DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > DePaul Study Abroad program offers first-year students passport grants

DePaul Study Abroad program offers first-year students passport grants

​​​Shekita Parker
(Photo by Jeff Carrion/DePaul University)

Traveling and studying outside of the United States can be intimidating, with learning and adventures tinged with the uncertainty of navigating an unknown locale. But many students still aspire to study abroad, and the proven benefits of such programs include improved career preparation, language skills, personal growth, and maturity. However, many who want to participate in one of these experiences face cost and process barriers. 

This is why the DePaul Study Abroad program funded 50 passports for fall 2023 first-year students who met certain criteria and wish to study abroad during their DePaul career. The scholarships were made possible by a one-time grant from the IIE American Passport Project. In addition to removing the cost barrier, Study Abroad staff also meet with the grant recipients to help them complete their passport applications.

“The $165 cost and challenging application process for first-time passports prevents many students from even considering DePaul’s 80-plus study abroad programs,” says Martha McGivern, director of Study Abroad. “It is our responsibility to create equitable access to these transformative, high-impact experiences for all DePaul students, and these grants are one way to do that.”

The grants are specifically for students of color or first-generation students who are also Pell-eligible and first-time passport applicants. 

“At DePaul, African American and Latinx students participate in international experiences at rates lower than their white peers,” McGivern says. The criteria for the scholarship were established to help increase those participation rates. 

DePaul student Shekita Parker is one recipient of the grant, and she plans to use her newly-acquired passport as a tool to expand her learning experiences. 

“Coming from a low-income household, I didn’t have the resources to obtain a passport,” she said. “This award will boost my academic career by helping me take advantage of a study abroad program in Australia over spring break​.” 

Study Abroad hopes to offer similar grants to this same student population in the future. Email for information about their many study abroad programs and program scholarships.