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The MIT education: Global education

A majority of MIT students travel to study, research, work, and perform service around the world.

As an MIT student, you can expect to have at least one international experience with research, work, or service abroad.


MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) is MIT’s flagship international education program. Every year, hundreds of students intern, teach, research, and collaborate in more than 40 countries, with most opportunities fully funded by MIT.

Core MISTI programs include:

  • an internship program that matches students with hands-on projects in leading international companies, schools, and labs for research or work
  • teaching program where students teach STEM in foreign high schools and universities
  • a study abroad program that offers opportunities to study for the semester, year, or summer at a university overseas
  • a global classroom program that offers students short-term opportunities—usually two to three weeks—to learn abroad alongside MIT faculty

Research abroad

In addition to MISTI research internships, you can conduct an international UROP. These projects generally take place over the summer and mirror the traditional campus-based UROP model.

Service abroad

MIT offers many opportunities for you to use your skills for good globally. Some core international service programs include:

  • The PKG Center coordinates the IDEAS Social Innovation Challenge, which offers up to $20,000 in grant funding to implement service projects
  • D-Lab runs classes, research groups, and projects to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty challenges
  • The Legatum Center manages fellowships and grants to support sustainable, for-profit enterprises that promote prosperity in low-income countries

If you want a great example of an international service project done by an MIT student, you can read Selam’s saga of building a well in her family’s ancestral village.