One of the first steps you should take when preparing to go abroad is to apply for a passport. You must have a valid passport in order to enter most countries, so make sure that you apply for one sooner rather than later. Regulations on apply for passports may vary depending on your citizenship, so pay careful attention below to the specifics that pertain to you.
If you are a U.S. Citizen Applying for a U.S. Passport
Take some time to review the U.S. State Department's website to learn more information about How to Apply for a Passport. A passport is good for up to ten years, and is required if you wish to leave the country. Typically it takes anywhere from 6-8 weeks to process a passport application, so make sure you submit an application as soon as possible to avoid additional expedited processing fees.
Even if you already have a passport, check when it expires to ensure that your passport will not expire while you are abroad. This can leave you stranded at airports or borders that have strict rules about expiration dates. Often times, countries won't even let you pass immigration checks if your passport is set to expire within six months!
Also, remember that you must have your passport prior to obtaining a student visa if you travel to a country that requires student visas.
If you are a Non-US Student or have a Non-US Passport
Apply for your passport in person at one of the 9,000 plus locations that accept passport applications. In order to get your passport, you will must:
Non-US Students or Non-US Passport Holders
Are you an international student studying at a US university? Are you an undocumented student? Do you have a non-US passport? Don’t worry, you can still study abroad! To make sure your study abroad experience goes off without a hitch follow these steps:
Keep these points in mind! Be sure to check with your study abroad advisor for further details.
“I wanted to study Arabic in order to connect with my family, history, religion, and culture. I previously lived and worked in an Arabic-speaking country and wanted to learn Arabic more formally in order to maintain personal and professional...”
American Councils for International Education