By Daniel Watson / Learning Abroad
A passport is a powerful thing. A passport opens doors, empowering students to pursue international academic, research professional and personal experiences. In an effort to make passports available to more students, the Office for Global Engagement (OGE) and Learning Abroad are proud to announce that CIEE, one of the U’s vetted affiliate study abroad providers, will be bringing their Passport Caravan to the University next Academic Year. As part of CIEE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, they’ve pledged to provide 10,000 students across the country with passports by 2020. After an extensive 12-month long grant process, Learning Abroad has been accepted to host the Passport Caravan and will be partnering with CIEE to provide 100 passport to U of U students who will be first-time adult passport holders.
Beyond providing these students with free passports, the Caravan meets goals of both Learning Abroad and CIEE – supporting diverse students who are underrepresented in today’s study abroad population, increasing access to opportunities and resources on campus, and generating awareness of both CIEE’s programming and Learning Abroad’s opportunities. Of course, with a passport these students will be one step closer to participating on a Learning Abroad program.
The Passport Caravan won’t be Learning Abroad’s first soiree into this service. In 2018, Learning Abroad took steps to become a Passport Acceptance Agency, working to meet a specific need of the community. The service has been extremely successful, with Learning Abroad processing nearly 700 passports since January 2018, and specifically providing passport photo and acceptance services for 482 U of U affiliated students, faculty and staff. We’re excited to continue supporting the University and our community in their global endeavors and the Passport Caravan will add to this success.
While the Passport Caravan details are still being hammered out, Learning Abroad and CIEE plan to hold the event during the Academic Year 2019-2020 and will be providing 100 passports to U of Utah students who are underrepresented in Learning Abroad. Stay tuned for more updates on the Caravan!