IDEAS Grant Competition Opens for U.S. Colleges and Universities

December 15, 2021

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Program is pleased to announce the launch of its 2022 IDEAS small grant competition, which will provide approximately 40 grants of up to $35,000 to U.S. colleges and universities to assist with expanding and diversifying study abroad programming in support of U.S. foreign policy goals. 

To help more U.S. colleges and universities rebuild their study abroad programs following the impact of the global pandemic, the IDEAS Program is offering a one-time doubling of the number of grants it awards under this 2022 competition – from approximately 20 grants to approximately 40.  This support is in alignment with the Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education issued in July 2021 by U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Education Cardona, which emphasized the U.S. government’s commitment to promoting global academic engagement for all Americans. 

“As U.S. higher education and the study abroad field begin to emerge from the global pandemic and resume programming, the State Department remains committed to ensuring that all U.S. students have the opportunity to safely study abroad and gain important cross-cultural career skills,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs Ethan Rosenzweig. “Access and equity matter, and by doubling the number of our IDEAS Grants, we aim to help diverse institutions offer study abroad programming for students who otherwise may not have access to global engagement opportunities.”  

Along with this one-time increase in the number of grants awarded,& IDEAS Program has adjusted its 2022 request for proposals (RFP) process to make the small grant competition more accessible and equitable, in particular for lower-resourced institutions that may not have extensive grant-writing experience. 

The IDEAS Program aims to engage the full diversity of U.S. colleges and universities in the grants and trainings it provides to help build study abroad capacity at U.S higher education institutions. It particularly focuses on increasing the number of U.S. higher education institutions offering study abroad programming, diversifying the population of U.S. students that study abroad, and expanding the destinations where they study. Current grant recipients are located in 37 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, one-third are Minority Serving Institutions, and nearly a quarter are two-year institutions. Past grants have supported diverse projects such as establishing the first ever study abroad office at a Historically Black University in Louisiana, developing a study abroad program focused on agriculture in Kentucky aligned with state economic goals, and creating resources on study abroad for Hispanic students and families.

To learn more about the IDEAS Program and how to apply for a grant, visit the program website at