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An Interview with Sarah Theobald on the Passport Funding Initiative

December 2, 2022

In the following Q&A, Sarah Theobald, academic program administrator in the Provost’s Office, talks about the Student Passport Funding Support initiative, which is a collaboration between the Undergraduate Dean’s Office and the Global Learning Experiences Subcommittee of the College’s International Coordinating Council. Additional support comes from the Institute of International Education, secured by Sharon Bain, director of Institutional Grants.

Why this initiative?

Studies and anecdotal experience show that students who have a passport in hand are much more likely to consider participating in international educational experiences. By lowering this particular barrier to entry, we hope that Bryn Mawr students will find themselves open to the many opportunities our curriculum offers for global education.

When did it start?

The Passport Funding Program was started in 2021, as an opportunity for students to plan for their futures, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Who can benefit from it?

Any undergraduate student eligible for a United States passport may use the funding to apply for a first-time passport, or to renew their passport. International students and graduate students are not eligible for this grant. First-year students are particularly encouraged to apply.

Why is it important?

The process of applying for a passport can be confusing, time consuming, and highly detailed. With that credential in hand, however, a literal world of possibility opens up to students. Though having a passport is only the first step to many of the global journeys our students will take, it is vital, and one with which the College can be of assistance. This program is one small opportunity the College has to equip students with powerful tools and prepare them for lives of purpose.

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