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U.S. House Passes Study-Abroad Bill

June 11, 2009

Washington — The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation intended to expand the number of American students studying overseas to one million within a decade.

Lawmakers passed the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act, named for the late Illinois Democrat who was a champion of overseas study, on Wednesday as part of a broader measure dealing with foreign policy.

The bill would create an independent government entity and would authorize $80-million in grants to individual students, colleges, and nongovernmental institutions that provide study-abroad opportunities. Funds for the new program, however, would have to be approved separately through the appropriations process.

The legislation will next be taken up by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The measure previously passed the House in 2007 but failed to win Senate approval. —Karin Fischer