100 Higher Educational Institutions Join 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative

110 grant applications were received from colleges and universities competing in the first Round of President Obama's signature education initiative for the Western Hemisphere, 100,000 Strong in the Americas.

Washington, DC, November 13, 2013 --(PR.com)-- Partners of the Americas announced today it has charted rising interest on the part of U.S. and Latin American universities in launching new bidirectional study abroad initiatives, in line with the trend reported today in the “Open Doors” annual study by IIE, and the U.S. Education and State Departments.

Partners of the Americas, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the U.S. Department of State have launched the first of several grant competitions as part of President Barack Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative. 100,000 Strong in the Americas is the administration’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere designed to foster region-wide prosperity through increased higher education collaboration.

110 grant applications from institutions in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and the United States were received by Friday, November 8, 2013, the closing date for receipt of proposals. Half of the applications came from the U.S. and half originated with Latin American institutions. Winning proposals as judged by a panel of hemispheric experts will receive grants starting at US $20,000 to implement their initiatives.

“The number and diversity of higher educational institutions responding surprised me,” said Matt Clausen, vice president of partnerships and leadership programs for Partners of the Americas and senior director of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative Fund. “We have applications from community and technical colleges for whom this would be their first exchange program with Latin America as well as leading national research universities that want to try a new approach to breaking down barriers to successful student exchange.”

In 2011 in Santiago, Chile, President Obama announced the United States’ commitment “to work with partners in the region, including the private sector, to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America to 100,000 and the number of Latin American students studying in the United States to 100,000” annually. The initiative will increase mutual understanding in the hemisphere, foster closer people-to-people ties, and support a business and trade agenda by helping create a 21st century workforce in the Americas. The effort is being funded through public-private partnerships. Financial support to carry out this program is managed by the Partners of the Americas Foundation, which has established the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. The grant competition is a major step toward scaling up interest and action by institutions and through them students, tomorrow’s leaders.

For more information, please see www.100kstrongamericas.org.
Partners of the Americas
Michelle Nicholson