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Scholarships help students with travel costs

By Anna Curtis
On September 27, 2018

As colder weather starts to loom over campus, thoughts begin to turn to the winter break and the holidays just a few months away.
For students considering an alternative to the typical winter break, Kirkwood Community College’s Study Abroad offers short term programs.
 Ken Nesbett, study abroad advisor, said, “Kirkwood offers short-term faculty-led, semester, and virtual study abroad programs. Faculty-led programs are ... popular options for students.”  
The short-term programs are two to three weeks in length and  take place over winter and spring breaks as well as the summer term.
Programs take place on every continent except Antarctica and a full list is available at www.kirkwood.edu/studyabroad along with the application.
Scholarships are available to help cover the costs of study abroad expenses. According to Nesbett, more than 80 percent of students receive the Global Advantage Scholarship, which is a minimum of $1,000. This scholarship is available to any full time or degree-seeking student with a 2.5 GPA or higher. There is also the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship for students who receive a Pell Grant.  
Applications for winter break programs are due on Oct. 15,  spring break programs on Nov. 1 and summer term programs on Dec. 15.
Financial Aid can also help cover the cost of studying abroad.  Nesbett said he recommends using funds from scholarships and grants before using loans.
“Budgeting to go abroad is one of the biggest concerns that a lot of students have. I find that most students can make it happen if they have a plan. We only require a $500 deposit which is refunded if they are not accepted to the study abroad program. The rest of the payments are made in installments,” he said.  
Applying for a passport can also be a daunting task for students. The study abroad program is hosting a free event to help make the job easier. On Nov. 14 Passports and Pizza is taking place.
Students who attend will get pizza and have their picture taken for their passport. To go overseas students will need to get a book, not a card, which can be obtained at the post office in Cedar Rapids. The total expense is $145 for both the book and processing fee. New applicants should bring their birth certificate, picture and completed application to the appointment.  
New passport applications are processed by appointment only. Appointments can be made by visiting: https://tools.usps.com/go/pages/schedule-appointment/index.jsp
The passport application is available online at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/requirements/fees.html   or can be picked up at the post office.  
Students who have questions can contact Ken Nesbett at ken.nesbett@kirkwood.edu or stop by 1154 Linn Hall.

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