Traveling abroad is an opportunity that many people elect not to take advantage of for a list of justifiable reasons. In other cases, they jut don’t have access. But Florida A&M University is making it so that not having a passport isn’t an obstacle for their students.

FAMU set up a program where, for one day, the first 150 students to arrive with a form of ID could get a free passport. Since the program started last semester, more than 400 have done just that, according to WCTV

“Having a study abroad experience is no longer just a nice thing to do. It’s necessary,” William Hyndman, Ed.D., the Assistant Vice President of the FAMU Office of International Education and Development, said to WCTV. “We live in a global world. As a university, we need to graduate global leaders.”

FAMU is now also a registered passport acceptance center, meaning that it can also provide the service to residents of Tallahassee.

“We wanted to serve the FAMU campus community and the south Tallahassee community to provide another place to come to apply for passports,” Hyndman said to the Tallahassee Democrat. “It’s the first stop for students wanting to travel abroad. FAMU has historically had fewer than 100 students studying abroad. Our goal is to change that.”

Offering students the option to get free passports already seems to be making a difference. During the 2014-15 school year, only 72 students studied abroad. That number has now increased to 83.

Travel can completely change a person’s outlook on the world around them and, ideally, should be an option for everyone at some point. Having a passport makes taking that first step that much easier.

Photo Courtesy: Wiki Commons

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