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Fact Sheet: Educational Exchanges for the 21st Century: 100,000 Strong In The Americas and Science Without Borders

April 09, 2012

President Obama's "100,000 Strong in the Americas" and Brazilian President Rousseff's "Science without Borders" initiatives create opportunities for substantial new partnerships between Brazil and the United States to expand international study and research. These exchanges strengthen U.S. and Brazilian institutional partnerships, develop a workforce prepared for 21st century opportunities, and contribute to long-term economic growth for both countries.

100,000 Strong in the Americas

President Obama's 100,000 Strong in the Americas goal is to increase higher education exchanges between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean to 100,000 each year in each direction. To meet the President's goal, the U.S. government is working to expand educational linkages in the region through partnerships with foreign governments, universities and colleges, higher education associations, and the private sector.

Goals of the Program: 100,000 Strong in the Americas will foster region-wide prosperity through greater in­ternational exchange of students who are our future leaders and innovators. Increased understanding in the Western Hemisphere and closer people-to-people ties will help us work together to address common challenges including citizen security, economic opportunity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

University Partnerships: New and existing partnerships between community colleges, public and private universities and colleges, states, and other consortia serve as a foundation for expanding academic and research exchanges. EducationUSA, a network of more than 100 U.S. government-supported advising centers throughout the hemisphere, connects U.S. higher-education institutions with students and universities throughout the region. The U.S. Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce is partnering with EducationUSA to organize an Education Mission to Brazil. The mission will stop in Brasilia, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro from August 30 to September 6, 2012. The purpose of the mission is to connect approximately 60 appropriately accredited U.S. education institutions with potential students and university/institution partners in Brazil.

Bilateral Government Partnership: The United States cooperates with partner governments throughout Latin America and the Caribbean who offer scholarships to qualified students to study abroad by providing educational advising and placement strategies for those students in U.S. higher education institutions. The United States also coordinates with partners to ensure timely access to information on educational opportunities and visas through EducationUSA advising centers, U.S. embassies, and U.S. consulates.

Public-Private Partnerships: Private sector contributions to expand international study can broaden the reach of existing programs as well as support new initiatives that align with donor priorities. The U.S. government, in partnership with governments in the region, offers several exchange programs – including Fulbright, Gilman, the Global Undergraduate Exchange, and others in which the private sector can contribute directly to the implementing partner to expand the number of exchange participants or support enhancement activities that make these programs a unique experience.

Diversity: The diversity of the U.S. higher education system offers educational opportunities for all types of study and is one of the fundamental strengths behind 100,000 Strong in the Americas. We also seek to diversify the range of students who participate in international exchanges to and from the United States. Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Native American Tribal colleges, other Minority Serving Institutions, and community colleges in the United States offer opportunities that may meet international students' needs and interests. We also work with Latin American and Caribbean governments, universities, and the private sector to provide international study opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds throughout the region.

Science without Borders

President Rousseff's Science without Borders initiative has the potential to make a major contribution toward reaching the United States' 100,000 Strong goal. The initiative aims to fund 101,000 Brazilian university students and scholars in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to study and conduct research abroad over the next four years. The Brazilian government will fund 75,000 Brazilian students; the private sector will fund an additional 26,000 scholarships. At least half of the Brazilian students under this program are expected to study in the United States. The United States received and placed the first cohort of Brazilian Science without Borders students in more than 100 U.S. universities in 42 states, and we look forward to receiving thousands more in the coming years.

University Partnerships: Brazilian universities nominate candidates for the program and the Brazilian agencies responsible for the implementation of the program, Brazil's Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), approve the students' participation. CAPES and CNPq, through partnerships with educational organizations and universities, negotiate placement, tuition, and fees for the students and researchers. The participating host institutions make the final decision to accept a student in the Brazil Science without Borders Program. The Brazilian government has partnered with the Institute of International Education (IIE) to administer the undergraduate scholarship segment of Science without Borders in the United States and with Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas (LASPAU) to place Brazilian students in Ph.D. programs in the United States. Accredited U.S. institutions interested in hosting undergraduate and Ph.D. students should contact IIE and LASPAU.

Supporting Students: The U.S. Government supports Science without Borders students by advising on successful strategies for navigating the American higher education community, encouraging diversity of placement throughout the United States, conducting outreach to engage both U.S. and Brazilian higher education and scientific communities, facilitating visa appointments and hosting orientation events. The U.S. Government, in partnership with a consortium of Binational Centers in Brazil, launched english3 ("English-cubed") in March 2012. Specifically developed and tailored for Science without Borders applicants, the country-wide English immersion program will prepare students with essential skills for academic life in the United States. The United States is also expanding professional development opportunities for English language teachers in Brazil.

Public-Private Partnerships: Science without Borders is funded by public and private sources. The United States of America and Brazil Fulbright Commission provide support by managing funds from the Brazilian Government, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and private sector partners. U.S. private sector partners and foundations support the program financially by funding the program's academic component or opening internship (academic training) opportunities, paid and unpaid, for Science without Borders scholars. U.S. private sector organizations interested in supporting the program through funding scholarships or opening internship opportunities should contact IIE or LASPAU.

Barack Obama, Fact Sheet: Educational Exchanges for the 21st Century: 100,000 Strong In The Americas and Science Without Borders Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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