Global Education launches annual Passport Fair – The Campus – The Campus | Team Cansler

The Department of Global Education will host its first post-pandemic Passport Fair on November 16 at the Henderson Campus Center. All Allegheny students have the opportunity to apply for a passport for free, saving you $180 in fees.
After the program has been closed for the last several years, Associate Dean for Global Education Brita Doyle plans to resume a series of study events that will make the program more accessible to all students.
“Allegheny College truly believes that all students should be able to travel abroad,” Doyle said. “The world is open again and we want to encourage students to be prepared for opportunities that may arise.”
The Passport Fair runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Students must register online for a timeslot. Visit the Global Education Department website for registration information.
While the college covers the cost of applying for a passport, students are required to bring three documents to their appointment: an original birth certificate, a completed application form available from the college post office, and government-issued photo ID.
Doyle explained that the application process is fairly simple.
“At the event, you come into your time slot,” Doyle said. “(The postal clerk) will review these documents and take the application, and then the student is done.”
After submitting the form, the students receive a passport photo. The Post Office then sends the forms to the State Department, and students receive their passports in the mail, Doyle explained.
“It can seem like an overwhelming bureaucratic process,” Doyle said. “By getting the passport officers from the post office to the campus and funding the cost of the student passport, I hope that we will make it much easier for students to get a passport so that they are much closer to the next step, international ones to gain experience.”
For Doyle, studying abroad is one of the most rewarding things a student can do during their time at college.
“You can also learn a lot about yourself by going to another country and being removed from your normal environment,” Doyle said. “I think during these experiences students gain the ability to deal with ambiguity, they learn to be more flexible, they learn to deal with difficult situations, they learn to work with people from different backgrounds and different perspectives.”
Faythe Shulte, ’23, attested to the positive benefits of studying abroad. With a dual degree in French and Environmental Studies, Shulte spent her spring 2022 semester studying in Paris, France as part of Boston University’s Paris internship program.
“It’s really hard to put into words how amazing — and it’s cheesy, but — the life-changing distance learning program was,” Shulte said. “I’ve learned so much more about myself and not just who I am as a person, but where I want to go in life. It was just incredible to immerse myself in a language and culture that I love.”
Shulte added that while she was planning to go to college to study abroad, it was just a matter of location choice. She already had a passport before she came to Allegheny, but many of her friends didn’t. Shulte noted how crowded the Passport Fair was in its first year.
“It was so popular,” Shulte said, gesturing toward the campus center lobby. “This whole area was full of people getting passports.”
However, studying abroad is not the only reason for students to get their passport. Class of 2026 President Sam Ault stated that while attending the fair, they have no intention of learning away at this time.
“I’m not actively trying to study, but I’d like not to have to pay for my passport,” Ault said. “Also, as a PA resident, I can’t fly with my driver’s license.”
Ault explained that receiving her passport serves a number of purposes. First and foremost, they can use it to fly domestically. They also want to use it to travel abroad in the future. However, Ault was fairly firm in his decision to remain in Allegheny rather than study abroad.
“Would you like to leave campus?” Alt asked. “I love it here.”
However, Lydia Wagner, ’26, has been determined to study abroad ever since she started looking at colleges.
“The (study program) is one of the reasons why I decided to come here,” said Wagner. “I’ve been really pleased with the amount of programs they provide for students.”
Wagner has already begun to consider which program she could attend. Right now, her frontrunner is the environmental science trip to Costa Rica.
“I think it’s going to be a really fun experience for me to be able to immerse myself in environmental science and Spanish like that,” Wagner said.
Similar to Ault, Wagner mentioned that the fee savings convinced her to sign up.
“I was really intrigued by the fact that they would waive the fee,” Wagner said. “That’s a pretty big savings, so I’m going to have to do that.”
Ault and Wagner aren’t the only ones benefiting from this event. So far, 61 students have registered for the passport fair, according to Global Education’s registration form. That’s roughly $10,890 worth of passports covered by the Office of the President. However, there are still a number of places open. Doyle explained that the goal of the event is to help as many students as possible, so there is no cap on the number of participants.
“We want to remove one of the barriers (to study abroad) for these students,” Doyle said. “As many students as we can plan to come between nine and three that day can get passes.”
This isn’t the only thing the Global Learning Department does to help students. Doyle explained that as the world reopens, the department plans to resume many of its annual events that have been suspended during COVID.
“I will continue to hold general education classes at the beginning of each semester,” Doyle said. “In the next academic year we will be reintroducing our study abroad fair… Those are the things we are restarting now that the world is opening up again.”
She emphasized that studying abroad is an opportunity that every student should consider. For those who are undecided on whether or not to travel, Doyle said they should meet up with her to discuss it.
“The Global Learning Department is here to prepare students for their experiences,” Doyle said. “Talk to me, ask questions and help me understand your doubts. I am excited to speak to students about the circumstances they find themselves in here in their personal, professional and academic lives and to help see if this is possible.”
She added that no matter what a student studies, there is an opportunity to study abroad.
“With a little careful planning, students can study abroad regardless of their major,” Doyle said.
Shulte agreed, saying Allegheny makes it “economically feasible” for students to travel abroad.
“If you have the opportunity and it works, take it,” Shunte said. “There are a lot of different scholarships and the like that made studying cheaper for me than a semester in Allegheny.”

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