Skip to content
passport_visaI. Passports

U.S. Citizens: Any time you travel outside of the United States, you must carry a passport. Passports are issued by the U.S. 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 U.S. It can take up to 12 weeks to receive your passport, so apply for it as early as possible. Davidson College hosts a Passport Day in mid-September and early February, allowing you to easily submit your completed application here on campus.

While you are 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 United States if you have questions regarding your passport. Please also notify Davidson's International Student Advisor about your plans to study abroad..

II. Visas
A visa is an additional document which shows your authorization to be in another country, usually for an extended period of time and/or for specific purposes. Usually, if you study abroad for one semester or longer, you must have a student visa issued by your host country. While visas are usually not needed for short (e.g., summer) programs, there may be exceptions.

Important: Visa requirements vary depending on a country's immigration requirements and its' relationship with other nations. Prior to applying for a study abroad program, please check visa requirements based on your citizenship and the passport that you carry. You will find links to foreign embassies and consulates in the United States here: U.S. Department of State - Students Abroad. Please check with the regional consulate or embassy about entry requirements for any country you will be visiting during your term abroad.

Once you are accepted into a study abroad program, your program provider should help guide you through the visa application process required for your host country. Please follow instructions closely and 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 to consider. If you have any doubt about what you need to do for your student visa, contact your program advisor or the host country’s embassy or consulate. 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.

Some countries’ visa processes can be lengthy. You may need to leave your passport with the consulate for several days during processing, so you would not be able to travel internationally during this time. This may affect you if you intend to travel abroad before starting a program.

Your student visa is only valid for your host country and it may restrict the number of entries. Research entry requirements for any other countries that you plan to visit while abroad.

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 07/27/2017

© 2012 Davidson College Davidson, North Carolina