Xamarin today announced two new education initiatives for students and one for educators. For all three, the goal is the same: get more people building apps with its tools.

The biggest component is a new student program that lets students build native Android and iOS apps with Xamarin Studio for free. The offering is open to students currently enrolled in a degree or diploma-granting course of study.

The second part also involves students: The Xamarin Student Ambassador Program asks for help bringing cross-platform mobile development to campuses around the globe. Student ambassadors are asked to help their peers build mobile apps in C# using Xamarin.

If that sounds right up your alley, here’s what you’ll get in return:

  • The opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the global Xamarin team
  • Free subscriptions to Xamarin Business for iOS, Android, and Mac
  • Xamarin swag for you and your peers
  • Unique opportunities to participate in Xamarin Evolve and other in-person events
  • The ability to audit Xamarin University courses for free

The last point brings us to the third announcement. Xamarin also wants to give free software and educational materials to educators at accredited academic institutions who are teaching (or are considering teaching) a course related to mobile development.

For those who don’t know, Xamarin first made a name for itself by bringing .NET to Android and iOS developers. The company also partnered with Microsoft to bring its tools directly into Visual Studio. Xamarin’s message eventually shifted to being the startup that provides cross-platform mobile development tools.

The education push is one that many businesses, from startups to corporations, regularly experiment with. The idea is simple: If we can get students using our tools, hopefully they’ll continue to do so after they graduate. In other words, get them while they’re young.

Regarding these programs, Students can send questions to Xamarin via student@xamarin.com, while teachers are asked to contact education@xamarin.com.