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Sinclair Community College Selected to Receive the IIE American Passport Project Grant in Support of 1,000 U.S. Students Obtaining Passports and Studying Abroad

Sinclair Community College has been selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to receive an IIE American Passport Project grant that will enable up to 25 Sinclair students to obtain a U.S. passport and support their study abroad journeys. In the second year of the program, IIE awarded 40 institutions for this opportunity, which will help 1,000 Pell-eligible, U.S. students obtain their U.S. passports and start their study abroad journey.

It has long been part of IIE’s mission to increase participation and diversity in study abroad, so that all students can gain the academic and career benefits of international experience. The IIE American Passport Project grant is intended to promote diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in study abroad and to support the IIENetwork, IIE’s global membership network, in their efforts to encourage students to go abroad who would otherwise not participate in an international experience as part of their college education. For students of limited means, studying abroad can require long-term planning and involve financial hurdles, like the cost of a passport, which could bar them from moving forward.

Through the IIE American Passport Project, IIE plans to have enabled 10, 000 students to have passports by the end of this decade. Each year, IIE will help 1,000 college students obtain a U.S. passport by awarding funds to approximately 40 U.S. colleges and universities in the IIENetwork. Each institution will identify up to 25 of their first-year students, who are eligible for Pell grants. 

For the 40 institutions selected, the IIE American Passport Project provides one critical piece of the multi-faceted effort needed to reach students who are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad: a passport. The selected institutions will provide the innovative programming, engagement efforts, advising, and support for those students they have identified with the goal of sending them on a study abroad program during their college experience.    

Through this project, Sinclair Community College will receive funding to help 25 Pell-eligible students to obtain a U.S. passport.  Eligibility is limited to first year students to ensure that students have ample time to develop a study abroad plan.  

“Sinclair Community College is honored to be selected by the Institute of International Education for the IIE American Passport Project that will give students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience education abroad,” said Deborah Gavlik, Director of International Education at Sinclair Community College. “Studying abroad is one of the best ways Sinclair students can gain the international experience necessary to be successful in today's global workforce.”

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Sinclair’s study abroad opportunities were put on hold because of safety concerns and travel restrictions. Sinclair is resuming study abroad for students in the upcoming academic year with group trips expected to France, Japan and Belize.  Prior to the pandemic, over 50 Sinclair students, on average, would study abroad annually. 

Learn more about Sinclair’s Office of International Education at:


About IIE: 
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is a world leader in helping people and organizations leverage the power of international education to thrive in today’s interconnected world. As a not-for-profit with 17 offices and affiliates worldwide, IIE manages 200+ programs with participants from 180+ countries. Each year, tens of thousands of people participate in IIE-managed programs. IIE collaborates with a range of corporate, government and foundation partners across the globe to design and manage scholarship, study abroad, workforce training, and leadership development programs. 

The IIENetwork is the global membership network connecting more than 10,000 professionals from over 1,500 organizations to resources, including IIE’s extensive knowledge and decades of experience supporting student mobility and exchange, campus internationalization, and international partnerships.