PASSPORTS & VISAS
A passport is an official identity and travel document issued by the U.S federal government allowing you the opportunity to travel internationally. (It’s a must-have!) You can apply for your passport at any time, but it must be valid for 6 months after your time abroad.
To apply, go to the US Post Office or County Clerk’s Office in your area. Call ahead to find out if there are specific times or any special fees. The processing of a passport application can take 12 weeks or more – so if you don’t already have one, Apply Now!
A visa is official permission, granted by the authorities of a country where you will study or visit, which allows you to enter and remain in that country for period of time. Most countries require you to obtain a visa their local consulate in the US. Costs and entrance requirements vary, but expect to pay around $500.
U.S. Citizens will need a visa for semester study in Belgium, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The Belgian government requires an FBI background check for students who are age 21 or over when they apply for the visa. This process needs to be completed before applying for the visa. It takes approximately 3-4 weeks. If you are applying to the Brussels program and are age 21 or older, we highly recommend that you being this process as soon as possible.
If you are not a U.S. citizen or have dual citizenship, check now with the consulate of the country in which you’ll be studying for any special visa requirements. For the UK Visa, students will supply a letter from their registrar’s office to the school in the UK confirming their English Language Profiency. EPA will help you obtain this letter.
We strongly recommend that you make a photocopy of your passport (and visa, if applicable). Take the photocopies overseas with you as well as the originals. Store the copies in a safe place, but in a different location than the originals. Should your passport/visa be lost or stolen, they will be easier to replace if you have a copy.