The 100,000 Strong Initiative, announced in November 2009 by President Obama, aims to increase to 100,000 the cumulative number of Americans studying in China over a four-year period. While the number of American students studying abroad for credit in China has increased nearly fivefold in the last decade, the types of educational experiences undertaken by American students going abroad have changed as well. More than ever before, American students are going abroad on shorter, not-for-credit programs such as study tours, internships, and volunteering abroad. The 100,000 Strong Initiative encourages all types of educational experiences for students in U.S. high schools, colleges, and universities.

June 2013, I spent 4-weeks in China with 10 of my top Strategic Communication students from the West Virginia University Reed College of Media. We were not the average, run of the mill study abroad program; we were thrown into a real world, real work and high intensity experience...This year, I am taking a new risk. I am increasing the number of students by 70%, to 17. I will push these 17 even harder than last year’s group, because last year’s group set a benchmark and taught me that I can.

More than a quarter of a million Chinese students (287,260, to be exact) hold active U.S. student visas, whcih is more than the number of students from Europe, South America, Africa, Australia,and elsewhere in North America combined. In fact, Chinese students account for 29 percent of all foreign students studying in the United States. 


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