Students participating in an Education Abroad experience that takes places for a certain duration of time or in a particular country or countries may also be required to obtain a visa (or residence permit).
A visa is a stamp or document placed in your passport which authorizes you to enter a particular country, for a specific purpose such as tourism or study. Some countries may require a visa for entry, others may not. Visa requirements vary from country to country and may vary according to your country of citizenship, purpose of travel and duration of your stay.
To determine whether or not you may need a visa for the country or countries you plan to visit (or are passing through to get to your destination), please refer to the U.S. Department of State. Visa information is located under the Entry/Exit requirements section of the country specific information sheets for each country.
If you require a student visa, apply early as processing a visa can take several weeks or even months. Be aware that to get a visa for some countries you may need to apply in person at the consulate or embassy nearest to you (depending on your state of residence). You will need to submit your passport in order to apply for a visa. Your passport will be held for the duration of the visa application process by the consulate. Some students chose to use visa processing services to process their visas. These organizations provide support services and expedited service if needed. One such visa processing organization is A Briggs [.doc] but there are many others available as well.
You may also be required to register with the local authorities upon arrival in your host country or obtain additional travel documentation to remain in the country legally.
Some countries may also require students to obtain a Residence Permit to allow them to stay for longer than 90 days in the host country. Make sure to check whether or not you need a visa or Residence Permit well in advanced of departing for the host country.
International students who are studying abroad must meet with their International Student Advisor, in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at least one month before going abroad in order to ensure that all immigration paperwork is properly updated to protect legal immigration status. They, too, must verify to if they need a visa and follow the appropriate steps to obtain one.