Now that you have applied to an education abroad program through IPS, you will need to begin preparing for your time abroad by taking care of the following items:
Pay any and all program deposits
Most programs require a deposit from students after official acceptance to the program. This deposit is different and separate from any application fees submitted by the student.
Obtain a Passport/Renew Current Passport
Your passport will be your primary source of identification while abroad.
Processing times for passports can be several weeks long. You will need a passport in order to obtain your visa. Thus, students needing a visa need to allow plenty of time for the entire process.
Instructions for obtaining or renewing a passport can be found at: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return date to the U.S.
- If you need passport photos, view our "Passport Photo Locations list".
- Non-U.S. Citizens: Contact the nearest consulate or embassy of your country of citizenship for passport information.
The following are suggested websites to purchase your airline tickets. You should also check with your program regarding group flights and do your own search on the internet or with individual airlines and travel agencies. It is the student's responsibility to arrange flights. IPS does not make travel arrangements for students.
Student Travel and Airfare www.sta.com
Student Universe www.studentuniverse.com
Cheap Tickets www.cheaptickets.com
Cheap Flights www.cheapflights.com
One Travel www.onetravel.com
Air Travel Network www.airtravel.net
Apply for a Visa
A visa is a document provided by the country in which you will be studying. It confirms your legitimate status as a foreign student. Visas are attached to the pages of your passport, which is one of the reasons having a valid passport is necessary before you can apply for a visa. Some visas are free and easy to acquire, while others may cost over $100 and require a great deal of documentation and planning ahead. Not all countries require visas. To determine whether you will need a visa, and for instructions on how to apply, look up your host country at:
- Travel.state.gov (see the Entry/Exit Requirements for your host country), or
- Travel insurance
Here is a list of common documents needed to obtain a visa:
- Letter of Acceptance- This refers to an official letter of acceptance or invitation to participate in the education abroad program from either your program provider or your host university.
- Proof of Insurance- An insurance card or other document verifying that you have travel and health insurance. Some education abroad programs require students to purchase the program's health insurance. In this case, an insurance card or documentation will come with your acceptance and/or pre-departure materials.
- Proof of Sufficient Funds- Some countries require proof that you have sufficient financial support to pay for all of your expenses abroad. You may be asked to provide a bank statement with your current balance, a financial award letter, etc. to show that you have enough money to pay for yourself while abroad.
- Plane Tickets- Your plane ticket will serve as your primary travel document. Some countries will require you to show that you have a return or ongoing flight scheduled within the allotted time for your visa.
- Prescriptions- If you require prescription medications while abroad, you will likely need to verify this requirement with a physician's note. You may need a specially notarized prescription, translated into the host country language, if the country does not recognize US prescriptions.
- Confirmation of Good Health- Some countries will require you to provide a health form, or letter of good health (confirmation that you are free from certain diseases, etc.).
- Confirmation of Vaccination- Proof of having received certain vaccinations may be required to travel in regions with endemic diseases, like cholera, yellow fever, etc.
- Translations and Notaries- Some documents must be notarized and/or translated from English to the host country's language. There is a free notary service located in the Finance Center on the Stockton campus. Please call 946-2345 to make an appointment. For translation services, check your local yellow pages, or the Catholic Charities Immigration Services, who are located in Stockton and have certified translators who will translate documents for a fee (444-5910).