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PASSPORT & VISA
passport_visaI. Passport
U.S. Citizens: Any time you travel outside of the United States, you must carry a passport. Passports are issued by the US State Department. Click here for instructions on how to apply for a passport or renewal. Note that your passport must be valid for at least six months after your anticipated return to the US. It can take up to 12 weeks to receive your passport, so be sure to apply for it as early as possible.

While you're in your host city, we advise you to carry a color copy of your passport with you and leave your actual passport in a safe place. If traveling outside of your host city, you should carry your passport with you. Also, leave a color copy of your passport at home with your parents or guardians.

Non-U.S. Citizens: Please contact the regional consulate or embassy for your country in the U.S. if you have questions regarding your passport.

While you're in your host city, we advise you to carry a color copy of your passport with you and leave your actual passport in a safe place. If traveling outside of your host city, you should carry your passport with you. Also, leave a color copy of your passport at home with your parents or guardians.

II. Visa
visa_stampsA visa is an additional document which shows your authorization to travel to another country, usually for an extended period of time and/or for specific purposes. Oftentimes, students who study abroad for at least one semester must acquire a student visa from their host country's consulate. In general, you usually do not need to get a visa for short (i.e. summer) programs, but you usually do need a visa for semester and year-long programs.

Every country has its own immigration requirements, which can vary greatly. Your program, after accepting you, should send you information on specific visa requirements for your host country. Be sure to complete any requirements in a timely manner. Be aware that you may be required to appear in person at a Consulate, which is an extra time and expense consideration. If you have any doubt about what you need to do for your student visa, contact your host country’s Embassy, Consulate, and/or immigration authorities. It is ultimately YOUR responsibility to make sure you have the correct immigration documents. Arriving without the proper visa may result in you being turned away at the border.

You should plan ahead, as some countries’ visa processes can be lengthy. Also, you may need to surrender your passport in order to get your visa. This means that you will not be able to travel outside of the US while your visa is being processed. This may affect you if you plan to travel abroad before the start of your program.

Many students visit other countries during their study abroad term. Your student visa is only valid for your host country, so be sure to research entry requirements for other countries you plan to visit. In general, you do not need visas to enter other countries as a short-term tourist, but there are always exceptions to this rule. You should make yourself aware of entry requirements before setting off on excursions to other countries.

Non-U.S. Citizens: Please contact the regional consulate or embassy for any country you will be visiting during your term abroad about their entry requirements for citizens from your home country.

III. Research ahead of time:
  • Does your visa have any restrictions? For example, can you leave & re-enter the country as you please? Will it permit you to have a part-time job? If so, for how many hours?
  • Are there limitations to where you can/cannot travel?
  • Do you have any time restrictions on your visa for before/after your program ends?
  • Do you need a visa or immunization(s) to enter a neighboring country?
  • Check with the U.S. State Department for travel warnings.
  • Cheap airlines are common in Europe – you get what you pay for, however. Know where it departs/arrives.
  • ISIC cards may provide you with discounts at hotels, attractions, parks, restaurants, etc.
  • You can usually get a discounted rate on rail travel if show your student ID.
  • Be realistic about how much you can do and do not forget to spend time in your host city.

 
Last modified 01/04/2017

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