Illinois State is hosting more than 100 students from universities across Mexico as part of a Mexican government program to promote study abroad opportunities. The Mexican students are taking part in a month-long intensive English language program funded by the Mexican government’s Proyecta 100,000 project.

Proyecta 100,000 was established with the goal of sending 100,000 Mexican students to study at colleges and universities in the United States and attracting 50,000 U.S. students to study abroad in Mexico by 2018. The program complements President Barack Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative that aims to increase educational exchanges in the Western hemisphere.

The Mexican student cohort will be on Illinois State’s campus through Nov. 23. A second group will be on campus Dec. 1 to 21. In addition to taking English language classes through Illinois State’s English Language Institute, the students will participate in academic and cultural activities on campus. One-day trips to Springfield and Chicago are planned as part of their cultural enrichment experience.

“Civic engagement, diversity and international education are all priorities for Illinois State University and Proyecta 100,000 is a program that contributes to diversity and internationalization while engaging the University in the global community,” said Luis Canales, director of Illinois State’s Office of International Studies and Programs.