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Grants to USA Colleges and Universities to Develop and Expand Foreign Study Programs for Students


Conference Date


Intent to Apply Date


Application Deadline

04/14/23 11:59 PM EST

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Geographic Focus

USA: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew York CityNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashington, DCWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)Guam (USA)Puerto Rico (USA)Virgin Islands (USA)Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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IDEAS Program Grant

U.S. Department of State (DOS) - IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) Program

Agency: Federal

GrantWatch ID #200472

Grant Description

Grants of up to $50,000 to USA and territories colleges and universities for projects to develop and expand foreign study programs for students. Applicants must submit a preliminary application prior to applying. The purpose of the program is to help more colleges and universities rebuild, expand, and diversify their study abroad programs.

The IDEAS Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by World Learning. The IDEAS Program expands and diversifies American student mobility in support of U.S. foreign policy goals by providing institutional grants to U.S. colleges and universities and by offering virtual and/or in-person capacity building activities for grant recipients and the larger U.S. study abroad community. The expansion of study abroad at U.S. higher education institutions increases mutual understanding between American students and their international counterparts; develops American students’ international networks and knowledge, particularly as related to U.S. foreign policy priorities; and enhances American students’ readiness for careers that benefit both their local communities and the United States at large. The goals of the IDEAS Program are to:

  • Create or expand U.S. colleges and universities’ capacity to administer study abroad programs that are primarily for U.S. undergraduate students and align with U.S. foreign policy goals;
  • Increase the number of U.S. undergraduate students studying or interning abroad for academic credit, with an emphasis on diversifying both the students and institutions taking part in study abroad and the destinations to which they travel; and
  • Collect, develop, and share best practices for increasing and diversifying study abroad opportunities for U.S. students with the broader U.S. higher education community through trainings and other capacity building initiatives.

The IDEAS Program invites applicants to propose creative and innovative project concepts to increase and diversify study abroad programming at their institution. Examples of the types of projects that applicants may propose include, but are not limited to:

  • Create a faculty-led study abroad program; 
  • Create internship/experiential learning program(s);
  • Develop study abroad resources, programs, or materials targeting student groups underrepresented in study abroad. This may include but is not limited to students who are racial/ethnic minorities, students in underrepresented majors, students with disabilities, or students from institutions and/or states/territories with traditionally low study abroad participation;
  • Form or further develop partnerships with universities in a wide variety of international locations, particularly destinations that are underrepresented in study abroad;
  • Support the development of a new study abroad position or office at the college or university;
  • Embed global, international, or intercultural exchange elements into courses in order to internationalize curricula;
  • Develop virtual exchange models and programs that complement in-person exchange programs and campus internationalization goals.
  • Work with a new or established consortium* of colleges and/or universities to address areas of mutual need, including but not limited to the project types above

For examples of potential project themes, see:

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for consideration, proposals must meet the following eligibility criteria:

1. The grant competition is open to accredited U.S. colleges and universities physically based in the United States or its territories with a broad range of capacity to administer study abroad programs. This includes institutions that currently have limited or no experience administering study abroad programs as well as those with established programs;
2. Proposals must support primarily U.S. undergraduate student mobility abroad, although graduate student participation in programs is allowed. Proposals do not need to support the creation or expansion of a specific study abroad program. The IDEAS Program welcomes innovative ideas for how to build (or rebuild) study abroad capacity on campus or nationally, for example, through the development of resources supporting underrepresented student groups or the development of virtual activities to complement in-person exchanges;
3. Funding may not be used to support direct student costs, including but not limited to scholarships, travel, passports, tuition, or meals. Funds may be used to support U.S. faculty and/or staff travel overseas as well as travel for foreign faculty and/or staff to come to the United States to support program development; note that all travel must comply with the Fly America Act;
4. While an institution as a whole may submit more than one proposal, individual units within an institution (i.e., schools, colleges, offices) may submit only one application each. If an institution is organized into a single school or college, it may only submit one proposal. Individual campuses within wider university systems will be considered separate institutions.
a. Example 1: the School of Business of X University and the School of Nursing at the same X University may each submit separate proposals.
b. Example 2: within the School of Business of X University, the Marketing Department and Finance Department may only submit one proposal total.
c. Example 3: the School of Business of X University - City A and the School of Business of X University - City B may each submit separate proposals.
5. IDEAS Grants can support the development of in-person U.S. study abroad programming in foreign locations with a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Grant Competition Information Session
Date: November 8, 2022
Time: 3:00pm to 4:30pm Eastern Standard Time
Register here:

Foreign Policy Goals Webinar
Date: November 17, 2022
Time: 2:00pm to 2:00pm Eastern Standard Time
Register here:

Ask a Grantee Webinar
Date: November 29, 2022
Time: 4:00pm to 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time
Register here:

Pre-Application Information:

Phase One of this competition will open on October 26, 2022, and close on December 16, 2022, at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time.

Application Timeline
Grant Competition Timeline
- October 26, 2022: Phase One opens
- November 8, 2022: IDEAS Grant Competition Informational Webinar
- November 17, 2022: Foreign Policy Goals Webinar
- November 29, 2022: Ask A Grantee Webinar
- December 16, 2022: Phase One closes
- January 2023: Applications reviewed by study abroad professionals
- Early February 2023: Semi-finalist selection announced; Phase Two begins
- March 2023: Semi-finalist applicant webinar trainings (dates TBA)
- April 14, 2023: Phase Two closes; Semi-finalists submit full proposals
- April-May 2023: Applications reviewed by study abroad professionals
- June 2023: Finalists announced
- August 1, 2023-July 31, 2025: Grant period of performance (up to 24 months)

In Phase One of the RFP process, U.S. colleges and universities will submit a brief proposal describing the concept and general components of their proposed projects to build, diversify, and/or expand study abroad capacity at their institutions. Successful Phase One applications will describe a high-quality project idea aligned with the eligibility requirements listed on pages 4-5 of this RFP and with the review criteria on pages 6-8. The IDEAS Program will then invite approximately 80 semi-finalist institutions to submit full proposals during Phase Two of the competition.

View the information session recording:

Webinar recording from Nov. 17, 2022:

2023 IDEAS Grant Competition Ask an IDEAS Grantee Session:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $50,000

Term of Contract:

August 1, 2023-July 31, 2025: Grant period of performance (up to 24 months)

Contact Information:

Apply online:

For questions concerning this RFP; please submit them to with “IDEAS 2023 Grant Application – Your Institution Name” in the subject line.

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