Posted: 5/02/24

TAMIU Receives IIE American Passport Project Grant, Funding to Support Underrepresented Students


Passport Card IIE

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) has been selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to receive an IIE American Passport Project grant that will enable up to 25 TAMIU students to obtain their first U.S. passports, opening the gateway  to study abroad. 

Now, in its fourth year, IIE has awarded 51 institutions in the IIENetwork membership with this opportunity. An essential program under the IIE Center for Access and Equity, the IIE American Passport Project represents IIE’s commitment to creating access to international education opportunities and enabling equity by removing a financial barrier.

Through this program, U.S.  students will be afforded ample time to go through the passport application and study abroad planning process with advising and support from awarded institutions. The IIE American Passport Project aims to grant 10,000 U.S. students their passports by the end of this decade. 

The IIE American Passport Project seeks to reach student populations and institutions that serve students who identify within demographics underrepresented in U.S. study abroad or those who often do not obtain a U.S. passport. It has supported 176 higher education institutions in 41 states since its 2021 inception. 

Raquel Alvarez-Urrutia, assistant director of the University’s Office of International Engagement, noted the impact of this program on students hoping to study abroad.

“Our office is extremely grateful and excited about the opportunity presented by IIE. Many students interested in studying abroad have never applied for a passport. The hesitation of whether they will have the financials to apply for a passport in many occasions prevents them from going abroad and/or delays the process,” explained Alvarez-Urrutia.

She continued, “Having financial support from IIE will alleviate this additional fee and hopefully facilitate students’ study abroad process. We hope to encourage more students to study abroad and become global citizens by offering the IIE American Passport Project grant.”

The IIE works with governments, policymakers, educators, and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing an interconnected world. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 16 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,600 higher education partners.

In its work worldwide, IIE’s global offices and experienced staff have developed significant expertise, capabilities, and best practices in various fields. Their cutting-edge approaches developed in these fields are formalized in Centers of Excellence: IIE’s Center for International Partnerships and IIE’s Center for Access and Equity.

For more information, contact the TAMIU Office of International Engagement via email at international@tamiu.edu, call 956.326.2282, or visit offices in Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, room 206. Learn more by visiting https://www.tamiu.edu/international/

Registration for Maymester, Summer, and Fall 2024 at TAMIU is now underway. Find out  about TAMIU’s Registration processes by visiting the dedicated Registration Hub at https://go.tamiu.edu/registration.  

University news and information can also be found online at tamiu.edu and on TAMIU’s social channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter/X, and YouTube.