What is the 100,000 Strong Foundation?

The 100,000 Strong Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization devoted to strengthening US-China relations by deepening Americans’ understanding of China. Launched in 2012, the foundation seeks to expand and diversify the number of Americans studying Mandarin and studying in China to bridge the gap between our two cultures, strengthen bilateral ties and enhance global stability.

 

What does the foundation do?

  • Leads a high-profile national campaign to generate demand, promote diversity and encourage support for study abroad programs in China.
  • Works closely with Washington and Beijing to engage high-level government support for study abroad in China.
  • Hosts an annual US-China conference focusing on the US-China strategic relationship and linking policymakers and students in both countries.
  • Establishes a Washington, DC-based hub for US educational institutions to share best practices, leverage resources and expand Chinese programs.
  • Works with Project Pengyou to develop a robust alumni network of Americans who have studied or lived in China.
  • Conducts independent studies to survey the impact of study abroad in China on US competitiveness and US-China relations.

 

Why China?

China is the second-largest economy in the world, a major strategic power and the United States’ fastest-growing trade partner. It is perhaps the world’s most consequential bilateral relationship, as virtually every future global challenge will require our two countries to work together. We must invest in this critical partnership.

 

Who is involved?

The foundation, a partner of American University in Washington, DC, has the support of numerous high-level officials, academics, students and businesspeople. It is governed by a 10-person Board of Directors and a president. It also enjoys the support of an Advisory Council comprised of prominent thought leaders from both countries.

 

What is the significance of 100,000 Strong?

The foundation was born out of the US State Department’s “100,000 Strong Initiative,” which was announced by President Barack Obama in 2009 and launched by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2010 with a goal of sending 100,000 US students to China over a four-year period. The foundation shares that goal and seeks to build on it – encouraging as many students as possible to study in China in the years ahead.

 

Does the foundation replace the Obama administration’s initiative?

Not at all. While the foundation is an outgrowth of the initiative, it is an independent, nonprofit, non-governmental entity.  The US State Department continues to work to achieve the goals of the initiative as a means of strengthening people-to-people ties between the United States and China. As such, the initiative is an important component of the US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange, a high-level bilateral mechanism.

For more information about the 100,000 Strong Initiative at the State Department, please visit http://www.state.gov/100000strong.

 

What role does the Chinese government play?

The Chinese government shares the US view that closer ties between our young people will enhance our understanding of one another. Therefore, China has been an active supporter and partner of the 100,000 Strong Initiative. Under the auspices of the US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange, the Chinese government has offered 20,000 scholarships for Americans to study in China. While the foundation has no formal relationship with the Chinese government, it works closely with Chinese government officials to encourage Americans to take advantage of these scholarships. For more information about the Chinese scholarships, visit the Study in China page.

 

How is the 100,000 Strong Foundation funded?

The foundation launched with seed funding from the Ford Foundation, which the Florence Fang Family Foundation matched. Additional resources come from other corporate, foundation and philanthropic sources.

 

Can I apply for a grant or scholarship through the foundation?

The foundation does not fund individual students who want to study in China, but we do work hand-in-hand with study abroad programs to raise awareness about opportunities for study abroad. Please see the Study in China page for more information about US and Chinese government programs, as well as programs run by academic institutions and study abroad organizations.

 

Can my academic institution apply for a grant from the foundation?

No. We are not accepting applications for institutional grants at this time.

 

Will the foundation fundraise for individual academic institutions and study abroad programs?

No. Thousands of worthy organizations — both large and small — organize study abroad programs to China, and we cannot work with each one on an individual basis. It is our belief, however, that by creating a national movement in support of study abroad in China, we will generate greater demand for these programs and enable them to leverage our work to raise additional funds.

 

Will any of the funding that comes to the foundation go to study abroad programs?

Yes. Foundation donors will have the opportunity to earmark funds to one or more schools or study abroad programs.

 

How can I contribute to the 100,000 Strong Foundation?

Thank you for your interest! Please click the “donate” button at the top of this page to give online. Alternatively, you may send checks made out to the 100,000 Strong Foundation to the following address:

 

The 100,000 Strong Foundation

School of International Service

American University

4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20016

 

What role can students play in promoting the goals of 100,000 Strong?

If you have studied in China, you are a 100,000 Strong alumni!  Sign up here to get updates on how the Foundation is engaging with students.  To join an alumni network of Americans who have studied or lived in China, check out ProjectPengyou.org.