A passport is an official government-issued document that verifies your citizenship status. In most cases, your passport will need to be valid 3 to 6 months beyond the dates of your study away program. This will be determined by the country in which you are studying.
If you do not have a passport, or if your current passport will expire before the end of the timeframe outlined above, you should begin the process of applying for or renewing your passport as quickly as possible. Information on applying for a US passport is available by going to the U.S. Department of State website. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact your study away advisor.
You will want to check your passport expiration date and make plans to renew it if needed. Sometimes it is possible to renew your passport at a consulate or embassy here in the United States. If it is not, you will have to renew your passport in your country of citizenship so you may need to plan ahead for travel. Please be in contact with your study away advisor or International Student Programs if you have questions.
A visa is a document issued allowing the holder to visit the country or region for which it is issued. A visa is typically stamped into your passport and indicates the length of time you are allowed entry, the number of times you may enter/re-enter, and the type of activity you are approved to pursue (typically study or cultural activities).
Visa requirements (for application and entry) vary by country and program. They also may depend on your country of citizenship. You should expect to get accurate information on applying for your visa from your study away program or direct enroll institution. They will be the best source of information regarding requirements and timeline for your visa application.
*NOTE* The visa application window typically begins 90 days prior to your program start date. Please do not make any plans for independent travel during this 90 day period until you have confirmed your visa application timeline. You will be required to submit your passport with your visa application and will not receive it until your visa is approved.