NAFSA Announces Winners of French Initiative to Increase U.S. Study Abroad to France

Program Aims to Leverage Grants for Increased Institutional Enhancements to Study Abroad


Rebecca Morgan,, 202.495.2553
Katie O'Connell,, 202.495.2559

WASHINGTON, November 10, 2014 – Today, the Embassy of France in the United States announced the recipients of the Partnership for Innovation and Collaboration on Study Abroad, a grant competition organized in partnership with NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The French Embassy selected four U.S. institutions to each receive $20,000 in funding from the French government to support best practices for increasing study abroad to France.

The grants are awarded under the auspices of the Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Initiative, a joint initiative between the United States and France designed to strengthen the historic ties between the two countries by doubling the number of students from France and the U.S. studying abroad in each respective country by 2025. Proposals were required to advance an effective model to expand and diversify U.S. study abroad participation to France, both in terms of areas of study and background of students. They were also required to enact policy or programmatic changes on campus that leverage greater participation in study abroad above and beyond those students who receive financial assistance from the travel grant.

"Expanding study abroad opportunities for students, our future leaders and innovators, strengthens bi-national relations and better prepares young people for the 21st century global workforce," said NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene M. Johnson. "The barriers for students to study abroad are well documented, and despite the small annual incremental increases of students studying abroad, matching grant programs such as these are critical to growing study abroad exponentially. These programs leverage grants so that universities and colleges can expand study abroad programs and make international study more broadly available."

The following projects were distinguished by the selection committee:

  • University of Arkansas' expansion of student mobility programs (summer and spring semester) on the platform of nutritional science, culinary sciences and geological sciences in Beauvais
  • North Carolina State University's "French language – the key to opening many doors," focused on engaging North Carolina high school students for future study in France and the creation of a semester program on cultural diversity in Paris targeting underrepresented students
  • University of Minnesota's enrichment of study abroad opportunities for underrepresented disciplines (business and engineering) and the creation of a semester-long module of skills development for future teachers of French in Montpellier
  • Georgetown University's expansion of undergraduate research opportunities through a tailored one year program in Lyon that will allow students to develop a research topic and publish their work

The Embassy of France is providing funding of $20,000 to each of these institutions, which will be matched by additional funding from the winning institutions.