Free passports help make study abroad possible for WFU students

Jordan Jerash Temple of Artemis

Wake Forest University and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) are hosting a one-day “Passport Caravan” event offering nearly 100 free passports to encourage students to study abroad. Obtaining a passport usually costs $135, including the processing fee.

The event will be held Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Benson University Center on Wake Forest’s Reynolda Campus.

Media are welcome. Oversized passports and travel posters will decorate the area. Students and staff from Wake Forest’s Center for Global Programs and Studies will be available for interviews.

More than 90 pre-invited students planning to travel to Australia and South America and places in between will bring their required documents and complete their passport applications on site.

The Passport Caravan is part of CIEE’s support of Generation Study Abroad™, an initiative to make study abroad possible for more U.S. students by breaking down the three major barriers to study abroad: cost, curriculum and culture. The initiative also focuses on increasing the diversity of the students who study abroad and removing barriers to participation.

“For a significant population of students, study abroad has not yet become a reality,” said David Taylor, assistant dean of global study away.

“The value of helping students obtain a passport cannot be overstated. This first step is crucial in making study abroad possible. With a passport valid for 10 years, these students will be able to travel internationally and continue developing their global mindsets well beyond their time at Wake Forest.” David Taylor, assistant dean of global study away

When selecting students to participate in the Passport Caravan, priority was given to first generation college students and students with financial need.

CIEE shares the following information about the Passport Caravan:

  • More than 50% of passport recipients are students of color
  • 48% of passport recipients are Pell Eligible students
  • 46% of passport recipients are first-generation students

In 2014, Wake Forest committed to increasing the number of students who study abroad by aiming to achieve a 75 percent participation rate. Sixty-three percent of Wake Forest undergraduates received credit for study abroad in the 2015-2016 academic year. Wake Forest University ranks seventh among doctoral U.S. colleges and universities in the percentage of students studying abroad.

About CIEE

Council on International Educational Exchange Founded in 1947, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, serving more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and more than 35,000 international exchange students each year. CIEE operates 61 study centers in 43 countries, sponsors international faculty training programs, teach abroad programs, and various specialty and custom programs for secondary, post-secondary, and international students. Visit

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