Welcome to the Institute for International Liberal Education

Welcome to the Institute for International Liberal Education

The Institute for International Liberal Education (IILE) was formed at Bard in 1998. Its mission is to advance the theory and practice of international liberal arts education. We believe that international educational partnerships must be based on mutuality and equality, and that it is important for international exchange to occur at the undergraduate level.

Who We Are

Our Mission

Our long-term partnerships are characterized by the exchange of students, faculty, and curricular elements. Comprehensive exchanges afford the best possibility for the participants, both in and out of the classroom, to enter into direct, sustained dialogue on intellectual and cultural issues–precisely the kind of international dialogue that is needed to respond to the global challenges of the 21st century. Unlike the unilateral “exchanges” of the past, such substantive academic partnerships foster mutual respect and understanding and enrich learning and teaching for all students and faculty at Bard and participating institutions, not just those individuals who go abroad themselves. The Institute does not seek to export American models and methods. Rather, our aim is to create dynamic relationships through which we and our partner institutions learn from each others’ ideas and experience.

Our Partnerships

The Institute’s projects, developed under the leadership of the Center for Civic Engagement, are located in regions undergoing rapid political and economic transformation (currently Russia, East Central Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia). Our partners are leading universities with an interest in educational reform.

Special Initiatives

  • Igbo Dictionary Project is producing the first comprehensive dictionary of the Igbo language, in the form of a website.
  • Open Studio: an online studio complex and forum for art students at Bard and Smolny.
  • Words Without Borders, the online translation magazine, offers readers in the United States and elsewhere access to what the rest of the world is thinking, feeling, and writing.