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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. International alumni are eligible to apply for small grants to implement self-designed projects that benefit their home schools and communities.

ILEP is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State.



• Information 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 teachers participate in an academic program at U.S. universities that includes coursework and intensive training in teaching methodologies, curriculum development, and the use of technology for education. The program also includes subject-specific strategies for teachers in the disciplines of math, science, social studies/civics, and English as a foreign or second language. The program is a full semester in duration (five months) and includes a field experience at a U.S. secondary school to actively immerse participants in the American classroom environment.

Small Grants to Benefit Secondary Education: International ILEP alumni have the opportunity to apply for small grants to benefit their home schools and communities. These grants are awarded on a competitive basis to alumni who design outstanding projects to improve local secondary education. Alumni may implement a variety of education projects either as individuals or in collaboration with fellow program alumni or U.S. colleagues. Through the Alumni Small Grants program, IREX encourages alumni to leverage their experience and knowledge, put their ideas into action, and create change.


Project Facts

 • 93% of ILEP Alumni report using student-centered teaching methods in their classrooms that are included as part of the ILEP program

 • 66% of ILEP Alumni have led a peer training workshop within the past 6 months on technical topics and capacities covered during the program

 • Since June 2009, IREX has issued Small Grants for ILEP Alumni totaling over $260,000.