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 Obama administration in the ongoing promotion and success of educational exchange programs in the Hemisphere.

Current Competitions


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Marlene M. Johnson Innovation Challenge for U.S. – Cuba, Caribbean, and Central American Academic Mobility (Round 16) - The Marlene M. Johnson Innovation Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges and universities and higher education institutions in Central America and the Caribbean, with special consideration for partnerships between the United States and Cuba. This round is sponsored by NAFSA: Association of International Educators in recognition of Marlene M. Johnson’s leadership in increasing and diversifying study abroad and her commitment to strengthening relations within the Americas through international education, and CAF: the Development Bank of Latin America. The deadline for submitting a proposal is March 15, 2017 by 11:59 p.m., EST.

Promoting Study Abroad in Innovation, Research, and Entrepreneurship (Round 13) – This competition is open to U.S. community colleges and land-grant universities in the United States and SENA centers in Colombia. Proposals should focus on innovation, research, and entrepreneurship. The deadline for submitting a proposal is January 31 by 11:59 p.m., EST. This round is sponsored by Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA).

Promoting Study Abroad in Aeronautics, Agroindustry, Automotive Industry, Energy, and Information and Communications Technology (Round 14) – This competition is open to all U.S. higher education institutions to partner with the institutes of the Tecnológico Nacional de México. Proposals should focus on aeronautics, agroindustry, automotive industry, energy, and information and communications technology, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation. The deadline for submitting a proposal is March 15, 2017 by 11:59 p.m., EST. This round is sponsored by the Televisa Foundation.

Nexo Global Colombia (Round 15) – This competition is open to all higher education institutions in the United States and Colombia. Proposals should focus on study abroad and international research in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Architecture) with an emphasis on post-conflict resolution and peace building. The deadline for submitting a proposal is March 15, 2017 by 11:59 p.m., EST. This round is sponsored by Colombia’s Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation—COLCIENCIAS and the City of Medellin’s Sapiencia, with support from the U.S. Department of State.

Latest Grant Recipients

Promoting Study Abroad in Environmental Sciences with an Emphasis on Water (Round 11) – This competition was open to higher education institutions in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and the United States that promote study abroad in the fields of environmental sciences, with a particular emphasis on water. This round sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation.

  • Gateway Community College
  • Oregon State University
  • Pitt Community College
  • Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Illinois-Springfield
  • University of Texas-El Paso
  • University of Wisonsin- Greenbay

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

Marlene M. Johnson Innovation Challenge for U.S. – Cuba, Caribbean, and Central American Academic Mobility is now accepting applications. Apply now at www.100kstrongamericas.org.

NAFSA honors retiring CEO, Marlene M. Johnson, with a $250,000 grant funding of 100,000 Strong in the Americas.

Read more in the NAFSA press release.

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