contact