Arrange Your Travel Documents
All international travelers will need a passport. Passports are official government-issued documents used to verify your identity and your country of citizenship when you travel abroad. If you don't currently own a passport, be sure to apply for one approximately 3-6 months before your departure. Here are some resources to help you submit your passport application:
If you already own a passport, be sure to check the expiration date. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip. In addition, some airlines will not allow passengers to board the aircraft if their passport is expiring. Check the entry and exit regulations for your destination to determine if you will need to renew your passport before your departure.
- U.S. Department of State, Step-by-Step Passport Renewal Guide »
Depending on your nationality, travel destination, purpose, and length of stay, you may need to apply for a student visa, a work visa, or a residence permit. A visa is an official document, often stamped directly into your passport, that authorizes you to enter and reside in your host country for the duration of your program. To determine if you will need a student visa, you should consult your host country's nearest embassy or consulate. You can find the contact information for foreign embassies and consulates here:
- U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs »
- GoAbroad.com, Directory of Embassies and Consulates »
If you're an international student with an F-1 visa, you will need to re-enter the U.S. with an updated I-20 that shows you have been approved to study abroad. To request an updated I-20, submit a Status Verification Letter and Travel Endorsement Request to the International Student Services Office (ISSO) through the iComet portal. For questions about maintaining your F-1 status while abroad, visit Immigration Advising or contact an ISSO advisor through the iComet portal.