Studying abroad is a way for students to get the chance to experience and understand other cultures. Most universities offer a program through the campus for students to participate. The government does not regulate most programs so the requirements can vary from university to university. Some things are standard requirements such as having a passport, a student visa and having medical insurance.
Apply for a passport
One of the most common things that are needed for traveling abroad is a passport. If you don’t already have one we provide 10 easy steps to help you through the process.
You will want to start planning for your passport in advance. As in 6-8 months in advance. The processing time for your application can be between 6-8 weeks. So why do I say that you want to have it prepared 6-8 months in advance? You will need your passport for scheduling other parts of your trip from booking your plane tickets to applying for a student visa, so it’s a good idea to start early. You can learn more about what documents you will need to apply as well as to complete the application process online at travel.state.gov.
If you already have a passport, make sure that it will be valid during the time you will be aboard.
Apply for a student visa
This is where things can get complicated because the visa requirements are different for each country. The study abroad program should help you with knowing where to go to get your documents that you need, but it will never hurt to check out the government page of the country that will be hosting you. They will have the application to obtain your student visa but will also answer any questions you might have on what you will need. Since visa requirements vary, it’s hard to state what all you are going to need in addition to the visa application. Here are a few things that are needed across the board:
- A written letter from the institution that will be sponsoring you. It should be on their official letterhead and include, the tuition amount, room and board costs and proof of housing.
- Proof that you have a way to pay for your tuition. If you are going to a university, they can help you in getting the proof you need to show.
- Your passport. You will need to send your passport with the rest of your documents, once everything has been processed your passport will be forwarded back to you with the visa inside.
You will want to start applying for your visa a few months in advance. This way you will have time to get any additional documents that they may need to you, and it will keep you stress-free that you will not be able to leave on time.
Get health insurance
Most study abroad programs will make sure that you participate in a student insurance program in addition to what insurance you currently have. You can follow up with your university to see if their student health insurance plan will cover you when you are abroad. If the university has a study abroad program is more than likely that they will have a program to cover you. If they do not, they can help guide you insurance providers, such as Cultural Insurance Services International and International Student Protection.
Make sure to make copies of everything! I mean everything. Having copies of all documents will save you time and energy. You also never know when something is going to get lost. It’s best to be prepared. If you still have legal questions about traveling abroad, Rocket Lawyer is here to help by offering the option to Ask A Lawyer.
And last but not least don’t forget to have fun. Tons of fun!