U.S. citizens need a passport to travel outside the United States. Visit the U.S. Department of State website at: www.travel.state.gov for more information regarding recent changes and how they might affect your travels. You should apply as early as possible; new passports are currently taking four to six weeks to process. The total cost for a passport is $135. If you want to expedite the processing of the passport, you will need to pay an additional $60. While the total cost may seem hefty (especially on a student’s budget!) your passport will be valid for ten years.
Passport applications are available at the CIP office or can be picked up at the USPS Passport Agent located at:
USPS Passport Agent
800 Sycamore St. Evansville, IN 47708
You have to make an appointment. Applications also can be printed off the Internet. You need to return the application, along with valid proof of citizenship (e.g., a certified copy of your birth certificate or an expired passport), proof of identity (e.g., a valid driver’s license) and two passport ready (2 x 2 inches) photos taken within six months of submitting your application. These may be purchased at a variety of locations, including CVS, Wal-Mart, Office Depot, etc. If you already have a passport, be sure that it will not expire while you are abroad and you have enough visa spaces left.
Some countries will require a student visa, which should be obtained several weeks before you plan to leave the U.S. Other countries do not have visa requirements for U.S. citizens or if your stay is considered temporary. For specific information on the requirements for your host country, please consult the embassy website at:
IMPORTANT: In some cases, such as in Spain, you are required to apply in person at the consulate of your host country having jurisdiction over Indiana (usually located in Chicago or Detroit). In other cases, such as in China, you can obtain the visa through an approved travel agency. Apply for your visa in plenty of time to avoid any last minute panic (or express mail expenses).
Gain professional experience
"I really want to work internationally, mainly with the UN. I would love to work with kids, so while I was there, I got to work in a township through an English literacy program for kids. We tested them at the end of four months, and all of them had done so much better than when they started."
Learn a language hands-on
"You can learn a language in a classroom, but you don't get the conversational experience that you get while studying abroad. I'll use my study abroad experience by constantly speaking in the languages I learned. With Spanish, I continue to help out with a program called EDUCA, which is where I help people who don't speak that much English. With Chinese, I talk to a lot of Chinese students at USI."
Grow as an individual
"The biggest way my Japanese trip changed me was I became a lot more self-reliant, I would say. It was also a great way to meet people from around the world and to experience different cultures."
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