The most difficult part of the study abroad process is applying. While there are numerous forms to fill out and things to do before you go, the Study Abroad office is here to help and make the process go a little bit more smoothly. However, two of the most important documents you will need to study abroad are your passport and visa. If you don’t already have a passport (it must be valid for up to six months after you return from being abroad) apply for one as soon as possible. After age 16, passports stay valid for 10 years so there is no need to wait to apply for one. Sometimes it can take a few months to get your passport, so the sooner you get yours, the better.
A visa is a stamp or sticker added to your passport that gives you permission to be in the host country for an extended period of time. You must have a passport in order to get a visa. If you’re studying abroad for less than 90 days, a visa isn’t required, but majority of the SLU-approved programs are semester-long and therefore require a visa. Visa requirements vary by country. It’s important that you check with the consulate of your host country in order to ensure that you have everything you need to make the appointment to get your visa. If you’re studying abroad at SLU’s campus in Madrid, you’re allowed to use SLU’s visa service and the Study Abroad office will go pick up your visas for you.
The Study Abroad website provides much more information on how visas work and what you need to do to apply for one.