Students traveling on a non-US passport will have unique opportunities and challenges during their off-campus study experience(s). The IOS Office recognizes and honors that many students may face unique familial, financial, and/or personal barriers in the off-campus study process. The IOS Office strives to remove as many barriers as possible, but we are also committed to being realistic about the options for students who do not hold a US passport, including those who are undocumented, international or exchange students, and students who are US permanent residents or Green Card holders. We strongly encourage all students interested in studying off-campus to meet with the IOS Office or the Taylor Center about the off-campus study program options, logistics, travel document or visa requirements, etc.
Can International Students in the United States Study Abroad? (A Homeland Security resource)
DACA Student Resource Page (A NAFSA resource)
Diversity Abroad: Racial & Ethnic Minority Students Abroad
Diversity Abroad: Heritage Seekers
CIA – The World Fact Book (provides information on the history, people, government, economy, etc. of various locations abroad)
Studying Abroad as an Undocumented Student/Advance Parole (A UC-Berkeley resource)
– How long do you want to be off campus? How will your off-campus experience fit into your four-year plan?
– Depending on your citizenship, does a domestic or international program make more sense for your academic and career goals?
– What documents will you need to be able to successfully study off-campus and do you have access to those documents (e.g., a visa)? What personal or college information or materials (e.g., a birth certificate) will you need to apply for these documents? Do you have access to those materials?
– Depending on your citizenship, does your proposed country of study have diplomatic relationships with your country of citizenship that may help or hinder your chance of approval for a visa?
– Think about the history and relations of your own country with the host community, this may make your experience abroad different from other students in the program. Consider whether that would be an issue for you or not.
– Depending on your citizenship, it may be complicated or difficult to gain travel documents for a program that includes multiple countries or multiple entries to one country. What is the itinerary of your proposed program?
– Your financial aid package (including scholarships and grants – with the exception of work study while off-campus) will be applied to your off-campus studies program.
– Find support! Traveling or studying abroad is an exciting and sometimes challenging time, especially, if you are the first in your family to do it. Be sure to find people on and off campus who support your decision. Talk with other students about their experience off-campus – what are their tips, insights, and advice?
– Do your research! The more you know about your academic program and the host community, the more you can prepare and share with your support networks.
– DACA and TPS students may be eligible for Advance Parole for “educational purposes”, except during the renewal process, so timing and eligibility may vary or be complicated depending on the off-campus study program. Students who choose to apply for Advance Parole must acknowledge the difficulty and risk involved in the process (risks include: re-entry not guaranteed, immigration changes while abroad, may be deemed inadmissible for reasons unknown at the border, etc.).
– If you are living with a host family, have they hosted a student who is not from the US in the past? If not, will this be an issue for them – or for you?