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Coca-Cola Foundation to Send Dozens of Students to China

Giving News

UT students who yearn to experience Chinese culture firsthand may be pleased to learn that The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded $150,000 to the Study Abroad Office. The grant will provide approximately 45 scholarships for first-generation college students at the University to study in China over the next four years.

President Barack Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative is a public-private partnership that aspires to send 100,000 American students to study in China over the next four years. Currently, fewer than 15,000 American students do so. The program has a particular emphasis on providing opportunities to students from traditionally underrepresented populations.

Recognizing that education is key to cross-cultural understanding, The Coca-Cola Foundation was one of the first U.S. companies to support President Obama’s vision with a $1 million pledge. The University is one of six institutions chosen by Coca-Cola to receive funding in conjunction with the 100,000 Strong Initiative.

The Coca-Cola Foundation and the University share a long-standing commitment to supporting students who are first in their immediate families to go to college. Since 1993, the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program has provided more than 1,300 scholarships to first-generation college students around the country. In addition, more than 300 students have attended the University through the Coca-Cola Scholars program.

“Our goal is to make study abroad accessible to all students,” says Study Abroad Director Heather Barclay Hamir. “Studying abroad provides benefits that affect individuals’ career paths and perspectives on the world, and increases their likelihood of graduating from college. The generous support of The Coca-Cola Foundation allows us to improve access to study abroad opportunities in China while also increasing the likelihood that we can retain and graduate these students.”

In 2010, 148 students studied in China on UT programs that ranged from studying supply chain management in Hong Kong to learning about traditional Chinese medicine in Yunnan. The length of a program can vary from a short-term, faculty-led option, to a year of study at a Chinese university for a full-immersion experience.

“Knowledge of other countries and cultures is critical for the next generation of leaders,” says Janet Ellzey, vice provost for international programs. “China is and will continue to be a global power, and thus it is particularly important for our students to study there. The University of Texas at Austin and the International Office are honored to receive this significant grant from Coca-Cola and are confident that the scholarships will enable students to participate in life-changing learning experiences in China.”

Find out more about UT’s study abroad opportunities at world.utexas.edu.

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