Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse College are among the six schools getting a slice of $1 million donated by the Coca-Cola Foundation to fund study trips to China.

The grants will enable 160 students from U.S. universities to experience the Asian nation first hand, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co.‘s charitable arm announced July 15.

Georgia Tech will receive $200,000 to send a total of 30 students, 20 on summer programs and five each on yearlong and semester programs.

Morehouse is slated to get $150,000. Six students will spend a full semester in China, while 20 will visit for three weeks during the summer.

Other institutions receiving grants include Columbia University ($150,000, 30 students), Michigan State University ($200,000, 30 students), University of California-Los Angeles ($150,000, 15 students in language immersion) and University of Texas, Austin ($150,000, 45 students).

The grants are intended to back President Obama‘s goal of sending 100,000 American students to China over the next four years, according to a news release.

“Through this grant, we hope to establish a stronger relationship find common ground and build a better understanding between our nations,” said Coke Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent.

Mr. Kent also chairs the US-China Business Council, which advocates for American multinationals working in the country.

Trailing the U.K., Italy, Spain and France, China was the fifth most popular destination for American students in 2008-09, the latest year for which statistics are available. Climbing 3.9 percent to 13,674, the country was the only destination in the top five that hosted more American students than during the previous year, according to the Institute of International Education‘s annual Open Doors report.

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As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...