ASU Global Education Office sponsors over 200 passports to first-time recipient students

ASU Passport Caravan sign shown in a hallway with ASU-branded signage and balloons.

The ASU Passport Caravan was held on Feb. 15 and 16, giving away over 200 passports to students who have never received a passport before. Photo courtesy ASU Global Education Office


On Feb. 15 and 16, the Arizona State University Global Education Office partnered with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) to hold a pop-up Passport Caravan event in the Student Pavilion Multicultural Communities of Excellence space on the Tempe campus, breaking down a barrier for students hoping to pursue a global education program before graduation: getting their passport.

Over 200 first- and second-year students who never had a passport before were selected to receive one. These students self-identified as being a part of an underrepresented group in study abroad, such as being a first-generation college student, Pell Grant recipients, racially or ethnically diverse, or part of the LGBTQ community.

During the event, students sat down with an agent from the ASU Passport Office to complete their paperwork and mail their passport application off to the U.S. Department of State. 

Getting a passport can often be a barrier for those hoping to pursue a global education program before graduation. The process of applying for a passport can be tricky and it can take up to 11 weeks for the passport book to arrive. The Passport Caravan aims to soften this barrier through accessible resources and guidance that will empower students to complete the prelimary processes necessary for international opportunities.

The students selected for the event often experience other barriers to these opportunities, such as having immigrant parents who have not gone through the process of getting a U.S. passport or are experiencing financial challenges. U.S. passports in total cost $165. During the Passport Caravan event, the passports awarded to students totaled over $32,000.

Students are advised to start planning for a study abroad program a year in advance, and the Passport Caravan got the ball rolling with the first step to traveling internationally checked off. Global Education Office professional staff, as well as study abroad alumni, were present to help students find a global education program that would fit their academic plan and personal goals. 

Brittany Spears, a student who came with her children to the Passport Caravan, never owned a U.S. passport before but has dreams of studying abroad in Japan for a semester to fulfill her Japanese language minor. Other students hope to use their new passport to visit family across the globe.

Students traveled from all four of ASU’s campuses to participate in the Passport Caravan, but their passport will take them much further than Tempe. Students cited hoping to use their passport to take them to countries like Argentina, Korea, Sweden, Morocco, England, Germany and Thailand, to name a few.

Due to the success of the event, the Global Education Office plans to host another Passport Caravan with CIEE at the start of the fall semester to give away 150 more passports.