Cal Poly students who are unable to study abroad due to the cost of passport application fees are eligible to receive a passport for free.

Students can apply to get a free passport through a sponsorship from  the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and the International Center. 

This sponsorship is part of CIEE’s support of Generation Study Abroad, which makes studying abroad more accessible for students. Their goal is to double the amount of U.S. students who study abroad, according to Assistant Vice Provost of the International Center Cari Vanderkar.

“Whenever we see opportunities to get funding to support our students, we really like to pursue those and work with our partners to see how we can best support students,” Vanderkar said. “Particularly those who are underrepresented in study abroad, and in this case high need students, and also for their wishes they’re looking at students who haven’t held a passport, and that’s really exciting”

More than 25 percent of Cal Poly students study abroad by the time they graduate, one of the highest numbers in the nation, according to Vandekar. She said this is thanks to both faculty and students. 

“I attribute it to the partnerships with our faculty across campus and departments, staff who are supportive of study abroad, and helping facilitate the experience for students,” Vanderkar said. “Then just the student body, who’s really eager to learn more about the world and gain skills to become better global citizens.”

Students must apply by Friday, Feb. 7 to be eligible. Those selected will be informed by Friday, Feb. 14. On Thursday, March 5, CIEE’s Passport Caravan event will be held on campus, which is where selected students will get their passports. 

Applicants are required to be a U.S. citizen, in need of a new passport ( not a renewal), and available for the Caravan event. Those selected will go to the event with all required paperwork to get their passport. 

Students can apply online at the International Center’s website

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