Parkland's Study Abroad to Receive IDEAS Grant

Parkland's Study Abroad to Receive IDEAS Grant

Parkland's Study Abroad Program Honored with IDEAS Grant

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College is one of 34 U.S. colleges and universities in 28 U.S. states to be awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Program, which aims to develop and expand study abroad programs around the world.

Of the 34 U.S. colleges and universities, eight are community colleges and 13 are minority-serving institutions. The selected proposals will develop new international partnerships, train faculty and staff, internationalize curriculum, engage diverse students in study abroad, broaden the destinations where U.S. students study, and create virtual and hybrid exchanges. The IDEAS Program contributes to the State Department’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts to engage the American people in foreign policy. 

The IDEAS grant will allow Jody Littleton, program coordinator and Ruijie Zhao, professor for Parkland's Study Abroad, to develop an exchange program with universities in Taiwan. Both Littleton and Zhao will travel to Taiwan to talk to local people, visit schools, and study literature to gain a deeper understanding of Taiwan’s foreign policy and America’s foreign policy towards Taiwan.

 "Increasing and diversifying U.S. students going abroad for educational opportunities, as well as diversifying the places where they study, is a State Department priority," said Lee Satterfield, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. "This year’s recipients reflect the true greatness of America – our diversity – as almost 25 percent represent two-year institutions, 40 percent represent minority-serving institutions, and 25 percent represent rural-serving institutions." 

"A university in Taiwan has shown interest in learning more about Parkland College and sending students here," said Zhao regarding the program's future. Once the program is developed, they plan to take students to Taiwan to experience their culture. "I have taken students to Japan twice; both faculty and students have benefited from the tremendous experience," Zhao said. The IDEAS grant will help broaden and further diversify Parkland’s Study Abroad programs and provide students a channel to learn the world by interacting with local in other countries.

Since 2016, the IDEAS Program has awarded 179 grants to 173 U.S. colleges and universities in 49 states and territories to create, expand, and diversify their U.S. study abroad programs in 71 countries across all world regions. In addition to the IDEAS grants, the program offers opportunities for international educators at U.S. colleges and universities to participate in free virtual and in-person study abroad capacity-building activities. 

The IDEAS Program is a program of the U.S Department of State with funding provided by the United States Government and supported in its implementation by World Learning. For a full list of 2023 IDEAS grantees, as well as information on upcoming IDEAS webinars and workshops, please visit

To learn more about Parkland's Study Abroad program, visit .

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