Printer-friendly version

International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP)

The International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP) brings outstanding secondary school teachers from around the globe to the United States to further develop expertise in their subject areas, enhance their teaching skills, and increase their knowledge about the United States. 

Recognizing the transformative power of an effective teacher, the ILEP program equips Fellows with enhanced teaching methodologies, lesson planning techniques, teaching strategies for their home environments, leadership abilities, and technology skills through targeted coursework, intensive training, and collaboration with colleagues from around the globe. Field experience at a secondary school complements the coursework and actively engages Fellows with American teachers and students. Upon successful completion of the program, eligible alumni may compete for small grants to implement self-designed projects that benefit and empower their home schools and communities.

ILEP is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by IREX.


• Information and Application for International Teachers

Information for US Teachers

• Information for Alumni

Information for Host Universities


 • Build lasting relationships that promote international understanding and collaboration between U.S. and international teachers and students.

 • Provide in-service professional development to enhance teachers’ expertise in their teaching disciplines and equip them with a deeper understanding of best practices in teaching methodologies, lesson planning, and the use of technology in education.

 • Contribute to improving teaching in participating countries by preparing participants to serve as teacher leaders, equipped to apply and share their experience and skills with their colleagues and students upon returning home.

Project Activities

Teacher Training: ILEP Fellows participate in a semester-long academic program at U.S. universities that includes coursework and intensive training in teaching methodologies, curriculum development, and the use of technology in the classroom. ILEP Fellows also audit two existing graduate level courses at their host universities to build professional knowledge. Combined, these components give Fellows the tools and resources to develop a culminating Professional Development Module – a one-day training designed for their teacher colleagues. These Modules serve as a resource to enhance teaching and learning in their home schools and communities.

Field Experience: ILEP Fellows participate in field experience at a U.S. secondary school where they are actively immersed in the American classroom environment and build collaborative, lasting connections with U.S. teachers and students.

Alumni Programming: Through the Alumni Small Grants program, IREX encourages alumni to leverage their experience and knowledge, put their ideas into action, and create change. ILEP alumni are eligible to compete for alumni grant funding for activities or projects designed to benefit their home schools and communities. Alumni may implement a variety of education projects either as individuals or in collaboration with fellow program alumni or U.S. colleagues. ILEP alumni also become part of a large online global community of teachers that enables ongoing sharing and collaboration.

Current ILEP Host Universities

Arizona State University
Clemson University
Kent State University
The College of Saint Rose


Project Facts

Leaders in Education: Since 2009, ILEP Fellows have designed 72 Professional Development Modules (over 900 hours of content) encompassing a variety of teaching methods and skills honed in the U.S. 

Catalysts for Change: Since 2007, ILEP alumni from nearly 20 nations have used small grants to develop and implement 125 projects benefitting their home schools and communities.

Building Networks: 98% of ILEP alumni communicate with program alumni from other countries and 87% maintain communication with professional contacts from the U.S.