Press Release

IIE And Freeman Foundation To Offer Emergency Assistance For Students From Southeast Asia Affected By The Tsunami

For Immediate Release
Contact: Deborah Gardner, 212/734-2190

To request an application:


Grants of up to $5,000 will help students continue their studies in the United States

NEW YORK, January 12, 2005 -- The Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Freeman Foundation have created an emergency grants program to help students from Southeast Asia whose ability to pursue their studies in the U.S. has been seriously affected by the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami.

Freeman-EAS: Freeman Emergency Assistance for Students from Southeast Asia will provide grants of up to $5,000 to undergraduates from Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, who are facing serious financial difficulties due to the recent tragedy in their home countries. Accredited United States campuses will be invited to nominate up to 4 students at their institutions for whom help is immediately needed for spring semester. An International Student Adviser or similar university official must submit the application to IIE; students cannot apply directly. To request the application, advisors should send an email to:

While the extent of the need on US campuses is not immediately clear, there were over 13,000 students from the three eligible countries studying at the undergraduate level in the United States last year (6,249 from Indonesia, 2,464 from Thailand, and 4,543 from Malaysia.)

To make these emergency grants, IIE will draw upon returned and unexpended loan funds from ASIA-HELP (Asian Students in America-Higher Education Loan Program) that IIE established with Freeman Foundation support to assist students from those same countries (and from Korea) who were affected by the Asian financial crisis in 1997.

Houghton Freeman, Chairman of the Freeman Foundation, said, “By providing emergency assistance to students from Southeast Asia whose families may have lost their homes or livelihoods, our goal is to alleviate immediate financial burdens and provide a measure of security during these difficult times when so many have lost so much. We wish to assist and encourage U.S. campuses to help their students to be able to stay here and complete their studies.”

IIE has a long history of helping students and scholars in trouble throughout the world. According to IIE President Allan E. Goodman, “All of us are saddened by the earthquake and tsunamis that have devastated Southeast Asia and the entire Indian Ocean region. The generosity of the Freeman Foundation will enable IIE to assist in educating these future leaders whose talents will be so urgently needed in the months and years to come as these nations fight against disease and economic disruption and as they begin to rebuild.”

IIE is currently seeking support to extend such assistance to students from India and Sri Lanka. There were over 80,000 students from India and Sri Lanka studying in the United States over the past academic year.

Applications should be submitted to IIE by February 1, 2005 to be considered in the first round of funding. IIE will accept and review applications received earlier, and will notify campuses within two weeks of receipt of application. If needed, IIE will call for a second round of nominations after February 1, 2005.

To be considered for a Freeman-EAS educational allowance, students must:

Be a citizen or permanent resident of Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand
Be an undergraduate pursuing a two-year Associate’s degree or a four-year Bachelor’s degree at an accredited US institution, already enrolled as of December 2004
Be in good academic standing, as defined by their host campus, and be in legal immigration status in the US
Demonstrate that their financial ability to continue their studies has been directly affected by the December 2004 earthquake/tsunami

In addition, universities nominating students for Freeman-EAS awards must indicate how the campus will also provide financial assistance to the nominated students. The host campus is not required to match the full amount of the Freeman-EAS award, but is required to contribute some amount to the student’s total expenses through a tuition waiver, scholarship, stipend, loan, work study, or other form of financial assistance.

For more information on the Freeman-EAS program, see

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The Freeman Foundation's major objectives include strengthening the bonds of friendship between the United States and countries of East Asia. Through education and educational institutes, the Foundation hopes to develop a greater appreciation of Asian cultures, histories, and economies in the United States and a better understanding of the American people and of American institutions and purposes by the peoples of East Asia.

The Institute of International Education is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources.


Media Contact

Sharon Witherell
Director, Public Affairs
Tel: +1 212.984.5380

Shana Childs
Public Affairs
Tel: +1 212.984.5360

IIE Experts

IIE experts on international education are available for interviews or speaking engagements.

Dr. Allan E. Goodman
President and CEO

Peggy Blumenthal 
Senior Counselor to the President