King's College one of only 40 institutions to get passport project grant

·2 min read

Sep. 25—WILKES-BARRE — King's College is one of 40 institutions to get a grant to help students get passports and study abroad.

Thanks to the program by the Institute of International Education (IIE), 25 King's students will get passports and study-abroad guidance. Overall, IIE is helping 1,000 U.S. students through the new American Passport Project.

"It has long been part of IIE's mission to increase participation and diversity in study abroad, so that all students can gain the academic and career benefits of international experience," according to a media release. The grants are "intended to promote diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in study abroad and to support the IIE Network, IIE's global membership network, in their efforts to encourage students to go abroad who would otherwise not participate in an international experience as part of their college education."

The organization plans to continue the project, helping 10,000 students get passports by the end of this decade, 1,000 students annually. The institution identifies up to 25 of their first-year, Pell grant-eligible students to get passports. Only first year students qualify "to ensure that the students have ample time remaining in their college career and receive guidance from their advisors to map out a study abroad plan."

For the inaugural year, IIE received "nearly 200 applications proposing the various ways higher education institutions of all types and locations would be able to utilize the grant to support diverse student populations. At a time when COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of international education, these institutions demonstrate the drive to restart international initiatives they have been planning (either prior to the pandemic or during)."

King's will use the grant to support its "King's College Passport to the World Program," designed to help under-represented first-year students internationalize their majors of study. Along with help in acquiring passports, eligible students will "meet regularly for global learning program advising and community-building activities.

Study Abroad Director Margaret Kowalsky said in the release that "we're thrilled to have this grant which will enrich the lives of our students and help them access global learning."

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