Before leaving for a study abroad program, students will attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation for their program. Orientation is an important part of the overall process. Important information regarding travel, location, safety, and more is shared at these sessions.

U.S. passports for citizens are issued by the U.S. Department of State; citizens of other countries will need a passports issued by their own government. Students who do not have a passport must apply for a passport well in advance prior to departure. Processing times vary, but can take as long as 18 weeks. Passports are required for all international travel outside of the United States. Some countries require that your passport book is valid for at least 6 months past the date that you plan on returning to the U.S. Information about U.S. passports along with forms to apply/renew a passport is available here. LAS Study Abroad provides financial assistance for LAS students who are first-time passport applicants, see here for details.

Depending on the immigration requirements of where you travel, you may also need to submit an application for a visa well in advance of departure. This process would begin after acceptance into a study abroad program that requires a visa. LAS Study Abroad will support students through a visa process if needed for their program.

All LAS students should consider health and safety before departure. The U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are two available resources. It is also important to ensure that your vaccinations are up-to-date and consult the CDC or the ISU Travel Nurse in the Thielen Student Health Center, based on your travel plans.

Students may need to book their own airfare, depending on their program. Travel websites such as StudentUniverse and Google Flights are resources to compare flights and ticket prices. Check with your program director before booking flights to verify arrival and departure dates.