John D. Rockefeller Jr. believed that if American and international students could live, study, and engage in multicultural programs together, they would both build friendships and global understanding. In 1932, he gave that belief life at International House at the University of Chicago, which is today one of 19 members of the International Houses Worldwide network. In the years since, the legacy of his philanthropy has transformed the lives of more than 42,000 I-House residents. Today, across the network of International Houses Worldwide 8400 students and scholars are in residence annually representing more than 125 nationalities of which over 700 students are receiving scholarships.
The mission of International House is achieved by daily interaction among UChicago students through programs, facilities, and community life designed to foster diversity of thought and experience. This dynamic flow of ideas elevates the University as a place where a social sciences student from Romania, an international studies major from Nigeria, and an economics student from Brazil can all share discoveries, approaches, and points of view. Through this experience, our students learn about other cultures; at the same time they also learn to transcend cultures and to appreciate their common humanity.
The role and mission of International House are more important than ever: in order to make their greatest possible impact in the international marketplace of ideas, UChicago students and scholars must be engaged with ideas and approaches from around the world. I-House helps them do that, while also contributing to the intellectual and cultural fabric of the greater Chicago community. Alumni and other donors can ensure that International House at the University of Chicago continues to serve as “Host to the World” well into the future.