From the outset, EHESS was designed as an international institution. This is evidenced by the high proportion of foreign researchers (22%) and students (approximately 50% of PhD and Master's students) within the School. This international outreach is a hallmark of the School and has enabled EHESS to develop a strong and extensive network of academic exchange programs with leading universities all over the globe. Many of its researchers have achieved worldwide recognition for their work, and contacts are maintained and fostered thanks to their regular trips abroad. In 2017, EHESS signed 61 cooperation agreements with international partners. All these agreements are headed by researchers.

The international mission of EHESS has three primary objectives: disseminating the scientific work of the school through major international institutions, facilitating exchanges between academics from different scientific backgrounds, and monitoring and bringing to public attention the most innovative developments in present-day research. In the sphere of social and human sciences, which have become increasingly international in recent years, it is essential to build research networks and develop projects with scholars from other countries. This concept lies at the heart of the School's philosophy and has led to the development of a number of new research centers focused on “cultural areas”, in which 42% of Master's students and 50% of PhD students come from overseas.

EHESS has a long-standing history of promoting and supporting international exchanges through: short-term invitations (“Petites Invitations”) enabling faculty members to invite colleagues from abroad to participate in their seminar series; co-supervision of PhD students (309 co-supervised PhD theses per year on average over the last five years); the active support and promotion of international mobility for researchers and graduate students; the development of international training and research projects; funding for international post-doctoral positions.

Each year EHESS hosts between 150 and 200 visiting professors from every corner of the globe. These professors are affiliated to one of the School's research centers, where they participate in a range of scientific activities. They make an important contribution to the intellectual breadth and richness offered by the school with each visitor giving 3 or 4 seminar papers during their month-long stay with us.

EHESS has continued to nurture its contacts with former international alumni who have become recognized academics in their countries of origin, and has built strong links with other eminent scholars. We are committed to the idea that individual relationships are the primary source of intellectual exchange and seek to support and promote ongoing dialogue between permanent staff, visiting professors, and former international researchers and students. The geographic locations of EHESS alumni can be seen on this map.