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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.

United States Department of State

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: 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 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 smartphone 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 officer will use those numbers to contact you directly.


Travel Warnings

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.


Consular Services

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.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources

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:

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:

  • Routine Vaccinations. Be sure that you are up to date on your routine vaccinations. These normally consist of the vaccinations you need to live on campus at HPU and are necessary for protection from diseases that are still common in many parts of the world even though they rarely occur in the United States.
  • Recommended Vaccinations. These vaccines are recommended to protect travelers from illnesses present in other parts of the world and to prevent infectious diseases from crossing international borders. Which vaccinations you need will depend on a number of factors including your destination, whether you will be spending time in rural areas, the season of the year you are traveling, your age, health status, and previous vaccinations.
  • Required Vaccinations. Currently, the only vaccine required by International Health Regulations is yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Ghana, and tropical South America, such as Ecuador.  In addition to vaccinations, other countries may require medical tests, such as an HIV test, prior to entry.

U.S. Passport

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.

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

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.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provides authority over travel inside and connecting to the United States. Visit their website for information about flying.

CIA World Factbook

The CIA World Factbook provides interesting background information about countries around the world.

A valid passport book is required for participation in all international study programs. If you are planning to participate in a study abroad program and do not have a valid passport, you’ll need to begin the application or renewal process now. Acquiring or renewing a passport does not have to be difficult, but it can take some time.

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.


Passport Validity

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.


Applying for an Adult Passport

If you are applying for your first adult passport, or if your passport was lost or stolen, you must apply in person. There are several Passport Acceptance Facilities located just a short distance from HPU, including:

  • The Guilford County Register of Deeds is located in the BB&T Building at 201 West Market Street, Room 108, Greensboro, NC 27401, sixteen (16) miles from the HPU campus. Hours of Passport Acceptance are 8:30am to 3:00pm, Monday through Friday. Passport photos may be taken on site for $10. Payments for the application fee can be made via personal check or money order. Payments for the execution fee and optional photo fee can be made via cash, check, credit or debit card. Additional fees apply. No appointments are required. Contact
    (336) 641-5322 for more information.
  • 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 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.
  • The Clerk of Court Davidson County is located at 110 W. Center Street, Lexington, NC 27292, twenty (20) miles from the HPU campus. Hours of Passport Acceptance are 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Passport photos are not able to be taken on site. Payments for the application fee can be made via personal check or money order. Payments for the execution fee can be made via cash only. No appointment is required. Applications are accepted on a first-come/first-served basis.

Passport Application Process

Complete Form DS-11: Application For A U.S. Passport.NOTE: Do not sign the DS-11 application form until the Passport Acceptance Agent instructs you to do so.

Submit Completed Form DS-11 In Person. 

Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship:

  • Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
  • Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county, or state
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Certificate of Citizenship

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.

Present Identification:

  • Previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Current Governement ID (city, state, or federal)
  • Current Military ID (military and dependents)

More information on the types of documents that are accepted is posted on the U.S. Department of State website.

Submit a Photocopy of the Identification Document(s) Presented (Step 4)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.

Pay the Applicable Fee. 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.

Provide One Passport Photo.


Processing Times

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.


The Passport Card

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.


HPU Passport ID

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.

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 to 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.


ChileChinaChina - Hong KongCzech RepublicDenmark
ItalyJapanNetherlandsRussiaSouth Africa
South KoreaSpainSwedenUnited 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 Global Education and High Point University cannot guarantee that the visa information posted is the most current. The information included only applies to US citizens.