NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – More students are traveling abroad for international education experiences according to a report published by the Institute of International Education. The report cites that more than 273,996 U.S. students studied abroad for credit during the 2010/2011 academic year, an increase of more than 1.3 percent over the previous year, while travel outside of the country has more than tripled over the past two decades.
In an effort to make international travel easier for its students, Tennessee State University will be holding a Passport Fair, Tuesday, April 2. The event is open to the community and will take place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Floyd Payne Campus Center, room 319.
“Acquiring a passport has been one of the largest barriers to the study abroad program,” said Mark Brinkley, Director of International Education. “We want to make sure that all our TSU students and community partners have the opportunity to travel outside of the country, and the Office of Diversity and International Affairs is here to help make that process more accessible.”
Brinkley said he was originally approached by the David Rawles, President of the Student Government Association, on how to make the process easier for students wishing to get a passport, but who found it difficult to find transportation or get help accomplishing the process.
“I traveled abroad as a sophomore and even though I had a car, found it hard to get to where I needed to be to not only get a photograph, but also turn in the required paperwork,” said Rawles. “We asked what we needed to do to help make this happen, and Mr. Brinkley was very supportive.”
With the help of U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper (D), a partnership was formed between the Office of Diversity and International Affairs at the University and the U.S. State Department. With the help of the State Department, free expedited service and free overnight delivery will be provided.
“This is very unique to Tennessee and to the University,” said Brinkley. “This is the first time the State Department has come to a public or private institution to help with the process. This is a partnership that we see lasting a long time, in fact we will conduct this fair twice a year in September and February.”
Along with students, the Passport Fair will be open to the public. University officials have stated they already expect to help not only students from TSU, but also Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Middle Tennessee and Austin Peay State Universities, as well as the general public.
“We know students are not the only ones who travel outside of the U.S.,” added Brinkley. “We want to help all global travelers, whether they be students or our neighbors.”
What you will need to apply:
- Completed Form DS-11 if you are applying for the first time, or under the age 16. Fill out Form DS-82 if you can submit a previous U.S. passport issued to you in the past 15 years, when you were age 16 or older.
- Certified copy of your U.S. citizenship evidence. NOTE: photocopies, notarized copies and hospital birth certificates are NOT acceptable.
- Valid photo ID. Examples include driver’s license, state-issued ID, student ID
- A photocopy, front and back, of your valid photo ID
- One color passport photo, size 2”x2”.
- Passport photos will be taken on Wednesday, March 20 and 27 from noon until 1 p.m. in the Floyd Payne campus center in the lobby near the Information Desk. Photos will be FREE for TSU students only.
- Passport Fees: NOTE only checks and money orders will be accepted. NO CASH will be accepted.
Adult passport (first-time applicant and renewal) fee $135 per passport book
The passport card application will be accepted for $55 per card.
Each complete application will be expedited and passports returned by April 19. The $60 fee for expedited service is FREE for ALL applicants.
For more information, contact Mark Brinkley at 615.963.7660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.