Passports, Visas, and Vaccinations
You will need a passport to travel for your study abroad program. You may apply for a passport at most local main post offices (such as Medford Square) or download an application on the U.S. Passport and International Travel website. It is best to apply for a passport well in advance, but if you require a passport within fourteen days of travel, you may call the Boston Passport Agency at 877-487-2778.
In many cases, you will need a visa issued by the host country in order to legally reside and study there. Consult your study-abroad program provider regarding the visa-application process and timeline, as these can vary greatly by location. It can take some time to complete this process (sometimes a month or more), so make sure to start early! If you do not begin at the recommended time and/or fail to follow all instructions for application, you may not obtain your visa and will thus jeopardize your ability to study abroad. Please also note that it is often required that you apply for your visa from within your home country, so undertaking international travel in the months preceding your semester or year abroad or studying abroad in two different locations can seriously complicate the visa-application process. What is more, there is typically little to nothing that your program provider can do on your behalf to bypass visa procedures or speed up the timeline, as the host country’s consular office is solely responsible for issuing visas. You can find further information regarding visas on the U.S International Travel website.
Depending on your destination, you may need to get certain vaccinations. For instance, you may need documentation that you have received a yellow fever vaccination before you may enter certain countries. Your program provider should let you know if that is the case where you are going, but you may want to do some research on your own, to be sure. You can read more about vaccinations at the Center for Disease Control’s website.