Miami University partners with CIEE to provide passport grants to 10,000 students by 2019

Miami students checking in for the Passport Caravan event with CIEE provider representatives
Miami students checking in for the Passport Caravan event with CIEE provider representatives Photo: Ni Suo, senior studying media and culture

By Kristin Magyari, assistant director for communications and marketing

student holding passport posterMiami University partnered with CIEE to help reach their Generation Study Abroad Commitment to provide passport grants to 10,000 students by 2019.

CIEE’s Molly Leighton Beste explained, “CIEE Passport Caravan came about as a pledge to the Institute of International Education (IIE) Generation Study Abroad pledge to double the number of students studying abroad by the year of 2020. As a result we thought, let’s give away 10,000 passports because the study abroad experience starts with something that simple. But we did notice that sometimes even the $135 fee could stand in the way from a student actually applying for a passport. So our goal is to give away 10,000 free passports in order for students to keep them in their sock drawer and eventually pull them out and use them for some sort of international experience.”

Students filled MacMillan Hall on February 28, 2018 for the Passport Caravan Grant event. Nearly 100 recipients of the grant shuffled in and out of the offices of Global Initiatives staff who are also certified passport acceptance agents during their assigned appointment times. Students, staff, and faculty also enjoyed the information fair run by Miami’s Study Abroad and Away office and CIEE.

Elizabeth Martin, a senior studying integrated English language arts education stated, "My background experience is in Spanish so I'm interested in possibly teaching English abroad for a few years. I've looked into teaching programs in both Italy and Spain because those countries would be great options for me. Now that I have the passport to go, all I really have to pay for is the flight!"

table with CIEE marketing materialsDid you know that less than 5 percent of college students have a passport? Although among public, doctoral institutions, Miami ranks No. 3 for undergraduate participation in study abroad at 46.3 percent, not all Miami students have a passport. With this grant, studying abroad can be a more accessible to Miami students.

“Cost is often the most significant factor for a student trying to decide whether or not to study abroad,” said Karla Guinigundo, director of global partnerships. “We hope that by covering the cost of a U.S. passport through this event, a wider range of Miami students will think of study abroad as an attainable goal.”

CIEE covered the $110 passport fee and $25 execution fee. Global Initiatives covered the cost of the passport photos, so there was no cost to the students who participated.

Gage Roberts, Miami sophomore studying zoology, said “I want to work in Japan after I graduate. They have a very unique ecosystem, they have animals that are unique to Japan, and are always looking for outside scientists so I want to be involved with that.”

Miami University thanks CIEE for this grant opportunity and partnership.

Need a passport? Take advantage of Miami's convenient location for U.S. Passport Application services on the Oxford campus in 214 MacMillan Hall. U.S. Passport Application services are available Monday–Friday, 8–4:30pm.

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