“…the United States will work with partners in this 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.”
—President Barack Obama
La Moneda, Santiago, Chile, March 21, 2011
In March 2011, President Barack Obama launched “100,000 Strong in the Americas,” an initiative to increase international study in Latin America and the Caribbean. The purpose of 100,000 Strong is to foster region-wide prosperity through greater international exchange of students, who are our future leaders and innovators. Increasing understanding in the Western Hemisphere and building closer people-to-people ties will help the State Department work together with the people of the Western Hemisphere to address common challenges including citizen security, economic opportunity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.
The Department of State is working to implement 100,000 Strong in the Americas through partnerships – with foreign governments, with universities and colleges, and with the private sector. EducationUSA, (educationusa.state.gov) a network of more than 100 U.S.-Government-supported advising centers throughout the Hemisphere, is a centerpiece of our partnership and outreach efforts.
Universities and Colleges:
We are working with institutions in the United States and throughout the Hemisphere to encourage expanded exchanges and closer partnerships between U.S. and Latin American and Caribbean universities and colleges.
The U.S. government, in partnership with governments in the region, strongly supports exchanges through Fulbright, Gilman, and other scholarship programs. Reaching beyond these programs, we seek contributions from the private sector to support scholarships. Any such funding will go directly to the organization administering the program the donor wishes to support.
Most governments in the region provide scholarships to enable top students to study abroad. Brazil’s “Science without Borders” scholarship program plans to send 75,000 Brazilians to study abroad over the next four years, with up to half coming to the United States. The United States has worked closely with Brazil to coordinate the U.S. portion of this program. We seek opportunities to cooperate with other governments on student advising, assistance with placement, and coordination to ensure timely access to educational and visa services.
We are promoting a more diverse profile of students who participate in educational exchanges and their destinations. The Department of State is reaching out to diverse institutions throughout the United States including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, Native American Tribal colleges, and community colleges. We are working with Latin American and Caribbean governments, universities, and the private sector to provide international study opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds or historically underserved populations.