Passport Fair to expand global opportunities

Passport Fair Graphic
Photo Courtesy: The FAMU Office of International Education and Development

The FAMU Office of International Education and Development will host its second passport fair of the spring semester on Tuesday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Emily Maurer, the Coordinator for Research Programs, spoke with The Famuan and said the purpose of the fair is to serve the entire Tallahassee community. However, the majority of those who take advantage of the fair are FAMU students, faculty, and staff.

Maurer described the previous fair, hosted in February, as an “experiment.” It was the first passport fair organized by her office. This time, Maurer said her office has used different marketing techniques to increase turnout, and pre-registration numbers have indicated their efforts were successful.

Maurer believes the increased registration for this month’s fair will open many doors for students who aspire to travel abroad.

“Our goal is definitely for students to have a passport ready so that they can possibly go abroad, whether it’s for study, research, internships, teaching, volunteering, or other opportunities,” Maurer said.

Reginald Bryant, a third-year criminal justice student, firmly believes the passport fair can be a gateway to new opportunities.

“The passport fair could help me by providing information on different study abroad opportunities and even suggest new places that I could visit in the future,” Bryant said.

So far, local Tallahassee residents account for less than 1% of pre-registered attendees, faculty and staff make up 7%, freshmen 12%, sophomores 19%, juniors 24%, and seniors 26%.

When the junior and senior tallies are combined, they account for half of all pre-registered attendees. Graduating senior Omari Jackson shared his reasoning behind this trend.

“As you get older, you are able to do more for yourself and start wanting more for yourself,” Jackson said. “Most upperclassmen are working and providing for themselves, which also allows them to enjoy and leisurely splurge on memories that’ll last a lifetime, like a spring break trip with their roommates.”

Whether for education or pleasure, there are numerous ways for students to utilize a passport. Maurer aims to continue hosting two passport fairs each semester in addition to the study abroad fair her office organizes once a semester.