Generally speaking, a “valid passport” must be valid (not expired) 3-6 months after the program ends (timing is dependent on the destination country’s specific regulations). Lafayette College requires that a student’s passport does not expire before 6 months of the end-date of the program. If you are a US citizen, you can click here to get further information on how to obtain or renew your passport. International students should refer to the Consulate of their own countries of citizenship. If you are planning to apply to go abroad and have not applied for a passport yet, do so immediately—you may even want to pay the extra fee in order to expedite it, since processing time for a new passport can be lengthy, and you will need to have your passport in-hand to apply for a visa if one is required by your study abroad program.

Once you have your passport, make several copies of the photo/personal information page. You will pack at least one copy  to take with you, leave one copy with your parent/guardian, and scan one copy on the Lafayette study abroad application portal for the Office of International & Off-Campus Education.


Many countries require students to obtain a visa, which can be a time-consuming process (up to eight weeks in some cases) and may require you to go in-person to a consulate. Specifics regarding the need for a visa and the application process depend on your destination country, the length of time you will be there, and your citizenship.  Representatives from your study abroad program will help you with the procedural details. You can gather further information on visas for various destination countries here.

Other Important Documents to Carry with You

  • Insurance – All students who go abroad must carry supplemental travel insurance. Please see the Health & Safety Insurance page for more information.
  • Emergency Contact Information – Please update your emergency contact information on Banner Self-Service before you leave. Furthermore, while you are abroad, you should always carry with you a card with the following information: the phone number of your house, apartment, or dorm while abroad; the phone number of the host program’s main office;  emergency contact numbers provided to you by your program; the phone number of  the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate; and your parent/guardian’s phone number(s).