The GEI difference
At GEI, we pride ourselves to be a pioneer in high-impact international education, engagement and exchange in Africa and Asia. We are a private American institute with particularly deep roots in the countries where we operate.
Our work supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that was adopted by all UN member states in 2015. It is a plan of action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. At its core, it created 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets of critical importance for humanity and the planet.
We share the 2030 Agenda’s vision of a sustainable world – a world where all people can live productive, vibrant and peaceful lives on a healthy planet.
Our purpose is to unleash the catalytic impact of international education, engagement and exchange to address key challenges set out by the SDGs. To do so, we blend research, education, training and innovative practical solutions that support transformations toward sustainability.
GEI is the brainchild of Dr. Michael Grosspietsch, who, in 2003, arrived in the small African country Rwanda to explore the impact of short-term international education programs on sustainable development and social innovation. His research and the initiatives he had launched with partners like the Rwandan government, the UN Millennium Villages Project, several development agencies and various community organizations attracted the attention of leading international education providers, such as the People to People Ambassador Programs. With their support, he launched what later became GEI initially as a single-country operation in Rwanda in 2006.
Launch of GEI’s Social Impact Lab
Introduction of Study Abroad Programs with a Social Innovation Lab field course in Vietnam and Global Health and Women & Leadership field courses in Rwanda
Introduction of Internship & Elective Courses with a first Mental Health Internship Course in Rwanda
Introduction of Conferences & Summer Schools with a first Global Mental Health Conference in Rwanda
Regional expansion across Southeast Asia with a regional office in Ho Chi Minh City/Vietnam
Move of the global headquarters to Berlin/Germany
Regional expansion across Southern Africa with a regional office in Cape Town/South Africa
Launch of the U.S.-based global operations with headquarters in New York City
Introduction of Faculty-Led Programs for universities with a first delegation of MBA students from Harvard Business School in Rwanda
Introduction of Professional Development Programs with a first training of nurses in the Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) curriculum in Rwanda
Regional expansion across East Africa with a second regional office in Nairobi/Kenya
Introduction of Custom Programs for professional institutions and international education providers with a first delegation of the People to People Ambassador Programs in Rwanda
Launch of GEI in Rwanda