Fund for Education Abroad Receives $400,000 in Gifts to Increase Access to International Education

Fund for Education Abroad Receives $400,000 in Gifts to Increase Access to International Education
$100k matching gift challenge drives early donations to FEA “Bringing the World Home” comprehensive campaign

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WASHINGTON, DC, November 7, 2018 – The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) has received three gifts of $100,000 each in response to a $100,000 matching challenge issued by Michael “Mike” Bonsignore, co-chair of FEA’s Comprehensive Campaign Steering Committee and the former chairman and chief executive officer of Honeywell. Bonsignore’s $100,000 matching challenge was issued to inspire participation in FEA’s recently launched comprehensive campaign, “Bringing the World Home,” resulting in a total of $400,000 of funding that will help increase access to international education. The first of the three $100,000 gifts was made jointly by Cynthia Banks and Shelia Houston, co-founders of the Foundation for Global Scholars (FGS), continuing the foundation’s legacy of advancing access to international education, and the second two were from anonymous donors to the organization.

“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.”

The “Bringing the World Home” campaign is FEA’s first comprehensive fundraising effort. It builds on an eight-year investment in the next generation, a growing community of engaged and promising alumni, and a network of donors and supporters committed to the notion that a globally educated citizenry will be equipped to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

“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, Learning Abroad, 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.”

“Campaign gifts help us increase access to opportunity for the next generation,” said FEA Executive Director Jennifer Calvert. “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 Scholars come from a variety of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and represent higher education institutions across the country. Students study across the globe, from a minimum of four weeks to a full academic year. FEA funds scholarships of up to $10,000 for study abroad.


About the Fund for Education Abroad
The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to provide scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the US study abroad population. FEA makes life-changing, international education experiences accessible to all by supporting minority, community college and first-generation college students before, during, and after they participate in education abroad programs.  FEA is a Guidestar Gold participant, and  won the 2015 Diversity Abroad Excellence in Diversifying International Education Award and’s 2015 Innovation in Philanthropy Award.  Follow FEA at, and on Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and on Twitter: @FEAScholarships.