LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2016) — The University of Kentucky was selected by the Council on Educational Exchange (CIEE) as one of the few universities in the nation to host its Passport Caravan initiative this fall. The initiative enables students who are first-time passport-seekers to apply for the opportunity to obtain a free passport on campus.
UK Education Abroad (UK EA) launched a fundraising campaign to match the donation of CIEE’s 150 passports to students. Thanks to the pledges of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, College of Communication and Information, College of Public Health, College of Engineering, College of Social Work and UK EA, a total of 250 UK students will be able to obtain their passports for the first time this year.
“Having a passport is the first step to opening the door to a world of opportunities. We want to promote the value of an international experience for student travelers,” said Miko McFarland, acting director for UK Education Abroad and Exchanges.
The selected recipients received instructions via email to complete the pre-registration process, which included obtaining documents such as birth certificates and completing their passport application. Students were required to do the pre-check in order to ensure their documents were correct and ready to be filed on Nov. 10, when the actual Passport Caravan will take place.
Students will be able to file the application for their passports with the Wildcat Passport Services office, as well as talk to providers including CIEE and UK faculty and staff from 8:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. There will be hot chocolate and snacks inside the Buell Armory, where the event will take place.
“You can’t go abroad without a passport in hand,” said Susan Meredith, education abroad advisor. “This is the first obstacle many students encounter when they think about going abroad, they don’t have a passport. Let’s get one in their hand so they can start imagining where they can go and what they can do. Our event will have five passport agents collecting documents, two CIEE staff writing the donation checks, and UK faculty and staff available to talk about upcoming spring and summer program options that they can now participate in by using their new passport.”
UK already has many other initiatives in place to motivate students to participate in education abroad and help them expand their world perspectives. This fall, in addition to Passport Caravan, UK EA launched the GOBro campaign with its partner International Studies Abroad with the aim of increasing participation among male fraternity students. Such efforts have yielded results, positioning UK once again above national averages:
· The number of UK students who studied abroad for credit during the academic year 2015-16 increased by 8.8 percent to 1,195 enrollments since 2014-2015, while the national average for U.S. students studying abroad in 2013-2014 had increased by 5.2 percent.
· Approximately 18 percent of the 2016 graduating class earned credit abroad at some point during their UK education. Although UK has even higher aspirations, the current rate is still higher than the 10 percent national average reported by the Institute for International Education for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Although this year’s passport recipients have been already selected, UK EA is still taking donations to sponsor students seeking passports for the first time in 2017.
Donating to UK EA is easy. To submit your gift, visit https://uky.networkforgood.com/ and follow the next steps:
· Type Passport Caravan on the search bar located on the top right corner.
· Select the “Education Abroad: Passport Caravan Fund.”
· Input your donation amount and click donate.
· Complete the prompted fields and click donate again.
· Review your cart and click check out to submit your payment details.
· Insert your payment details and click complete transaction to submit your gift.
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue
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