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Travel Documents

In preparation for your study abroad experience, it’s important to obtain all required travel documents and ensure they maintain validity for the duration of your program.

When traveling internationally, you should carry with you the important documents listed below. We also recommend that you have color photocopies of each document, both in hard copy and digital formats. There may be additional documentation required for entry into your host country beyond those listed below.

  • Passport (must be signed)
  • State-Issued Driver's License or I.D.
  • Student Visa and/or Residence Permit
  • Proof of Health Insurance
  • Credit and/or Debit Cards (front AND back)
  • Flight Itinerary
  • Host Institution Acceptance and/or Arrival Letter
  • Housing Address(es)
  • Prescription Details
  • Proof of Vaccination(s)

Give a copy of your important documents and travel itinerary to your support system. Should anything happen, they will have access to your important information and will be better able to assist you.


A valid passport is your most important travel document. It is required for travel to prove your citizenship as you enter and exit countries.

Your passport MUST be signed in blue or black ink to be considered valid. You should also fill in the Personal Data and Emergency Contact section located after the signature and information pages.

It is important your passport is valid for at least 6 months past your program end date, as many host countries require this for entry. A passport with inadequate validity may result in the passport holder being refused entry into a particular country. Be sure to check the validity requirements of the country, or countries, you intend to study in and/or visit before you depart. Country-specific entry and exit requirements for U.S. citizens can be found online at the U.S. Department of State's International Travel website. You may also contact the U.S. embassy or consulate of a particular country for further information. For non-U.S. citizens, please visit the passport website for your country.

If you do not currently have a valid passport or your current passport has expired, you will need to apply for one as soon as possible. If you wait to apply for a passport until you are accepted to your program, you run the risk of not receiving a passport before your departure and/or not having adequate time to apply for a visa. To learn more about the passport application process, visit the U.S. Department of State's Passport Information website.

You will be expected to provide a signed, color copy of your passport or proof of purchase to the Study Abroad Team upon official approval to study abroad.

Student Visa and/or Residence Permit

A student visa is physical proof that you have authorization to enter and study in your host country. A residence permit is physical proof that you have authorization to live in your host city/country for the duration of your program. Entry and exit requirements for each country vary, and not all study abroad programs require a visa and/or residence permit. Both visas and residence permits are issued by the host country and may require that you apply in person at a designated Consulate location.

Consulate offices and processing centers typically have limited business hours during the week and are closed on weekends. This may mean that you need to arrange time to travel to your designated processing location on a weekday in order to apply for your visa. Many Consulates and processing centers operate out of Chicago.

  • Students with a U.S. Passport: If you have a U.S. passport, check your host country’s entry and exit requirements at the U.S. Department of State's International Travel website.
  • Students without a U.S. Passport: International students participating in a study abroad program may have different visa requirements than U.S. citizens. If you are an international student, please visit the website of the embassy/consulate of the country where you plan to study abroad to learn what visa requirements apply for citizens from your home country.

Obtaining a visa and/or residence permit is the sole responsibility of the student. It is important to allow sufficient time to obtain this documentation prior to your departure, as it can take up to 12 weeks to receive. The Study Abroad Team is unable to assist you in applying for your student visa or residence permit, as we are not the issuing body.