S. Kerry Cooper, executive director of Mays’ international business programs, was part of a 17-member commission that asked the federal government to begin allocating $50 million a year to support students seeking study abroad opportunities.

The Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship, appointed by President Bush and members of Congress, recommended in a November report that the nation increase the number of students who study overseas to 1 million by 2017. Such a move is critical to maintaining U.S. interests internationally, the report finds.

Key among the commission’s findings: students need financial assistance to be able to study abroad. And, Cooper says, unlike Texas A&M and its collection of 80 faculty-led and reciprocal exchange programs, many schools have few if any study abroad programs for their students.

“We have a great study abroad office here at Texas A&M, so our own students know about the opportunities available,” Cooper says. “But there are some schools that don’t have this infrastructure. We’ve really got to help them build up programs and market the need for spending time abroad.”

Find the full report from the Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship athttp://www.lincolncommission.org/.