Once you have been accepted to your program, approved for your academic leave, and notified Oberlin that you are definitely planning to study away, you will still have plenty of things to think about!

Pre-Departure Information


You must have an up-to-date passport in order to apply for a visa and to travel abroad. Each student is responsible for ensuring that he or she has a valid passport if necessary. If you do not have a passport or if your passport has expired, you should apply for a new passport or renewal as soon as possible. Information on how to obtain a new passport or renew a passport is available at the U.S. Passports & International Travel  website.

Please note: Many countries require that your passport be valid for six months beyond the dates of your travel in that country.

Passport and Visa Pictures

Passport photos can be made at Discount Drug Mart, 12289 Leavitt Road in Oberlin and the cost is 2 photos for $8.99. It takes about 30 minutes to get a photo made at Drug Mart.

Local Passport Office

Passports applications are accepted at the Oberlin Post Office, 68 S. Main St., 440-776-9847, by appointment only.  Please contact the Post Office directly to schedule an appointment.

The Amherst Post Office, 350 N. Leavitt Road, 440-988-3421 and the Elyria Post Ofice, 345 East Bridge St., 440-323-0263 are also available to process passport applications.  Please contact the Post Office directly for hours and availability.

Student Visas

In order to enter most countries a special passport stamp or other indicator—a visa—is required. This visa allows you to enter a country for a specific purpose and for a specified time period. Obtaining a student visa can take as little as a week and as many as 6-8 weeks so you should start this part of the process as soon as possible. If you are going on a study away program sponsored by a study away provider, your program will most often provide information about how to obtain a student visa for the country to which you will travel and will help you get started with the student visa application process. If your program does not provide assistance in this area or if you are enrolling directly in a foreign institution, you should contact the nearest embassy or consulate for the country you will be visiting. The U.S. Passports & International Travel  website provides useful information for each country in the world.

Non-US citizens should visit the embassy website for the country in which you will study for details on the visa requirements.

Travel Arrangements

As soon as you have confirmed your study away program and paid your deposit, you will want to begin researching your travel options. Some study away programs provide you with the necessary tickets for travel to and from the study away site. In most cases, making these travel arrangements is up to you. You should keep in mind the following considerations before making your travel plans:

  • Check on the required dates for your program's orientation
  • Make sure to check the last date of exams for your program
  • Consider any additional travel you want to do before and after your program

There are many travel websites that offer discount fares to students. You can find links to many student travel websites at either GoAbroad.com  or StudyAbroad.com .