Education Policy: Expanding Access to Study Abroad for U.S. Students


NAFSA supports public policies that increase opportunities for American college students to gain the global education that is necessary for them to thrive in the 21st Century economy. A generation ago, there was a national concern that students without access to computers would fall behind their peers and be at a competitive disadvantage in seeking jobs; the same can be said today of students without access to global educational opportunities. Study abroad is a learning opportunity that enables students to develop critical skills and that contributes in vital ways to preparing students for the competitive global environment into which they will graduate.

Impact of Study Abroad

Policy Recommendations

Executive Branch Initiatives

100,000 Strong in the Americas
President Obama launched 100,000 Strong in the Americas to increase educational exchanges in the Western Hemisphere and strengthen U.S. relations with the countries of the Americas through student mobility. NAFSA has partnered with the U.S. State Department, the White House, and Partners of the Americas to create the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund to help implement this initiative.

The Innovation Fund is a public-private partnership designed to raise money for grants to higher education institutions that have shown a commitment to expanding academic mobility within the Western hemisphere.

Join Innovation Fund

Timeline of Study Abroad Activity

NAFSA’s study abroad advocacy has focused on advancing policies that support the growth and diversification of study abroad.

Review these successes on this interactive timeline.

Additional Reports

States and Statistics

Just over 1% of U.S. students study abroad each year.

See how your state compares to the U.S. average. (51kb Icon PDF 16)