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Our Lowell office is closed on Wednesday, July 17.

About Us

For more than a century, the International Institute of New England has been creating opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement, and pathways to citizenship.

Our values

Core to all our programming is IINE’s long-term vision that refugees and immigrants are able to realize their dreams and contribute to New England’s growth and prosperity.

Empathy, compassion and respect for all we serve and each other

Diversity and inclusion in our workplace, leadership, and communities

Continuous improvement and a relentless focus on successful, data-driven outcomes, one individual at a time

Collaboration and partnership with each other and our stakeholders

Self-sufficiency for the people we serve and for our organization

Fearless commitment to our humanitarian mission

IINE Values

our history

The International Institute of New England has been welcoming refugees and immigrants to Massachusetts and New Hampshire for more than a century. Our movement began in 1910 when the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) created the Department of Immigration and Foreign Communities to oversee field projects called “International Institutes” to serve the nation’s growing foreign-born population. The Institutes offered multilingual social services for women and girls and became known as Red Feather Agencies.

A group of folks at an International Institute
of New England Party in 1929.

First graphic representation of the IINE-Boston site while still a part of the YWCA. (1930s)

Children pledging allegiance outside the IINE-Lowell site. (1964)

IINE-Manchester site participating in the New Hampshire International Festival. (1995)

IINE-Lowell was founded as part of the John Street YWCA in 1918, and in 1924, the International Institute of Boston was established at the YWCA then located at 12 Newbury Street. The Institutes separated from the YWCA in 1935, and over the ensuing decades hundreds of community groups, individuals, corporations, and foundations joined forces with the International Institute to help newcomers integrate into New England. The International Institute of New Hampshire was founded in 1994 as a reorganization, continuation, and expansion of existing services in place since 1987. In 2001 the three sites became one consolidated organization – The International Institute of New England.

Throughout our more than 100 years of service to New England, tens of thousands of refugees and immigrants have connected to the International Institute to learn English, meet other newly arrived individuals, learn about the culture of their new country, gain job skills, and receive assistance in finding employment. Historically and today, we work with local communities to help refugees and immigrants find places to settle and restart their lives.

Our history has paralleled the immigrant journey in America. In the first half of the 20th century, we welcomed and served many people from Europe. In the 1970s, the rise of the Khmer Rouge and the fall of Saigon brought thousands of people from Cambodia and Vietnam to Lowell and Boston, where they were welcomed by our staff. In the 1990s, Bosnian refugees, Kurds fleeing Iraq, and Kosovars fleeing Serbian aggression came to our doors, and in the 21st century, we have welcomed and aided people from Iraq, Bhutan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, the nations of South and Central America, and most prominently, from Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Haiti.

Today, the International Institute of New England offers humanitarian relief, English language learning, employment, skills training, and immigration legal services to thousands of people from 60+ different countries. 
From its beginning to the present, the International Institute of New England has assisted each new wave of refugees and immigrants from all over the world and served as a center of hospitality for many ethnic groups. IINE has also invested in the revitalization of local communities throughout New England by receiving, supporting, educating, training, and helping to grow an ambitious and diverse workforce. With continued partnership from community groups and philanthropists throughout New England, IINE will continue this service for the next 100 years and beyond.

our locations

IINE has three locations: Boston, Massachusetts; Lowell, Massachusetts; and Manchester, New Hampshire.

We create opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement, and pathways to citizenship. Our work spans throughout New England and down to New York.
IINE Boston Offices

Boston, MA

Over the past 100 years, our Boston office has expanded to support more than 5,000 refugees and immigrants each year.

Unaccompanied Children’s Program

Lowell, MA

The International Institute of Lowell was founded in 1918 as part of the Lowell YWCA to provide workforce development training and English classes.
Individual Development Account

Manchester, NH

Our Manchester site includes 50 staff, who provide a range of services to over 700 clients annually.