The Institute of International Education (IIE) selected Chapman University as one of 40 institutions to receive an IIE American Passport Project grant providing 25 first-year Chapman students from underrepresented groups with a free United States passport for studying abroad.
“The American Passport Project grant helps us reach a group of Pell Grant-eligible first-year Chapman students, who may not have considered studying abroad because they think it’s unaffordable or they have to overcome extra barriers,” said Jodi Hicks, special projects coordinator of Chapman’s Center for Global Education (CGE). “By working closely with the students, we help them broaden their world view through experiences in another culture.”
The CGE aims to prepare students for an increasingly integrated and multicultural world through faculty-led semesters abroad and international internship programs. The CGE guides students throughout the passport application process, providing guidance and allowing students to take passport photos in the CGE office for free.
“I was amazed with how supportive and encouraging Chapman University is about studying abroad,” said Angelique Acuna, a CGE student advisor and art history major who studied in Paris. “Most of my classes were taught outside the classroom in museums such as the Louvre. My study abroad experience was an amazing opportunity to expand my art history knowledge and gain new perspectives.”
Prior to the pandemic, nearly half of Chapman undergraduate students participated in international programs, according to a 2020 report.
The 25 passport recipients must be Pell Grant-eligible U.S. citizens who identify with traditionally underrepresented student populations. The CGE will choose the recipients in October.