Study abroad spring deadline approaching; apply early for passports

University Park, Pa. — College students interested in studying abroad can never plan too early to get their passports.

Having a passport ahead of time is helpful for  several reasons, not the least of which is avoiding additional fees for expedited processing by the U.S. Department of State. (As of Aug. 18, 2008, expedited passport service costs an additional $60 on top of standard passport processing charges, plus overnight mailing costs.)

In addition, unexpected opportunities for international research, study and travel may present themselves in a timeframe that may not accommodate the posted standard processing time, which varies based on many factors, including current level of demand for passports and governmental policy changes.

Penn State's Education Abroad Fair is scheduled to be held at University Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, in the HUB Alumni Hall. Attendees can meet with a study abroad representative from their college and from partnering institutions worldwide.

The deadline for most Education Abroad scholarship applications for Spring 2009 is Monday, Sept. 15. More information is available online.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) offers online study abroad resources that include information about international scholarships, fellowships and internships available to U.S. students. Penn State's Education Abroad office also offers information about scholarships and financial aid online.

Universitywide, Penn State ranked fourth in the nation for students studying abroad, according to the most recent IIE Open Doors Report. (Subsequent rankings will list Penn State statistics by campus.) During the last academic year, 2,168 Penn State students studied outside the United States, while nationally, 223,534 U.S. students studied abroad, which represented an 8.5 percent increase over the previous year's total.

An abundance of information about study abroad — ranging from first steps to travel tips, plus contact information and video testimonials from Penn State students as well as a section for parents and family — is available from Penn State's Office of International Programs. A list of Study Abroad advisers for Penn State campuses and colleges can be found here. Additional passport information is available from the U.S. Department of State as well as from Penn State's Education Abroad office, listed here.

 

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Last Updated November 18, 2010