The Americas

Linkage Institute

Florida-Brazil Linkage Institute
The Florida-Brazil Linkage Institute promotes business, educational, cultural and scientific exchange between Florida and Brazil. We work with Florida's colleges and universities, state government, and the business community to forge a network of partnerships with educational, government and private-sector institutions. The Florida Legislature created the International Linkage Institute Program in 1986.

The Florida-Brazil Institute awards tuition exemptions on a yearly basis that permit qualified Brazilian students to pay in-state tuition and fee rates for community college and graduate classes at Florida public institutions of higher education. The exemption program waives the requirement for recipients to pay out-of-state tuition. No funds are provided to recipients or their educational institutions.

Florida-Canada Linkage Institute
The Florida-Canada Linkage Institute (FCLI) is one of 11 institutes initiated in 1987 by the Florida Legislature. The Linkage Institutes were initiated "to assist in the development of stronger economic, cultural, educational, and social ties between Florida and Canada through the promotion of expanded public and private dialogue on cooperative research and technical assistance activities, increased bilateral commerce, student and faculty exchange, cultural exchange, and the enhancement of language training skills between the postsecondary institutions in this state and those of selected foreign countries".

Florida Statute 288.8175 enables the FCLI to award out-of-state tuition to citizens of Canada. The purpose of the tuition fee exemption program is to provide international students attending any institution of the State University System of Florida or community college the opportunity to pay in-state tuition rates. To qualify, the student must be a citizen of Canada. The selection process is highly competitive and awards are limited. Candidates are evaluated based on their academic record, area of specialization, and their aspirations for the future. The tuition exemption that is offered covers the out-of-state portion of tuition costs. Students are responsible for the in-state tuition costs.

Florida-Caribbean Institute
The Florida-Caribbean Institute (FCI) is a linkage institute founded by the Florida legislature to promote and expand commercial, cultural, and educational linkages between Florida and the Caribbean. FCI provides scholarships to eligible students by waiving the out-of-state tuition.

Florida-Costa Rica Linkage Institute
The Florida-Costa Rica Linkage Institute, known as FLORICA, was created in 1986, authorized by the Florida Legislature in 1987, and formalized by an agreement signed by the State University System of Florida, the Florida Community College System and the Council of Rectors of Costa Rican Universities (CONARE).

Costa Rican citizens who have applied and been accepted in a Florida public university or community college may apply for out-of-state tuition waivers through the Florida-Costa Rica Institute Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Program.

Florida-Mexico Institute
The Florida-Mexico Institute (FMI) is a linkage institute founded by the Florida legislature to promote and expand commercial, cultural, and educational linkages between Florida and Mexico. FMI provides scholarships to eligible students by waiving the out-of-state tuition.

What are Linkage Institutes?
Florida Statute 288.9175 establishes Linkage Institutes between postsecondary institutions in the state of Florida and foreign countries.

The primary purpose of these institutes is to assist in the development of stronger economic, cultural, educational, and social ties between this state and strategic foreign countries through the promotion of expanded public and private dialogue on cooperative research and technical acceptance activities, increased bilateral commerce, student and faculty exchange, cultural exchange, and enhancement of language training skills between the postsecondary institutions in this state and those of selected foreign countries. Each institute must ensure that minority students are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the exchange programs.

Each institute must be governed by an agreement, approved by the Department of State, between the State University System and the Florida Community College System with the counterpart organization in a foreign country. Each institute must report to the department regarding its program activities, expenditures, and policies.

Each institute must be co-administered in this state by a university or community college partnership, as designated in subsection (5), and must have a private sector and public sector advisory committee. The advisory committee must be representative of the international education and commercial interests of the state and may have members who are native to the foreign country partner. Six members must be appointed by the department. The department must appoint at least one member who is an international educator. The presidents, or their designees, of the participating university and community college must also serve on the advisory committee.

Each institute is allowed to exempt from s .240.1201 up to 25 full-time equivalent students per year from the respective host countries to study in any of the state universities or community colleges in this state as resident students for tuition purposes. The institute directors shall develop criteria, to be approved by the Department of Education, for the selection of these students. Students must return home within 3 years after their tenure of graduate or undergraduate study for a length of time equal to their exemption period.

Each state university and community college linkage institute partner may enter into an agreement for a student exchange program, that requires that the tuition and fees of a student who is enrolled in a state university or community college and who is participating in an exchange program be paid to the university or community college while the student is participating in the exchange program. The agreement may also require that the tuition and fees of a student who is enrolled in a postsecondary institution in a foreign country and who is participating in an exchange program be paid to the foreign institution of enrollment.