Passport Night Passport Night and student blogs encourage Fox students to take studies overseas
In Gloria Angel’s opinion, everyone in the United States should have a passport.
“The minute you get a passport, all you want to do is use it,” she said. But when she began working at the Temple Center of International Business Education and Research (CIBER), based at the Fox School, she learned how many students didn’t even know how to go about getting one.
As the assistant director of Fox International Programs and Temple CIBER, Angel’s main concern was that not enough students were studying abroad. So Angel became a certified passport acceptance agent and hosted the Fox School’s first Passport Night in Spring 2008 with colleague Martyn J. Miller, senior director for International Student and Scholar Services at Temple.
Held once each semester, Passport Night is a one-stop shop for anyone in need of a passport, and it puts students one step closer to taking their studies overseas.
As a passport acceptance agent, Angel is entitled to a $25 execution fee from each passport applicant. Instead of using the money for herself, she created a fund that would go directly back to students.
Angel created the Passport Night Award, which aids two students per semester with travel expenses. To date, the Fox School has given more than $10,000 to students studying abroad.
Cassie Carbaugh, a senior international business major, received the award for her studies in Lyon, France, during the Spring 2011 semester. “Not only did this award pay for my passport and visa, but it also covered the cost of my flight,” she said. “This award gave me the ability to minimize my costs, and that was so important to me.”
Because of Passport Night’s success, Angel raised enough funds to purchase several handheld video cameras. She offered them to students going abroad in exchange for weekly blog posts detailing their experiences and providing a resource for students considering going abroad themselves.
Edward Leiber, an international business and economics student, blogged about his experience at Temple Rome during in Fall 2010. He credits his blog with his smooth transition to Italian life.
When he was eager to call or video chat his friends and family at home, he turned to his camera, treating it like a personal phone call, explaining the obstacles of his new lifestyle and how he managed to resolve them.
“It’s nice because it’s kind of like a historical perspective on everything that I went through,” he said.
All student blogs are hosted on the Temple CIBER website and detail the experiences of students studying in more than 15 countries.
“Students are getting excited,” she said. “The message is getting out there.”
“The turnout for January’s Passport Night was one of the highest we’ve ever had. Students were happy to wait for the opportunity and we hope to continue this initiative for many semesters to come,” said Nicole Riley, associate director of International Programs, CIBER/IGMS.