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Travel Documents

Passports

  • A valid passport is your most important travel document. It is required to exit and re-enter the United States. In addition, a valid passport serves to prove your citizenship as you enter and exit other countries.
  • If you do not currently have a valid passport, or your current passport has expired, you will need to apply for one as soon as possible (at least 3 months prior to departure).
  • On-campus Passport Services are offered at our office.

Visas

Granted by the country of your destination, a visa is written proof that you have authorization to enter. Entry and exit requirements for each country may vary.

  • If you have a U.S. passport check the U.S. Department of State's website for the Consular Information Sheets detailing entry and exit requirements for every country.  

  • If you are participating in a Texas A&M Faculty-led or Reciprocal Exchange program, either a study abroad advisor or the faculty member leading your program will assist you with the visa process. If you are participating in a Transfer Credit program or Research/Internships/Volunteer abroad experience, you may be responsible for obtaining your own visa, if required.  Some program providers provide visa assistance services.


Visas for Non-U.S. Citizens: Some countries might require both valid passports and visas for non-U.S. citizens regardless of their program duration. Therefore, please check with either the consulate/embassy for your destination country in your home country or the local consular for your destination country to verify the necessary travel documents for your international experience. The consular information sheets available through the U.S. Department of State (http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html) provide contact information for foreign countries' embassies located in the United States. Please note that some countries may also require a special document called a transit visa for connecting flights or layovers.

Note: International Students will need to meet with an advisor in International Student Services (ISS) prior to departure to obtain a valid Travel Signature. ISS will guide you in preparing the necessary paperwork for re-entering the U.S. to continue your studies at Texas A&M University after your study abroad program.  Failure to complete the proper paperwork with ISS may jeopardize your immigration status and your ability to re-enter the United States.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of A&M students while abroad is the number one priority for all Texas A&M sponsored and affiliated programs. The Study Abroad Programs Office offers a number of resources and services to prepare students for their internatioinal experiences.
health and safety
  • Online Orientation:  As part of the study abroad application process, students will have access to detailed information, videos, and PowerPoint presentations addressing an array of health and safety topics.
     
  • Disability and Special Accommodations:  This web page provides trip planning tips for Texas A&M students with disabilities, dietary restrictions, and medical conditions.
     
  • Texas A&M Student Health Services:  Prior to traveling abroad, it is recommended that students obtain a routine checkup with either their family physician or the on-campus health center.
     
  • Study Abroad: Resources for Students (TAMU Library)
     
  • Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI):   The Study Abroad Programs Office recommends that all students traveling overseas have health insurance coverage for their travels.  CISI insurance will be purposed for students as part of the program fee or students will be given instructions on how to purchase CISI insurance, depending on the study abroad program requirements.  Information regarding CISI insurance policy coverage can be found 2013-14 CISI Brochure.pdf
     
  • The US State Department's American Citizens Services is another valuable resource for students while overseas:  (202) 647-5225 (8:15am - 10:00pm weekdays; 9:00am - 2:00pm Saturdays).


International Insurance

The Study Abroad Programs Office strongly recommends that all students traveling overseas have international health insurance coverage.  Most domestic policies do not cover foreign medical care, overseas medical/security evacuation or repatriation of remains—items that can be extraordinarily expensive.  International health insurance will provide you with the necessary coverage should you need to visit a doctor or hospital while abroad.  Some hospitals require payment up-front.  You must then file a claim upon returning to the U.S. to receive reimbursement.  Refer to your program’s insurance policy for more details.

Cultural Insurance Services International

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) is medical insurance and emergency assistance providing coverage and reimbursement for subscribers.  Texas A&M students enroll in this coverage when participating on a Texas A&M sponosored program. Enrollment in this coverage will depend on the specific program you are participating.  Consult the study abroad advisor for more details.

Provider Non Emergency Medical Benefits Emergency Medical Benefits
Cultural Insurance Services International

International Medical Insurance and Emergency Services
(Note: Covers pre-existing medical conditions.)
 
  • Doctor/Medical Center locator service online and via phone
  • Reimbursement for medical expenses overseas
  • Expenses as a result of travel delays
  • NO deductible
  • Doctor/Medical Center locator service online and via phone
  • Medical personnel available to provide assistance with medical evacuation, if needed.
  • Medical evacuation and other assistance provided and covered by CISI
  • NO deductible

Insurance Coverage When Participating on Non-Texas A&M Programs

If you are participating in a program that is not sponsored by Texas A&M University (may include: transfer credit, internship, research) it is your responsibility to ensure that you have sufficient health and accident insurance for the duration of your time abroad.

Note: Some students employed through the Texas A&M system (i.e. GANT, GAR, GAT, some fellowships) are eligible for health insurance benefits. These employees are automatically covered for basic CISI emergency services abroad. All other graduate students need to purchase CISI insurance in order to have both medical coverage and emergency service coverage when abroad.

Research the travel provisions—especially Emergency Medical Evacuation (EME) and Repatriation of Remains (RR)—of your current study abroad program insurance if applicable, and make sure you understand both the coverage and the procedures to follow if something should occur.  If your existing insurance does not cover EME or RR, or if you want supplemental coverage, you can enroll in Texas A&M’s discounted CISI plan through the Study Abroad Programs Office’s application portal by registering your travel with our office.