In September, 145 students took part in the first-ever Passport Caravan, an event that opened the door for international travel.
By providing free passports to students, the Passport Caravan helped diverse students take the initial step toward participation in a study abroad program. Eligible students included first-generation college students, Pell Grant-eligible students and students traditionally underrepresented in Study Abroad.
International education has measurable academic and career benefits for all students, yet KU data indicate that females and white students are more likely to study abroad than other student populations. That’s true nationally as well. The Institute of International Education, an organization that tracks study abroad data through the annual Open Doors Report, indicates that 67.3 percent of students who studied abroad in academic year 2017-18 were women while 70.8 percent were white.
“One of the primary goals of KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE) is to increase the number and diversity of students participating in education abroad, such that the population of study abroad students mirrors the KU undergraduate student population across all student profiles, academic disciplines and student demographics,” said Angela Perryman, director of SAGE. “The Passport Caravan directly supports this goal by providing students access to a passport and the resources and motivation to use it during their tenure at KU.”
The event also featured an International Opportunities Fair that highlighted study abroad programs, the Global Awareness Program, language and area studies degrees and diverse alumni of international education. The event was developed in partnership with KU Undergraduate Studies, International Affairs, Study Abroad & Global Engagement and the nonprofit international education organization, the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE).