UNI Study Abroad Center hosts Passport Day

MEG GROVE, Staff Writer

Thinking about doing a study abroad or longing to travel somewhere new? The Study Abroad Center will be hosting UNI Passport Day on Nov. 16, 2022. The event is for students to apply for or renew their passport and will be hosted in the Study Abroad Center, 103 East Bartlett from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Black Hawk County Recorder’s Office will be coming to the event to accept passport applications from UNI students, faculty and staff. Individuals applying for their passport will need to bring the DS-11 Form (can be filled out prior to attending or at the event), a certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate (including the applicant’s parents’ birth names and have a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal), and a photocopy of the front and back sides of the driver’s license. The same documents are needed for passport renewal, along with the applicant’s old passport. Students can go to the UNI Study Abroad website to view the full list of items needed. 

The cost of applying for a passport is $130 made to the U.S. Department of State by check or money order. There is also a $35 processing fee that can be paid in cash or check to the Black Hawk County Recorder’s Office. Passport photos will be available free of charge at the event. Students can pay $60 for an expedited passport if needed, otherwise processing times are six to nine weeks. 

Having a passport opens up many opportunities for students. “A passport is valid for 10 years. It’s nice to have it available so that when students do want to travel, it is one less thing to do at that time,” said Stephanie Rojas, Study Abroad Interim Director. Even if you don’t plan on doing a study abroad trip in college, a passport is extremely useful for identification purposes and if travel plans come up suddenly.

Students at the event will be able to discuss study abroad opportunities with staff. There are many opportunities to travel for UNIFI or Capstone credits that are faculty-led. Students can also study at partner universities for a semester, full academic year or a summer session while still paying UNI tuition. These options can be discussed at the event, along with study abroad scholarship opportunities.

Being able to travel internationally is a great way to learn about the world and experience different cultures. According to a study conducted by The Institute for International Education, 95% of students said that studying abroad had a lasting impact on their worldview. The study also found that 94% of students say that their study abroad experience still impacts their interactions with people from different cultures. 

The event is being held during International Education Week, a week meant to highlight the international community and efforts on campus. Hosting the event on campus makes it easier for students, international and from the U.S., to get a passport. “We hope that having the Blackhawk County Recorder’s Office come to campus will help make obtaining a passport more accessible to students,” said Rojas.