U of A Receives a U.S. Department of State Capacity Building Grant for U.S. Study Abroad

Students on a recent study abroad trip to Peru.
Russell Cothren

Students on a recent study abroad trip to Peru.

The University  of Arkansas has been selected to receive a $35,000 grant as part of the U.S. Department of State's 2019 Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad. 

The U of A is one of 21 colleges and universities from across the United States selected from over 120 applications to create, expand and/or diversify American student mobility overseas in support of foreign policy goals. The Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad 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.

"We are pleased to support U.S. colleges and universities from across the United States as part of our suite of initiatives aimed at increasing American student mobility. We are committed to providing more opportunities for American students to benefit from the rich experience of studying overseas," said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

At the U of A, the grant will support a new service-learning study-abroad model developed by J. Laurence Hare, director of the International and Global Studies Program in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and Rogelio Garcia Contreras, director of Social Innovation in the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Their program, which will launch in 2020, will involve teams of students addressing social issues – such as food insecurity, urban waste management, access to fresh water or job skill development – at the local level by learning from the experience of successful social enterprises and other social innovation initiatives in selected destinations overseas. This will include learning through partnerships with social enterprises, regional and international foundations, non-profits, non-governmental organizations and other key stakeholders.

"Social innovation is about collaboration, entrepreneurship and diversity of perspectives," Contreras said. "We believe our efforts to foster creativity, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit around the issues affecting us locally can be enriched by connecting our efforts with successful social enterprises or social innovation initiatives around the world.

"In the spirit of a collaborative economy, this new service-learning study-abroad model is an invitation for our students, our faculty and our community in general to engage globally in order to act locally," he said. 

The Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad seeks to increase the capacity of accredited U.S. colleges and universities to create, expand and diversify study-abroad programs for U.S. students. In addition to the small grants competition, the program will also offer opportunities for faculty, staff and administrators at U.S. colleges and universities to participate in a series of virtual and in-person study-abroad capacity-building activities.

For a full list of grant recipients for the 2019 competition, as well as information about upcoming Capacity Building Initiative workshops and resources under this same program, please visit the Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad website at www.studyabroadcapacitybuilding.com.

For more information about other study-abroad resources and other exchange programs offered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit https://studyabroad.state.gov/.

Contacts

J. Laurence Hare, associate professor of history
Director of International and Global Studies
479-575-5890, lhare@uark.edu

Rogelio Garcia Contreras, director of social innovation
Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
479-575-7431, rogeliog@uark.edu

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