Paul Simon Study Abroad Act Reintroduced to House

Representatives Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and John Katko (NY-24)
recently reintroduced the bipartisan Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program
Act. The bill would establish a competitive grant program, run by the
Department of Education, for colleges and universities to expand study abroad
opportunities for undergraduate students. It is named after the late Illinois
senator Paul Simon, who encouraged Congress to come together and prepare the
next generation of Americans with the global knowledge and skills needed in an
increasingly interconnected world.
“I’m proud to introduce legislation to honor the life
and legacy of Senator Paul Simon who was such an important person in my
life,” Congresswoman Bustos said.
“This bipartisan legislation carries out his commitment
to creating new opportunities for our young people, upholds his tradition of
working across the aisle, and will help our next generation of leaders be well-equipped
to take on some of the most pressing challenges facing our global
“I am pleased to join Representative Bustos in
introducing legislation that upholds the bipartisan tradition of the late
Illinois Senator Paul Simon while working to foster a globally competitive
workforce through investment in educational experiences,” said Rep. Katko.

“The U.S. needs to vastly and rapidly increase the
number and diversity of its students studying abroad. The Simon Act would help
do exactly that,” said Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
president Peter McPherson. “Study abroad experience is indispensable in
today’s global economy. And crucially, the Simon bill would increase the number
of students studying in nontraditional countries, especially in the developing
The goals of the grant program are to do the following:
Increase the overall number of undergraduate
students studying abroad annually to 1 million within ten years; Increase the number of nontraditional and
minority students studying abroad so that the demographics of study abroad
participation reflect the demographics of the undergraduate population; Increase the number of students who study abroad
in nontraditional destina­tions, with an emphasis on study abroad in developing
countries.The bill is supported by more than 50 organizations
including Language Magazine, Joint National Committee for Languages,
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, NAFSA: Association of
International Educators, Partners of the Americas, American Council on
Education, Institute of International Education, American Association of Community
Colleges, the Forum on Education Abroad, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and
Universities, and the American Councils for International Education. Bipartisan
legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Dick Durbin (D-lllinois)
and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).


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