This week marks an exciting right of passage for the students of Excelsior. The Global to Local students completed their applications this week for their very own passports, which will be the gateway to a whole new realm of travel opportunities for them. The best part is that travel ticket will be good for the next 10 years!
After undergoing the passport renewal process myself just this last month, I can say that the feeling of holding that new little book in my hand with its fresh and empty pages gives you an exhilarating feeling of possibility. For many of the students traveling to Ecuador, this is the first time that they will have that experience.
A passport is not simply a couple pieces of paper stapled together. We are lucky to live in a country where obtaining a passport opens up the chance to travel to anywhere in the world. A passport is one of the most sought after benefits of a mutual understanding between countries. It is a symbol that grants not only tremendous privilege, but also represents diplomacy and agreement in a world that hasn’t always allowed for open borders for travelers. For the Excelsior students, it is a piece of a larger puzzle that our students are using to navigate and chart their own course in their lives.
“This trip would be my first time out of the country and it would be a great chance to see the world outside the United States. There are many things we take for granted in the United States and going outside the country will prompt me to really appreciate what I have. Aside from privileges the US has a very unique culture. I would savor the chance to see other cultures and learn from their ideals and traditions. In addition, I have always desired to see the world and Ecuador would be one piece of the empty puzzle I plan to assemble, ” wrote Brendan, one of our Ecuador-bound students.
We are so excited for the Global to Local students to have that first piece of the puzzle in place by receiving their passports. It is that piece that expands their experiences past the one summer they spent in Ecuador, and opens up the possibility and access to travel for years to come.