You will need a valid passport to study abroad, meaning that it will not expire within three to six months after your flight home. If you don’t have a valid passport and are considering study abroad, you should apply for or renew your passport as early as possible.
Learn how to apply for your U.S. passport and review current processing times.
For long-term study abroad programs (semester and year) and some summer programs, you will need a student visa to study abroad. You need a valid passport to apply for your visa, so it's important to have a valid passport by Education Abroad's Passport Deadlines. For some programs, passports are required as early as the program application deadline to be able to complete required visa paperwork.
If you already have a passport, double-check the expiration date. As mentioned above, your passport can't expire less than three months after your flight home. Some countries require that it doesn't expire less than six months.
If your destination requires a visa, you’ll apply to the consulate of your host country for the visa before you depart. Once the consulate issues your visa, it will be stamped inside your passport. The visa process typically requires you to submit your actual passport along with supporting documents to the consulate for several weeks or more. Processing times vary by country and consulates base their processing times on the official program dates rather than individual travel plans. Therefore, we strongly discourage you from traveling outside of the U.S. between the program application deadline and the program start date. If you must travel before your program, please contact Education Abroad to discuss the feasibility of your plans.
Read below for more information about visas by program type.