US State Department

The US State Department provides some very valuable resources to help you plan and manage your time abroad. Below please find some steps you should take before going abroad:

  • Register with the US State Department prior to going abroad here. This allows you to get alerts while abroad if there is a travel warning or alert.
  • The US State Department provides country-specific information--review your country's information on their website. This is also great information to share with your family.
  • Some other helpful websites to review are:

Passports and Visas

US Students: Passports

Applying for your United States Passport:
If you do not currently have a passport, you should start the application process as soon as possible. For application information and instructions, please visit the Department of State website. Renewal information can also be found on the Department of State website.

All passports should be valid for 6 months following your return to the United States. If you haven't already, check your expiration date now.

Passport Tips:

  • Your passport is the most important document you have when outside the US. Know where it is at all times.
  • Make several copies--both paper and digital--of the first few pages of your passport including any visas. Give one copy to a family member or friend to keep at home. Distribute others in different bags or locations while you travel. E-mail a copy to yourself. Having a copy will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen.
  • In some countries, it is recommended that you carry a copy of your passport while in others, you should carry the actual passport with you at all times. Check with your program to determine where you should keep your passport.

International StudentsPassports

If you hold a passport from another country other than the US, please check with your country's authorities for information on passports and entry requirements.

US Students: Visas/Residence Permits

A visa is your key to enter and leave another country. Visas are issued by a consulate or embassy of that country and must be obtained before you can cross that country's border. Please check with your program or university about specific application procedures, requirements, and documentation required for your host country. Apply early for your visa and be sure that you have all of the materials required by the Consulate. Contact your program with any questions related to visa requirements. 

Brandeis-Led Study Abroad Program students will be guided through the visa and/or Residence Permit process prior to the start of their program.

International Students: Visas/Residence Permits

If you are an international student on a Student Visa in the US (any visa category), you must meet with the International Students and Scholars Office prior to your departure to discuss your visa status while abroad and your re-entry to the US. Please email the ISSO at to set up an appointment with an ISSO advisor.

Brandeis-Led Study Abroad Program students will be guided through the visa and/or Residence Permit process prior to the start of their program.