Thank you for supporting your child's desire to study abroad. There is a lot to know, understand, and consider when it comes to studying abroad. Though the study abroad experience is solely built for individual students, often times, the study abroad process becomes a family affair as students rely on their parents to ask the questions or complete some of the following procedures for them. Studying abroad is a very rewarding experience that will require students to become more independent and self-reliant. The Office of International Education and TAMU-CC want you to know that safety and academic success are our main concerns. It is our hope to provide as much information that we can to students before their program departure to better prepare them for experiences that are yet to come.
Due to distance, differences in time, and country-specific laws/regulations, there are limitations to what we can or are able to do for students while they are abroad. It is our intent to offer programs that provide adequate services for students while they are abroad, but know that level of care, or level of service, may differ from one country location to the next, depending on program and local resources.
Before students commit to an application process, we encourage students to stop in and talk to Study Abroad advising staff to explore program options and discuss any safety, travel, or health concerns associated with the location they plan to study in. Countries deemed unsafe or at high-risk will not be approved for student travel or study abroad. Though we do rely on agencies such as the U.S. State Department, for travel warnings, alerts, and recommendations, we also consult with on-site partners or provider programs as well to determine program safety.
Sites for Travel and Health Information:
Depending on what the level of needs are for students, we recommend that parents and students familiarize themselves with the different program options available at TAMU-CC. Each program type has its benefits and limitations, so it's important to understand is and is not included with each program option with regards to services or amenities. You can learn more about the different program options here: Available Program Options.
Understanding Program Costs:
Depending on the program type that student's select, the costs associated with the program will vary based on program length, country of travel, services and amenities included, and whom fees are paid to. We encourage parents and students to familiarize themselves with some of the main costs and fees related to study abroad programs. Students can utilize a variety of funding sources to help cover the cost of their study abroad program costs. To help students prepare for their programs, we recommend that they familiarize themselves with the different variables that make-up their program fees. You can find information on Costs and Financing on the Costs & Financing Page as well as Scholarship information on the Scholarships Page.
Regardless of which program students select, we require students to attend a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Session. The Pre-Departure Orientation Session covers information relating to enrollment, billing, health & safety, and travel tips.
All students are required to have International Insurance Coverage while on their program. Students participating on a Faculty-led or Exchange program will be enrolled in the Unviersity's comprehensive insurance program through CISI Insurance Program which provides our TAMU-CC students with a Comprehensive Insurance and Global Assistance Package.
Students who are participating in an independent/provider program will be required to enroll in the provider program's comparable insurance program as well. If the provider program's insurance is not comparable, students will be required to enroll in the university's CISI insurance.
Passport & Visa Information
Understanding the difference between a passport and a visa is very important for study abroad participants. Passports may allow individuals to enter/exit a country; however, it may not always allow a person to legally remain in that country for the duration of their country. Where applicable, a student visa may be required in order to not only enter the country they will be studying in, but to allow them to remain (and possibly travel to other cities/countries) during their program.
All students, regardless of which program they participate in, will require a valid passport in order to book an international flight and participate in their program. Passports must not expire within 6 months of the program end-date in order to be considered valid. For example, if a student is participating in a June 2018 program, their passport cannot expire before the end of December 2018.
If your child/student does not currently have a passport, or may require a passport renewal, we encourage them to apply for a passport or renewal as soon as possible. Passports and passport renewals can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to obtain. If student visas are required, students cannot apply for a visa without a valid passport and official admission into their program. Please plan accordingly as delays in providing valid passport information can delay other follow-up procedures. If you believe your child or student may need to apply for a passport, click here, for more information.
Most study abroad programs that are shorter than 90 days in length may not require a student visa; however, visa entry requirements will vary based on which countries the program will take place in as well as the student's country of citizenship.
Most U.S. passport holders will find that they may not need visas for shorter term programs. Citizens of other countries may need to apply for an entry visa which can be done at the nearest Consulate Office for that country (usually, Austin, Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio).
Programs that are more than 90 days in length usually require students to apply for a student visa PRIOR to their program departure. Students will not be able to apply for a visa until they have been officially admitted into their program by their program provider or host university. Visas can take anywhere from 2-3 months to obtain, and usually require students to submit applications, in person, to the nearest Consulate Office. In many cases, visa appointments will be necessary, so students should plan accordingly as well.
The Office of International Education is not a passport granting office and cannot submit visa applications for students. Also, there are limitations to how much assistance the Office of International Education staff can provide with regards to specific visa requirements for each country. In many cases, students will have to refer to the local Consulate Office for that particular country for additional guidance on specific application materials and visa application procedures.