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Get a Passport for Your Study Abroad


For many young people, the first time they need a passport is for study abroad or a school trip to a foreign country.  Today, we’ll give you the lowdown on your passport and visa needs for your international studies!


Passports for Study Abroad

No matter what type of educational experience you’ll have overseas, there’s one thing for certain: you are going to need to have a passport!  Any time you travel internationally by air, you must have a valid passport book.  If you don’t have a passport yet, G3 Passports can help you get one quickly.  Students age 15 and under will need to get a minor passport.  This type of passport is valid for five years, and requires the formal consent of both parents or legal guardians.  If you are 16 or over, you can get an adult passport valid for ten years.  There are some special requirements for passport applicants who are age 16 or 17… if that applies to you, check out our article for all the details.


Types of Study Abroad

Before we begin our discussion of visas for study abroad, let’s consider the different kinds of educational trips you might make.

  • Enrolling in a foreign school or university.  You are attending an accredited school for a full term or longer. You’ll be earning credits toward graduating from the school in the foreign country.
  • Participating in an educational exchange program.  You’ll remain officially enrolled in your school in the US, but you’ll travel overseas and attend classes at an accredited school in the foreign country.  The credits you’ll earn will count toward your graduation from the US school.
  • Doing a semester abroad program. Much like an educational exchange program, you’ll remain enrolled in and earning credits from your school in the states.
  • Taking classes at a non-accredited school.  Going to India for yoga teacher training?  Or to Thailand to study Thai massage?  Spending a month in Costa Rica taking Spanish classes?  These educational trips are different because you won’t be earning credits toward a high school, college, or higher degree.
  • Taking a school trip. You’re making a short trip overseas with a school or club group.
  • Participating in an amateur sports competition or artistic performance overseas. Your team has been invited to participate in an event overseas, but you won’t be earning any money or school credit for your participation.


Will You Need a Visa for Your Study Abroad?

Whether or not you’ll need a visa to study abroad will depend on a number of factors, including what country you’re going to, how long you’ll be there, and what kind of trip you’ll be making.  There’s no one-size-fits-all answer!  You may need a student visa, or a tourist visa, or possibly even no visa at all.  The visa experts at can help you figure out if you will need a visa for your international educational adventure.