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Press Release: Bridgewater awarded IDEAS Grant for U.S. Study Abroad

Dept. of State

Press Release - May 18, 2021

Subject: Bridgewater State University awarded IDEAS Grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad


Bridgewater State University has been selected to receive an IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad.

BSU is one of 26 colleges and universities from across the United States, selected from 132 applicants, to create, expand and/or diversify American student mobility overseas in support of U.S. foreign policy goals. This U.S. Government program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and supported in its implementation by World Learning.

“The U.S. Department of State is committed to expanding study abroad opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds studying at colleges and universities across the United States,” said Heidi Manley, USA Study Abroad Chief, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. “Americans studying abroad serve as citizen ambassadors by building relationships within their host communities, demonstrating American values and countering stereotypes. They also gain critical job skills abroad that in turn benefit their home communities. We are committed to continuing our strong support for U.S. colleges and universities as they build their study abroad capacity now, in anticipation of a strong return to U.S. student mobility in the future.”

“We recognize that the pandemic has created many hardships for our students and families,” President Clark said. “We want to thank Gov. Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts Legislature and the federal government for their support, which keeps BSU among the most affordable four-year college educations in all of New England.”

The IDEAS Program 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 IDEAS grant competition, the program also offers opportunities for faculty, staff and administrators at U.S. colleges and universities to participate in a series of free virtual and in-person study abroad capacity building activities.

“Studying abroad is more important than ever,” said BSU President Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq. “In a world where information, ideas, technology, capital and goods are increasingly interrelated and cross national borders, it’s imperative that all BSU students have the opportunity to study in another country to gain the international perspective that’s needed in the world today.”

BSU’s Study Abroad Office will administer the grant. The office offers more than 200 programs in 50-plus countries all over the world and plans to resume in-person programming in the fall.

Funded projects are supporting such activities as developing new international partnerships and programs, training faculty and staff, internationalizing curriculum, creating resources to engage diverse student groups in study abroad and creating virtual exchanges.

Once international travel resumes in full, these IDEAS grant recipients will be better equipped to deliver impactful and inclusive study abroad programs around the globe.

For a full list of 2021 IDEAS grant recipients, as well as information on a free IDEAS webinar series on building study abroad resources for U.S. campuses, visit the Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad website at  .

For further 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, contact and visit  .

For information about study abroad programs at BSU, contact Eva T. Gaffney, assistant vice president for marketing and communications at


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