Passport Day prepares students for intl. travel

Adelle Whitefoot

The International Programs Office, along with Peter White Public Library and Marquette Wallpaper & Paint, will be providing students an opportunity to get a passport.

Passport Day will be held Wednesday, Nov. 10 in the lower level of the LRC from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Passport Day is a one-day-a-year event where anyone can apply for a passport card or passport book in a “one stop shop” style, said Angela Maki, principal secretary II of International Programs.

“Passport Day gives students more traveling or possibly studying opportunities,” Maki said.  “If you don’t have your passport, you can’t travel outside the U.S., not even to Canada.”

It takes about four to six weeks to process a passport and receive it, Maki said.  The passport card can be used to travel by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean and the passport book can be used for most other travel destinations.

“(A passport) can help students even after Northern,” Maki said. “If a job they get after Northern requires them to travel internationally, then they would have their passport already.”

Peter White Public Library is a passport acceptance agency, said Carolyn Jordan, a reference collection development librarian at Peter White Public Library.  An acceptance agency provides information about the application process and the forms for a passport to a person interested in getting one.  Once a person fills out the forms and brings them back with the other materials needed, the acceptance agency goes over them and then sends the forms into the passport agency to go through processing, Jordan said.

“We’ve been doing passports for probably about 12 years now,” said Jordan.  “So we have quite a bit of experience.”

The process of applying for a passport at Passport Day usually takes about 15 minutes depending on whether the person has all the proper documents and whether or not the application was done right and if a person needs help with it, Jordan said.  Passports are good for 10 years of international travel opportunity, said Susan Morgan, coordinator for education abroad and exchange programs.

“(Students) may not even be thinking of studying abroad, but the perfect opportunity could fall in (their) lap at any time,” said Morgan.  “They don’t want to be the one who says ‘sorry, can’t go with you, I never got my passport’ or pay for an expedited fee.”

Passport Day is being hosted in recognition of International Education Week, which is Nov. 14 through Nov. 20, Morgan said.  Northern has identified globalization as a key element in President Les Wong’s Road Map to 2015, Morgan said.

“In the (international programs) office, we believe these goals are well met through academic study abroad, teaching abroad, international internships, et cetera,” Morgan said.

In order to apply for a passport at the event, students need a valid photo ID, a second photo ID if they don’t have Michigan drivers license, $10 cash, check, or money order for Marquette Wallpaper & Paint to take their photo and a certified birth certificate. They will also need two separate checks or money orders, one made out to Peter White Public Library for $25 and the other made out to the U.S. Department of State for $110 for a passport book or $30 for a passport card, and filled-out, unsigned passport application from www.travel.state.gov.  For more information, contact the International Programs Office at 227-2510.