Ohio State University is trying to make sure its incoming freshman class considers a passport as much of a college essential as pens, pencils and a laptop.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, OSU intends to double the number of passport-carrying students attending the university, primarily by encouraging its incoming freshman to apply and by creating shorter, more accessible study-abroad programs.

For example, students are being encouraged to get a passport at freshman orientation, and the school is offering a variety of month-long study abroad programs in different countries, to give students  a chance to travel overseas.

According to university president E. Gordon Gee, getting a passport opens the door to a variety of rich educational experiences as well as different careers. The school’s Office of International Affairs features this quote from Gee on its website:

“Opportunities for service trips and sessions abroad can come quickly. Having a passport in hand will empower students by giving them access to those life-changing experiences.”

If you have the opportunity to travel abroad, don’t pass it up just because you still have to get a passport. The standard processing time for a passport application is at least 6 weeks, but if you are in a hurry you can get one faster. By paying an additional $60 plus the cost of overnight delivery to and from the passport office, you can get expedited processing and have your passport in about 3 weeks.

If you need your passport sooner, you have two options: go to a Regional Passport Agency office or use a private passport expediting company.  There are only 18 Regional Passport Agency offices in the US currently, so there may or may not be one near you. Also, they process passport applications by appointment only, so you can’t just walk in. Finally, they have limited hours of operation so if you work weekdays you will need to ask for additional time off.

Since you don’t need to make an appointment or wait in line to use an expediting company, hiring an expediter is often a worthwhile investment. RushMyPassport personally delivers your application to the Department of State, for processing times as low as 24 hours.

Don’t let the world pass you by-get a passport today!