You will need a valid passport to travel to any study abroad destination. If you have a passport, check the date to make sure it will be valid up to six months after the date you enter the country. If not, you may have to renew your passport.
If you do not have a valid passport, you will need to get one. The closest place to get a passport is the post office at Severance Town Center in Cleveland Heights. Passport services are also available at any Cuyahoga County public library. You’ll need to bring your birth certificate (or an old passport or any immigration paperwork) and a state-issued photo ID. You’ll also need to bring photocopies of these documents, two passport photos, and a completed passport application. You can get passport photos at most pharmacies (Walgreens, CVS, etc.) or at Printing Services in the Thwing Center. Current passport fees are $135 for first-time applicants or $110 for renewals. Note that fees for expediting passports are considerably more, so you’ll want to make sure that you apply for your passport in plenty of time. You can learn more about applying for a passport at http://travel.state.gov.
US citizens need visas to visit certain countries. If you need a visa, a representative from your school or advisor should work with you on the process, but you should also be proactive and educate yourself on the visa requirements of the country in which you plan to study. Two great places to look for information on visa requirements are the U.S. Department of State travel website and the Travel Document Systems website. Again, because the visa application process can be time-consuming, you should apply for your visa as far in advance as possible. If you have questions about the visa application process, feel free to contact the Office of Education Abroad (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To check on country-specific information, it’s good to check your destination’s consular website. A list of popular destinations and their consular websites is provided below:
If you are not a US citizen, keep in mind that your visa requirements may be different from those of US citizens. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have followed the entry requirements of your study abroad destination country. However, you are welcome to approach the Office of International Students Services at email@example.com or your program director for guidance on where to start. If you are an F1 student, remember that you’ll need to have your I-20 signed before traveling outside of the United States. An ISS staff member can sign your I-20 during walk-in hours (from 10 – 4pm) in Tomlinson 143; no appointment is necessary during these hours.