Passport stipends open world of possibilities for ...

Passport stipends open world of possibilities for MTSU students

For many people, the passport to an enlightened, educated life is just that — a passport.

Tiffany Bickers

That’s why the MTSU Office of Education Abroad last month awarded 30 grants of $100 each to first-time passport applicants who will be studying outside the United States in the summer and fall 2014 semesters.

“Applying for a passport is the first step to becoming a global citizen,” said Tiffany Bickers, director of the Office of Education Abroad.

“These award recipients will not only have a unique academic experience but will also gain confidence, improve foreign language abilities and be able to demonstrate intercultural communication skills in future personal, academic and career choices.”

This is the second year the grants have been awarded. Combined with the University Honors College’s similar program, more than 100 MTSU students have received funds for that all-important travel document.

First-year MTSU music business major Caroline Patton of Maryville, Tenn., said the stipend will enable her to study in Barcelona, Spain, this summer.

“The costs tend to add up, and it definitely helps,” Patton said.

“MTSU has helped me out in so many ways, considering this is my first study-abroad trip, and they give you every opportunity to find support financially.”

MTSU offers more than 400 study-abroad program options in 65 countries. In the 2012-13 academic year, 373 students participated in study-abroad courses. That is a 10 percent increase over the previous academic year.

For more information, visit or contact Bickers at 615-898-5179 or

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MTSU student Cayla Cripps, a native of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., poses in front of the Sydney Opera House during her summer 2013 study-abroad excursion to Australia. (photo submitted)

MTSU student Amber Bond, a native of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., looks across the Andes Mountains during her summer 2012 study-abroad experience in Peru. (photo submitted)