All travelers between countries must have a passport. The passport is the official identification of your citizenship. New U.S. passports take four to six weeks to process, and they are valid for ten years. Students should make sure that their passports are valid until at least six months after returning from their study abroad programs and that their emergency information page is up-to-date.
More detailed information and a printable American passport application is available at the U.S. Department of State website - www.state.gov. The nearest post office branches that accept passport application are:
Ardmore Post Office
Bryn Mawr Post Office
|CVS Pharmacy (Passport photos)
1218 W. Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
| Rite Aid (Passport photos)
1015 Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Make two copies of your passport identification page. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home with your family; carry the other with you in a separate place from your passport.
A visa is official permission to visit a country and is granted by the government of that country. Visa formats vary considerably, from a stamp in a passport to an official document with a photo attached.
It is your responsibility to inquire about visa requirements, including those for countries you plan to visit before or after your study abroad programs. You should check the consulate website for initial information. Some study abroad programs may provide detailed information about visa application procedures after you confirm your acceptance into the program.
Obtaining a visa requires considerable time and effort. It can take several weeks to gather all of the documents needed for the visa application. A growing number of countries also ask student visa applicants to make an appointment and/or apply in person. It is important to be informed, organized, patient, and flexible when completing the visa application process. Consult the U.S. Department of State website at http://www.state.gov/travel/ for tips and guidance.
Some commercial agencies offer passport and visa processing services, for a fee. The dean’s office cannot endorse any particular agencies; this list is provided merely for your information:
Students should obtain the International Student Identity Card if it is not provided by their program. The card offers many benefits, including significant discounts on airfares, access to commission-free currency exchange, 24-hour Help Line emergency service, and basic sickness and accident travel insurance. It may be obtained on-line at http://www.myisic.com.
Non-U.S. citizens, students on Permanent Resident Status (Green Card) and student on a non-immigrant F-1 Visa, should consult with the Pensby Center to make sure that all their U.S. immigration paperwork is in place for their re-entry to the United States.