UofM Center for International Education Services Launches Study Abroad Access Initiative

November 1, 2017 - The University of Memphis Center for International Education Services (CIES), in partnership with the TRiO program and the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, is launching the Study Abroad Access Initiative (SAAI).

Students have often been discouraged from pursuing study abroad due to the upfront costs of applying for a passport and purchasing a round-trip international flight. The goal of SAAI is to encourage student populations that are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad to participate in an international education experience by eliminating those financial barriers.

Both the TRiO program and the Hooks Institute's African-American Male Initiative (HAAMI) focus on improving the retention and graduation rates at the UofM by enriching each student's academic, personal and social development. Through the SAAI initiative, active members of TRiO and HAAMI can apply to receive up to $2,000 to supplement the cost of a passport and a round-trip international flight that is associated with a UofM study abroad program.

Rorie Trammel, assistant director of the Hooks Institute and coordinator for the HAAMI program, said, "We are grateful and excited that the Center for International Education Services has initiated this unique partnership. The SAAI Initiative will give HAAMI members an outstanding opportunity to broaden their educational experience as UofM students through study abroad."

The SAAI is a pilot program. If successful, the CIES hopes to collaborate with other offices on campus that serve underrepresented student populations in the future.

Chuck Gallina