As part of their “Generation Study Abroad” initiative, the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), a study abroad organization, and UConn Education Abroad are giving away 150 free passports on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union.
This event has been branded by CIEE as the Passport Caravan event and will be the first of its kind on UConn’s campus. Through Passport Caravan, CIEE plans to give out 10,000 passports through 2020 as part of the organization's nationwide commitment to send more U.S. college students abroad.
With costs of passports upwards of $130, the financial strain of studying abroad adds up quickly before a student even leaves the country.
UConn points to these high costs as a reason to join the CIEE initiative.
The CIEE program is “a five-year initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE) to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by 2020,” according to UConn Education Abroad.
Currently, less than 10 percent of the 2.6 million graduating students with associate or baccalaureate degrees study abroad, according to UConn Education Abroad.
There will be six passport agents in the Union to help pre-selected students process their passport applications. These students were selected by UConn Education Abroad as part of a random selection from earlier events.
“Getting a passport is the first step towards an international experience, so by organizing this event and covering the cost of the passports ($130) we hope to encourage students to take the first step in studying abroad,” said Kaya McNickle Media and Communications Coordinator Education Abroad.
Elizabeth Charash is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.