Before departing for any study abroad program, there are important travel details for which you need to review and prepare. Although many of these topics will be discussed in advising and pre-departure meetings, it is your responsibility to be aware of what is suggested and required of your travel to, and stay in, your host country. Be sure to review this information early so you are not caught off guard by quickly approaching deadlines or unexpected costs.
If you have questions about your preparations, please contact the Office of Study Abroad.
The United States Department of State offers valuable resources to American travelers abroad and has created a website dedicated to American college students studying abroad: http://studentsabroad.state.gov. As you prepare for your program, and while you are abroad, check their website for easy registration with the nearest U.S. Embassy and the most up-to-date information including travel and safety tips, warnings, alerts, world-wide cautions, individual country profiles, and country-specific updates.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Before all travel, register your plans with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step/. You also may access the STEP program enrollment from the U.S. Department of State’s website by clicking on the blue suitcase with the white check mark or from the State Department’s dedicated smart phone application.
Be sure to include all ways a consular officer can contact you, which may include residence hall phones, hotel phones, cell phones, etc. If there is an emergency in the States or in the location to which you are traveling, the consular official will use those numbers to contact you directly.
The U.S. Department of State provides detailed information about particular countries and their current safety situations. Be sure to review the Travel Warnings webpage for up-to-date information about the locations to which you plan to travel.
The United States Embassies and Consulates offer valuable resources to U.S. citizens traveling abroad. Located throughout the world, it is important to know which embassies and/or consulates offer consular services to assist you should you need them. These services include, among other things, emergency assistance, answers and clarification to non-emergency questions, and replacements for lost or stolen passports.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national public health institute of the United States and offers valuable resources to American travelers abroad on their Traveler’s Health website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/.
As a student on a High Point University study abroad program, it is your responsibility to check the CDC website to see what, if any, vaccinations and/or medical tests are recommended or required for your travel destinations. It also is your responsibility to schedule and obtain any vaccinations and/or medical tests before you travel abroad.
Know that some vaccinations may be time-sensitive and require more than one visit to obtain. Vaccinations and medical tests are not included in the program fee of your study abroad program so you will want to factor their fees into your total participation costs. Contact the HPU Student Health Services as well as your home physician and/or a travel clinic for more information as some vaccinations and exams may not be able to be provided on campus.
Please keep in mind that there are different categories of vaccinations of which you should be aware:
Your valid U.S. passport will be required for all international travel. It is important to know for how long your passport is valid and for how long you will be able to travel on your unexpired passport. Visit the HPU Passport Information page for more information and to know where you can go locally to apply for or renew a U.S. passport.
Depending on your destination, length of stay, and reason for travel, you may be required to obtain a residence permit, or visa, to enter or stay in the country. Visit the HPU Visa Information page for more information about your host country.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers a Know Before You Go resource with helpful travel tips and information about what you can and cannot bring back into the United States from your travels abroad.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provides authority over travel inside and connecting to the United States. Visit their website for information about flying.
The CIA World Factbook provides interesting background information about countries around the world.
If you have questions, email a study abroad representative or contact the Office of Study Abroad at (336) 841-9280.
Because a valid U.S. passport is required for all High Point University international study abroad programs, it is important to know for how long your passport is valid. If you are planning to participate in a study abroad program and do not have a valid passport, it is never too early to begin the application or renewal process. Acquiring or renewing a passport does not have to be difficult. With a little preparation and early planning, you’ll be ready to depart for your travels in no time.
NOTE: The information provided below is intended to give you general information about acquiring or renewing a U.S. passport. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the U.S. Department of State website.
U.S. youth passports (issued at 15 years of age or younger) are valid for five (5) years. U.S. adult passports (issued at age 16 or older) are valid for ten (10) years. It is advised that you renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. Some countries require that your passport be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.
If you are applying for your first adult passport, or if your passport was lost or stolen, you must apply in person. The application process can be completed in 7 steps:
You can download and print the Application for Passport, Form DS-11, from the U.S. Department of State website. Forms also can be obtained from any Passport Agency or Passport Acceptance Facility.
NOTE: Do not sign the DS-11 application form until the Passport Acceptance Agent instructs you to do so.
NOTE: Do not attach your passport photo or sign the DS-11 application form until the Passport Acceptance Agent instructs you to do so.
You’ll need to submit evidence of U.S. citizenship with Form DS-11. Documents include:
All documentation submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you. These documents will be delivered with your newly issued U.S. passport or in a separate mailing.
More information on the types of documents that are accepted is posted on the U.S. Department of State website.
You’ll need to present identification with Form DS-11. Documents include:
More information on the types of documents that are accepted is posted on the U.S. Department of State website.
Bring a photocopy of the front and back of each ID document that you will present when you apply. Photocopies must be made on the fronts only of 8.5″ by 11″ paper.
For applicants age 16 and older, the passport application fee is $110 made payable to the U.S. Department of State plus an acceptance fee (for non-renewal or first-time adult passport applicants) of $25 made payable to the Postmaster, totaling $135. During application, a passport card can be issued for an additional $30 passport fee. An expedited passport application will add an extra $60 fee plus overnight delivery costs.
See “Where Can I Go Locally to Obtain a Passport?” below for accepted forms of payment.
To avoid processing delays, be sure your photo meets all the requirements and are properly submitted with your application. When submitting Form DS-11 in person, your photo should not be attached to the form.
There are three Passport Acceptance Facilities located just a short distance from HPU.
The City of High Point’s Post Office is located at 315 E. Green Street, High Point, NC 27260, two (2) miles from the HPU campus. Hours of Passport Acceptance are 9:00am to 12:00pm, 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. Passport photos may be taken on site for $15. Payments for the application fee and execution fee can be made via cash, credit/debit card, check, and money order. Applications are accepted by appointment only. Call in advance to schedule your appointment: 1(800) 275-8777.
The Thomasville Post Office is located at 101 West Main Street, Thomasville, NC 27360, seven (7) miles from the HPU campus. Hours of Passport Acceptance are 8:30am to 12:30pm, 1:30pm to 2:30pm, Monday through Friday. Passport photos may be taken on site for $15. Payments for the application fee can be made via check or money order. Payments for the execution fee can be made via cash, credit/debit card, check, and money order. Money orders can be purchased on site. Applications are accepted by appointment only. Call in advance to schedule your appointment: (336) 472-3892.
The Kernersville Post Office is located at 325 West Mountain Street, Kernersville, NC 27284, eleven (11) miles from the HPU campus. Hours of Passport Acceptance are 9:00am to 2:30pm, Monday through Friday and 10:00am to 11:00am, Saturday. Passport photos are not able to be taken on site. Payments for the application fee can be made via check or money order. Payments for the execution fee can be made via cash, credit/debit card, check, and money order. Money orders can be purchased on site. Applications are accepted by appointment only. Call in advance to schedule your appointment: 1(800) 275 -8777.
Routine service is usually around 6-8 weeks. Expedited service is approximately 2-4 weeks, plus mailing time. Because unforeseen events can delay routine service, the U.S. Department of State suggests that you choose expedited service if you need your passport within 10 weeks.
Your status may be tracked online 5-7 days after application.
In addition to a valid U.S. passport, U.S. Citizens may be required to have a visa, residence permit, for entry into certain countries. Information about visa requirements for HPU programs can be found on the Visa Information page.
Non-U.S. Passport holders may be required to have visas to enter some countries. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have all the necessary visas and paperwork approved before you depart. Consult your local consulate or embassy for information regarding which countries require visas or other documentation.
The passport card is a wallet-size card that can only be used for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Because the passport card is not valid for any air travel, High Point University requires travelers on all international study abroad programs carry the traditional passport book.
NOTE: The High Point University Passport ID card is not an official, government issued, travel document. You must have a valid U.S. passport to participate in any of High Point University’s international programs. In addition, your passport must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond your scheduled return date. If you do not have a passport, your passport has expired, or your passport will soon expire, you should start the application process now!
While you may have traveled abroad before, you may not know that traveling abroad as a student may be different. Many times, it can be easy and free to enter another country as a tourist, especially when you stay only for a short period of time. When the purpose of your travel is to study, however, the process for entering many countries changes. Some require residency permits, or visas, to enter and reside in the country.
Entry requirements and limitations change from country to country, and, at times, even by the specific embassy or consulate you use to apply for your visa. Some countries require no additional work be done on your part, save producing the required documentation for Immigration Officials at the port-of-entry. Some visas and their applications are electronic and do not require you to mail your passport to a visa issuing authority. Alternately, some applications require you to go in person to your host country’s Embassy or Consulate in the U.S. to deliver, interview, and/or pick up your materials.
The same goes for visa fees. Some visas may cost you nothing; others may cost you several hundred dollars to cover all incurred expenses (e.g., application fees, notary fees, ID photos, official birth certificate fees, travel costs).
It is every study abroad student’s responsibility to know the entry requirements and limitations for their host country and to ensure that they follow all policies and procedures for obtaining and maintaining their visa and legal residency status for their study abroad program. To assist you in starting this process, we’ve compiled information for HPU’s study abroad programs. Click on your host country’s name below for specific information. If you are studying in a country not listed below, you should start your search on the website for your host country’s Embassy.
|Japan||Russia||South Africa||Spain||United Kingdom|
IMPORTANT: This information provides guidelines about the visa process. Visa regulations often change, and procedures can vary by Consulate and/or Embassy. Students should verify the current visa application procedures with the appropriate Consulate or Embassy before initiating the process. While every effort is made to ensure these guidelines are updated and as accurate as possible, the Office of Study Abroad and High Point University cannot guarantee that the visa information posted is the most current. The information included only applies to US citizens.