Each year, more than 200 students (8-12 grade) attend a free weeklong summer camp on the UO campus called the Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL).
Founded in 2005, the SAIL program is led by volunteer UO faculty members and aims to increase low-income students’ enrollment and success in college.
Students are assigned to camps focused on disciplines ranging from the performing arts to biology, depending on their academic interests and career aspirations.
This year, Director of UO Study Abroad Programs Stephen Wooten spoke with the 20 participants in the International Studies camp on Friday, August 1. Wooten explained the possibilities and benefits of study abroad, showing video clips from a past participant as well as from First Lady Michelle Obama during her recent visit to China.
To make study abroad even more of a tangible goal to the participants, UO Study Abroad Programs and the SAIL program jointly funded an initiative to award each of the 20 participants in the International Studies camp with a passport grant. The students each received a voucher that they can then redeem for the cost of applying for or renewing a U.S. passport (currently $135) if they become a UO student and study abroad. The goal of the initiative was to provide an incentive for participants to aspire to become a duck and study abroad.
"I jumped at the opportunity to talk to the SAIL campers about the opportunities we have at Study Abroad. It was a great chance to highlight the pathways to the world that await them at the University of Oregon or wherever they end up as university students. We hope that our commitment to getting each of them a passport will help entice them to take a step into education abroad when the time comes” said Wooten.