100,000 Strong in the Americas

100k Strong in the AmericasThe 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative was created to increase educational exchanges in the Western Hemisphere and strengthen U.S. relations with the countries of the Americas through student mobility. The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas is to ensure that we are preparing youth throughout the Western Hemisphere with the cross-cultural skills necessary in the 21st century economy and a generation of leaders who can reach across borders. 

To accomplish this goal, the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA launched the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund to mobilize resources and distribute challenge grants to colleges and universities to exponentially grow study abroad. We believe students are key to this connected future. Only by studying, learning, and working together can we take advantage of the growing opportunities in our Hemisphere and prosper together.

NAFSA has been involved with the 100,000 Strong in the Americas program from its initial planning phases through the most recent awarding of innovation grants. We remain committed to working with Congress and the Administration in the ongoing promotion and success of educational exchange programs in the Hemisphere.

Current Competitions


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The Peru-U.S. Innovation Competition – This competition is open to all U.S. and Peruvian higher education institutions, including vocational and technical colleges. Proposals should focus on Environmental Science, Climate Change, Water, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, with an emphasis on programs that increase opportunities for marginalized students. The deadline for submitting a proposal is October 1, 2017 by 11:59 p.m., EST. This round is sponsored by CAF: Development Bank of Latin America.

Latest Grant Recipients

Marlene M. Johnson Innovation Challenge for U.S.-Cuba, Caribbean and Central American Partnerships Sponsored by NAFSA: Association of International Educators and CAF: The Development Bank of Latin Americas

  • College of Staten Island, CUNY with Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas “Enrique José Varona”, Cuba
  • Lehman College, CUNY with Universidad de Sancti Spíritus “José Martíi Pérez and Universidad de Camagüey “Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz”, Cuba
  • Michigan State University with Universidad de La Habana, Cuba, Escuela Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuba, Marian University, Meharry Medical College, and Western Michigan University
  • Mississippi State University with the University of The Bahamas and University of West Indies, Open Campus
  • New York Institute of Technology with Instituto Tecnológico de las Americas, Dominican Republic
  • Saint Augustine’s University with University of Health Sciences Antigua and Université Episcopale d’Haïti
  • University of Central Florida with Universidad de Cienfuegos, Cuba
  • University of Connecticut with Instituto de Ciencia Animal, Cuba, Universidad Agraria de La Habana, Cuba, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agrícolas, Cuba, and Centro Nacional de Sanidad Agropecuaria, Cuba
  • University of Northern Iowa with Universidad Latina de Costa Rica
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst with Centro de Estudios Martianos, Cuba and Universidad de La Habana, Cuba
  • University of Pennsylvania with Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
  • University of Wisconsin- Madison with Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala
  • West Virginia University with The University of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Wilkes University with Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá

Nexo Global Colombia Sponsored by Colciencias and Sapiencia

  • Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano with the University of Texas at El Paso
  • Tecnológico de Antioquia – Institución Universitaria with Institución Universitaria Pascual Bravo and Tennessee State University
  • Universidad del Norte with Texas Tech University
  • Universidad del Tolima with North Carolina State University
  • Universitaria Juan N. Corpas with Eastern Washington University

2017 SENA Tech Challenge Sponsored by the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA)

  • Alamo Colleges with SENA Centro de Gestión Tecnológica de Servicios
  • Northampton Community College with SENA Centro Textil y de Gestión Industrial
  • Mississippi State University with SENA Centro Acuícola y Agroindustrial de Gaira
  • North Carolina State University with SENA Centro para la Formación Cafetera
  • Santa Fe College with SENA Centro de Comercio y Servicios
  • Tennessee State University with SENA Centro Agropecuario de Buga
  • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with SENA Centro de Formación Agroindustrial “La Angostura”
  • University of Rhode Island with SENA Centro Nacional Colombo Alemán

View recipients of 100,000 Strong Americas grants from previous rounds.

Insight on Winning Proposals

Gain insight on how to develop a winning proposal with lessons from past grant recipients.

Stay Informed

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund holds open competitions for higher education institutions of all types and sizes to compete for grants. Join the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Network to be notified of all upcoming grant opportunities.

Join the Innovation Network

Special Announcement

NAFSA honors retiring CEO, Marlene M. Johnson, with a $250,000 grant funding of 100,000 Strong in the Americas. The winners were announced during an event at the 2017 NAFSA Conference and Expo in Los Angeles, California.

Read more in the NAFSA press release.

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