News From Our Blog

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From the State Department:

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Going back to school? Ever thought about traveling abroad? Check out our Google+ Hangout to learn more!

Study abroad connects American high school students with future leaders around the world, enabling them to collaborate on today’s global challenges such as human rights, community development, workforce development, climate change, and global health. Scholarship opportunities are open to all American high school students who meet program eligibility criteria.

Squeezing in a last minute end of summer vacation? it never hurts to refresh your memory of travel safety tips.

Help the TSA create a more efficient screening process

Think you can help make TSA more efficient? Could you use an extra $2,500 - $15,000? Then you should enter the TSA “Next Generation Queue Design and Model” challenge.

TSA is looking for ideas to redesign its security queues in airports to better accommodate TSA Pre-check flyers. TSA Pre-check is an expedited screening program that allows low-risk travelers to experience a faster, more efficient security screening. They need the new design to include, but not be limited to the following lanes:

  • TSA Pre-check

  • Standard travelers

  • Premier Passengers (first class, business class, frequent flyers)

  • Employees & flight crews

  • PWD (wheelchair access)


The deadline for entry is August, 15th. For details and requirements, see the challenge overview.

It’s easy to forget what you can and can’t bring on board planes. Remind yourself when packing for your next trip.

Things to Keep in Mind as you Prepare for Vacation

AAA estimates that two-thirds of American adults plan to vacation this summer. If you are one of them, here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to get away.

  • Put a hold on your mail. Mail stacking up is a good indicator to people that nobody is home. To be on the safe side, have your mail held at the post office until you return.

  • Check for travel alerts / warnings for your destination from the State Department. The world can be unstable, and sometimes dangerous for visitors in certain places. Make sure the risks are minimal wherever you are going.

  • You may not need a passport. A passport card is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. It can be used for non-air travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

  • Be careful online. Announcing your vacation via social media channels also tells people you aren’t home, and makes your house vulnerable.