Published on 4/1/2021 1:09:24 PM
COLLEGE STATION, Feb. 28, 2021 – A recent crowdfunding initiative raised more than $6,000 to help up to 38 students take the Aggie Spirit abroad.
As part of Texas A&M’s Spirit of Giving program, Education Abroad launched the campaign on Feb. 15, with the goal to make study abroad more accessible and inclusive. Funds raised through this campaign will providefree passports to students from underrepresented groups, including low-income, first-generation college students, and minority students.
A total of 89 donors supported the initiative, and the campaign quickly surpassed its original goal of $5,000. The final tally once the fundraiser ended was $6,120.
“The outpouring of support for this was amazing,” said Drew Crawford, campaign leader and Education Abroad advisor. “I never expected we would be in the position to need to raise our goal and then surpass it. It just goes to show the value people place on international education, especially Aggies.”
Texas A&M ranks as the No. 1 public university for students studying abroad. In 2018-19, more than 5,600 Aggies crossed international borders in an effort to expand their intellectual and personal horizons. However, the upfront cost of obtaining a passport can be a deterrent for many students leaving them at a disadvantage as the globalization of the workforce continues to grow.
Passports are essential to opening the doors of the world. Education Abroad is a high impact, transformational opportunity that actively prepares students to be global citizens, immersing them in foreign languages and cultures to foster intercultural knowledge and competence. Participating in education abroad experiences while at Texas A&M allows students to better navigate diverse environments and build a more impressive resume.
Each standard passport has a total cost of approximately $160. Funds from this campaign will be used entirely to cover the cost of the fees associated with obtaining a passport, which include:
- Photos $15
- Execution Fee $35
- Passport Book $110
“In order to ensure all Aggies are afforded the opportunity to study abroad, it is critical to remove barriers for all students, especially those from underrepresented populations,” said Dr. Holly Hudson, executive director of Education Abroad at Texas A&M. “I’m so grateful for my friends and colleagues all over the world who supported this initiative, including so many from the Aggie community. I am excited that we’ll now be able to assist more students expand their horizons and grow beyond their zip code.”
By Caleb Chapman, Texas A&M University Education Abroad