Study Abroad & Exchange

Passports and Visas


A valid passport is required to travel internationally (including Mexico and Canada).  All passports issued after age 18 are valid for 10 years.

Are you considering applying for a study abroad program?  Even if your answer to that question is "maybe," you should apply for a passport IMMEDIATELY.

Applying for a passport is a simple process, but it must be started several months before your departure (NOW). You must apply in person at the main post office in your hometown or at the main post office in Chico (550 Vallombrosa Ave).  As of March 2018, the Office of International Education in SSC 440 began processing first-time passport applicants. 

To apply you must have the following information with you when you arrive at the post office:

Be sure to read through the directions of the Passport Application carefully before submitting your application. The directions contain important information about how to fill out the application and what fees are involved.

Once you receive your passport, please KEEP IT IN A SAFE PLACE! (Your car or backpack IS NOT considered a safe place.)


Most countries will require that you obtain a student visa prior to your departure for that country. A student visa is a document issued by the government of the host country, giving you permission to live and study there. In most cases, when you apply for this visa, you must submit your official U.S. Passport so that the appropriate agency can place an official stamp/sticker in it.

Visa requirements vary greatly from country-to-country. The fees and regulations will also vary. Contact the consulate or embassy of the host country to determine what specifically will be required: Embassy WorldWide(opens in new window). Students who go abroad through USAC or IP will also have the support of those programs to assist them with the visa application process.