Traveling Abroad

There are many steps that need to be taken prior to departing the U.S. Before leaving, make sure to check that all the prior documentation and forms have been been obtained.

Obtaining a Passport

In order to travel abroad, you will need a valid passport.  In some cases, it may take up to 6-8 weeks to obtain a new passport or renew an existing passport.  Please be sure that your passport will not expire before you travel abroad, during your time abroad, or within six months of your return to the US.  If your passport will expire within the previous timeframe, please apply for a passport renewal as soon as possible.

For US citizens, please refer to the U.S. passport web page for more information.

For non-US citizens, please contact your home country’s local embassy/consulate for more information.

Obtaining a Visa

It is important to note that many individuals participating in an academic experience abroad will need to obtain a foreign country visa prior to departure.  Foreign country visas may take up to one month to process.  A passport is required to process a foreign country visa, so individuals need to obtain valid passports early in this process.

Visa requirements vary by country. It is important to research the applicable visa requirements for the country where the academic program will take place. 

Background Information

Once your host country location has been decided, it is a good idea to begin reading background information related to that region/country. One important place to start is the U.S. State Department’s International Travel Report.

Health and Vaccinations

Before traveling abroad, it is recommended that you review the health and vaccination information for your country/regional destination. Some vaccinations require a series of injections over the course of weeks, so it is important to review vaccination information well in advance of planned travel.

For those who do not have a regular healthcare provider, UIC’s School of Public Health offers a Traveler’s Health and Immunization Service to UIC students and staff traveling abroad.

Traveler’s Health and Immunization Service
School of Public Health
835 S. Wolcott, Room E144
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 996-7420

U.S. State Department Registration

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.  STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.  STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.