FAQs - Before You Go

Q: How do I get a passport?
A: See the U.S. State Department website for details as well as necessary forms.  It typically takes between 4 - 6 weeks for a passport application to be processed.  In extreme cases, you can pay to expedite your passport application which results in having it processed in 2 - 3 weeks. 

Q: What vaccinations do I need before studying abroad?
A: This depends on your destination. See the Center for Disease Control for specific information and requirements.  You can also consult with PSU's Center for Student Health & Counseling.

Q: What is a student visa? Do I need one for my program? If so, what is the process for obtaining one?
A: A student visa generally comes in the form of a stamp in your passport that gives you permission to study in a particular country. Many countries require student visas.

You will receive information from your Education Abroad Advisor and/or your program provider about how to acquire a student visa for your program. This often involves sending your passport by registered mail to the consulate or embassy of the country in which you’re planning to study. Therefore, it is important that you have a current passport that does not expire within six months of the date of the end of your program abroad.

Q: What medical/mental health needs do I need to consider?
A: Before going abroad, please consider your daily medical or mental health needs and care.  You may have difficulty getting access to particular medications or treatments in certain countries.  Please speak with an Education Abroad advisor as early as possible to ensure you have the most accessible experience possible.

Q: How can I use my cell phone while abroad?
A: In order to use your cell phone, it should be unlocked.  You can either purchase an unlocked phone or call your cell phone carrier to see if they can unlock it for you.  For more information on using your unlocked phone while abroad or to learn more about popular carriers in various countries, click here.