Monday, November 14, 2022
International Programs

passport office giveaways

One year ago this week, International Programs celebrated the grand opening of the University of Iowa (UI) U.S. passport office. To mark the occasion, International Programs is excited to share that since opening in November 2021, passport agents working out of the International Programs office have facilitated over 700 passport appointments, helping UI students and community members alike complete their passport applications so they may travel abroad.

In remarks made a year ago, Russ Ganim, associate provost and dean of International Programs, shared the significance of having a passport office on campus, stating, “The opening of a U.S. Passport Acceptance Facility on the UI campus demonstrates Iowa’s commitment to international education and Iowa’s openness to the world. The passport office is a resource open not just to the university, but to the community at large. In this day and age, a passport is just as important as a driver’s license. Our goal is to help Iowans learn about the world by giving them the tools to explore it.” In the months since, hundreds of individuals, including UI students, staff, faculty, and community members, have utilized the UI passport office as a gateway to the rest of the world.

“Our location, flexibility, and quality of customer service are the real advantages of our site."

“The UI passport office has had a positive impact on our campus community by providing access for students, faculty, staff, and community members to apply for a passport in a convenient location on campus," said Brandon Paulson, assistant director of International Student and Scholar Services. "We support opportunities to travel internationally and participate in transformative intercultural experience, often working with students participating in study abroad experiences, conducting research abroad, and attending international conferences, to support their international travels by providing help with the passport application process. The UI passport office is an important resource to support campus internationalization at the UI.”

With a passport facility conveniently located on the UI campus, students applying for a passport for the first time, many of whom are participating in UI study abroad programs, can easily access this service without leaving campus. The UI passport office also serves community members from the surrounding area.

Amy Brandt, administrative services coordinator for International Programs, works to schedule passport appointments for students and community members. “Having the UI passport office here on campus, we pride ourselves in being a service-oriented space,” said Brandt. “The agents working with applicants genuinely want to help them navigate the application process and make the experience as easy and stress-free as possible.”

Herky holding giant passport
Herky and others at the grand opening of the UI passport office on November 17, 2021

These experiences were echoed by Kevin Roiseland, senior advisor and passport agent for International Programs. “Our location, flexibility, and quality of customer service are the real advantages of our site. Being within quick walking distance of banks and stores where passport photos and checks or money orders can be quickly obtained if the applicant forgets to bring them along is a plus. We often get applicants in and out of their appointment in 15-minutes but having scheduled a 30-minute appointment for an applicant, we are able to help troubleshoot problems with applications or missing pieces in a pinch without having to reschedule the appointment.”

Additionally, with the UI passport office scheduling appointments for applicants by phone, Brandt spoke of the ease many families in the community have had working with the facility.

“When a family calls in for passport appointments, we’re able to schedule multiple members of a family together,” said Brandt. “I’ve had families worried they’d need to schedule multiple appointments across multiple days to get everyone in, but we work with everyone that calls for an appointment to make the process as seamless as possible.”

“For many applicants who have applied for previous passports at the post office or other area receiving agencies, they have been highly appreciative of our site, both for its existence and quality of customer service,” said Roiseland.

The UI passport office is an official U.S. passport acceptance facility, approved by the U.S. Department of State, and processes new U.S. passport applications and child/minor renewal applications. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment only. Appointments may be scheduled by calling (319) 353-2700.

Learn More about applying for a U.S. passport

 


International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.