Students had to pay the $165 in total fees upfront but were then reimbursed within four weeks.

Georgia State University has been honored with a national award for its Free Passport Initiative, which since February 2021 has remove the first hurdle for more than 1,000 students seeking a post-pandemic study-abroad experience.  

The program was envisioned to provide a “bright spot for global engagement during a dark period for study abroad,” giving students an impetus to look beyond current travel restrictions and budget limitations to dream of future international education experiences, said Wolfgang Schlör, associate provost of in the Office of International Initiatives.  

For its work, Georgia State was awarded one of the 2022 Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education, from the Institute for International Education. GSU was one of six awardees overall and one of two honorees in the category of “Widening Access to International Education,” along with the University of Richmond’s EnCompass Program.  

Another core goal achieved by the Georgia State program was improving the diversity of students taking advantage of study-abroad opportunities.  

A.D. Bivines, a Georgia State film major, said in a news release that the passport “opened up whole new worlds.”  

“Inclusion is becoming a big part in the field of entertainment, so just having that ability to travel, meet, and learn from people all over the world will help do wonders in my budding career field and for general learning purposes,” Ms. Bivines said.  

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...