College of DuPage gets IDEAS grant to diversify study abroad experiences

College of DuPage is getting an IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) grant for about $35,000 to create, expand and diversify its study abroad programs.

COD is among 24 U.S. colleges and universities - and one of only five community colleges - to be awarded these grants from the U.S. Department of State's Capacity Program for U.S. Study Abroad.

Selected from 115 applicants, COD's award will fund the launch of a new study abroad pilot program in Brackenhurst, Kenya in the summer of 2021.

In partnership with EDU Africa, COD faculty will lead three simultaneous student groups from nontraditional study abroad disciplines including nursing, biology and architecture.

The goal of the pilot program is to create and test a model which can be replicated in other underrepresented study abroad disciplines and destinations. Each of the three groups will address discipline-related U.S. foreign policy goals in the classroom and contribute to an on-site service learning project.

Additionally, all groups will join together to participate in an overarching Humanities course.

"As the 21st century begins to blur the boundaries of disciplines, and as we move toward a world that is more intertwined through technology, economics, research and relationships, an initiative like this allows us to show students firsthand how their seemingly disparate courses will intersect," said COD Humanities Professor and Global Education Faculty Liaison Julie diLiberti. "It also gives them a chance to see those intersections happen in real time in a world beyond DuPage County."

IDEAS grants are 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.

The Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad is designed to expand and diversify American student mobility in support of U.S. foreign policy goals.

"We are committed to continuing our support for U.S. colleges and universities as they build their study abroad capacity in anticipation of a strong return to U.S. student mobility in the future," said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. "With these international experiences, the next generation of Americans is being equipped with the skills necessary to compete and succeed globally."

Faculty and students interested in learning more about this international educational opportunity should contact COD's Field and Experiential Learning, Study Abroad and Global Education office at

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