Publication Date: September 30, 2021
Publication Location: WASHINGTON
Contact: Kate Casa   |   communications@worldlearning.org

World Learning is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has selected World Learning, through an open grants process, to implement an important program to grow and diversify study abroad programs for U.S. students. The Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Program provides small grants and capacity-building trainings and resources to assist U.S. higher education institutions to expand study abroad programming aligned with U.S. foreign policy goals. The IDEAS Program, formerly known as the Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad, is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and has been supported in its implementation by World Learning since 2018.

The U.S. Department of State is committed to expanding study abroad opportunities so that all American students have the opportunity to engage in educational experiences abroad and develop cross-cultural skills that will benefit their own careers and their communities.  The IDEAS Program is directed by USA Study Abroad, a component of ECA that is focused on increasing and diversifying American students to study or intern abroad in a wide variety of international destinations.  In addition to providing resources to help U.S. higher education institutions strengthen their own study abroad initiatives through the IDEAS Program, USA Study Abroad also provides direct scholarship opportunities for U.S. students through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and the Critical Language Scholarship Program.

“Now, more than ever, we are committed to supporting U.S. colleges and universities in their American student mobility efforts as they navigate the global pandemic,” said Heidi Manley, chief of USA Study Abroad. “We look forward to continuing to work with World Learning on the IDEAS Program to support the full diversity of U.S. higher education institutions in building, expanding, and diversifying their study abroad programming.”     

“As an organization with a 90-year history of leadership in international education and global exchange, we are pleased to continue this important collaboration with ECA on a program that so closely aligns with our mission,” said World Learning, Inc., CEO Carol Jenkins.

The new $3 million award will extend World Learning’s implementation of the IDEAS Program through December 2023. Since World Learning began implementing the IDEAS Program in September 2018, the program has awarded grants to 72 institutions and hosted over a dozen in-person and virtual events for study abroad faculty and administrators.

As the field continues to adapt and evolve in response to the global pandemic, the IDEAS Program is committed to offering initiatives and activities that address the most pressing needs of our country’s diverse higher education institutions and key U.S. foreign policy goals. Program activities will focus on both expanding the capacity of U.S. colleges and universities to develop and strengthen study abroad programs and on supporting the inclusion of traditionally underrepresented students in study abroad. The IDEAS grant competition and capacity-building initiatives are open to all accredited U.S. colleges and universities, and the program seeks to engage the full diversity of U.S. higher education, including community colleges and Minority-Serving Institutions.

For more information, please visit the IDEAS Program website. Email inquiries can be directed to IDEAS@worldlearning.org.