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Published May 15, 2023
The University of Wyoming has been selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to receive an IIE American Passport Project grant that will enable up to 25 UW students to obtain U.S. passports and support their study-abroad journeys.
In this third year of the program, IIE selected 48 institutions in the IIE Network for this opportunity, which will help up to 1,200 Pell-eligible, U.S. students obtain their U.S. passports and study abroad.
“A passport is the first thing that opens up their world to the possibility of study abroad,” said Courtney Temple, IIE executive vice president and chief administrative officer.
As a key initiative under IIE’s newly launched Center for Access and Equity, the IIE American Passport Project represents IIE’s commitment to create access to international education opportunities and enable equity. For this program, IIE is removing an initial financial barrier for many -- the cost of a U.S. passport -- helping to increase diversity and inclusion of students studying abroad. Through the IIE American Passport Project, IIE aims to empower 10,000 U.S. students with their passports by the end of this decade.
Additionally, the grant is intended to support the IIE Network, IIE’s global membership association, in assisting students from their respective campuses to go abroad who would otherwise not participate in international experiences as part of their college education. The program prioritizes first-year students, with limited financial means, for whom this may be their first passport, and makes global learning abroad a greater possibility with an earlier start.
The American Passport Project grant will become an integrated part of the programming for UW Education Abroad’s Cheney First Gen Abroad Scholarship Program. Each of the students accepted into this cohort program will be invited to apply for a passport as part of this grant.
“Receiving the passport grant is a promising boost for our efforts to increase participation by underrepresented students in study abroad, as it will allow us to further develop programming that ensures students to feel, recognize and appreciate the network of support that is in place to help them study abroad,” says Shelley Jewell, director of UW Education Abroad. “UW Education Abroad seeks to alleviate the uncertainty, anxiety, confusion and fear that prevent many underrepresented students from studying abroad.”