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OSU Global Studies passport holders.

An Orange World: OSU awarded the IIE American Passport Project Grant

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Media Contact: Kelli Norton | Communication Specialist | 405-744-5496 |

Oklahoma State University students now have the opportunity to take the first step on their international journeys: obtaining a free passport.  

OSU and the Center for Global Learning (CGL) were recently selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to receive an IIE American Passport Project grant.  

The grant enables 25 OSU students to obtain a free U.S. passport and support their study abroad journeys. In the second year of the program, IIE awarded 40 institutions this opportunity, which will help 1,000 Pell-eligible U.S. students obtain their first U.S. passports.  

For many students, studying abroad requires long-term planning and involves up-front financial hurdles which could bar them from moving forward.  

“We’re excited to offer this opportunity for OSU students, as we recognize that passports can be an initial barrier to considering studying abroad. Simply having a passport shifts individual mindsets on willingness to travel outside the United States. With the support of the Institute of International Education and our campus partners, 25 OSU students will now have the passport they need to access opportunities to gain global perspectives within their field of study while obtaining new skills that will impact the way they learn, work and live.

— Dr. Jeff Simpson, assistant dean for OSU Global

Upon receipt of the grant, the CGL, under the guidance of OSU Global, actively collaborated with campus partners to nominate 25 first-year students to apply for the IIE grant.  

Once accepted, students have been working with CGL staff to secure their passports, including educating and assisting the student nominees on the overall application process, providing passport photographs courtesy of the Spears School of Business Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement team and collaborating with OSU Mailing Services to remove any financial barriers to passport application processing.  

The IIE American Passport Project provides one critical piece of the multifaceted effort needed to reach students who are traditionally underrepresented in studying abroad: a passport.  

The grant is intended to promote diversity, inclusion, access and equity in study abroad and to support IIE’s global membership network in their efforts to encourage students to go abroad who would otherwise not participate in an international experience as part of their college education.  

The CGL will provide innovative programming, engagement efforts, advising and support for students receiving the grant with the goal of sending them on a study abroad program during their college experience. 

Photos By: Kelli Norton

Story By: Brandon Wulz | GLOBAL Magazine

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