You do not need a passport to apply to participate in a study abroad trip. However, all participants traveling on any study abroad trip are required to have valid passports. Obtaining a passport is your responsibility and the passport application fee is NOT included in the comprehensive fee quoted. Because it might take long to receive a passport, we recommend that you apply immediately. To participate in a study abroad program, you must have your passport at least three months before the travel dates. If you already possess a passport please check when it expires and make sure that its expiration date is NOT earlier than 6 months before the program travel dates.
To obtain a passport, you will need the following (more information about obtaining a passport and application forms may be found on the State Department's passport website).
- Proof of U.S. citizenship (birth certificate, expired passport, proof of naturalization).
- Current identification (driver’s license, government I.D. card or document that bears your signature).
- Two photographs – identical, passport-quality, front-view photos cut exactly to the measurements required on the passport application.
Many countries require you to have a visa before entering the country. A visa is official permission to enter a country and stay for a determined period of time. You must have a valid passport to apply for a visa. The visa stamp for a given country will be placed in your actual passport. To learn about visa requirements for U.S. citizens, please visit the State Department's passport website.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT BEGIN VISA APPLICATION PROCESS UNTIL YOU HAVE NEEDED INFORMATION FROM THE INSTITUTION YOU ARE TRAVELING WITH. Visa application process contains a lot of nuances. The Study Abroad office of the institution you are traveling with will provide instructions explaining how to successfully complete visa forms if the country you will be visiting requires a visa to enter it.
Please contact the Study Abroad Office of the institution that manages a particular study abroad program so that they can assist you with the visa paperwork that will be specific for your home country requirements.
Some countries charge for the visa; others do not. Some consulates also require students to appear in person to submit application materials. Visa processing can take anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on the country's procedures. For detailed information about the requirements for a student visa, please visit the website of the consulate for the country to which you plan to travel.
International Travel Before Study Abroad
Important: Until you have received your visa, you are advised to refrain from making international travel plans in the months preceding your study abroad semester.