To study abroad, you must have a signed, valid passport from your country of citizenship that will not expire for a minimum of six months after your planned return date. If you do not have a passport, or it's about to expire, make sure you apply or renew as soon as possible! U.S. Citizens can refer to the U.S. Department of State’s website for more information regarding passports.
A Student Visa is official permission by a foreign government to live and study in that country. It typically comes in the form of a stamp that is inserted directly into your passport. A Student Visa is required for all yearlong students and summer Stirling students participating in an internship.
U.S. citizens studying in Scotland for a single semester (less than 6 months) will enter on the "Visitor Route" and will not need to apply for a visa before departure. They will, however, need to prepare documentation to present to border control upon their arrival in the U.K.
Yearlong students and those participating in an internship through their host university (regardless of program length) are required to apply for a Student Visa prior to departure. Students applying for a Student Visa must complete the application process prior to departure. You will be required to appear in person at a biometrics facility to complete this process.
Further information will be posted to your USAC Student Gateway account in the Visa Guide, which you will receive about four months prior to the program start. Program Advisors in the Central Office are also available to answer any visa questions you may have.
All costs related to obtaining a visa, including travel, are your responsibility.
Check with your home country consulate, as well as the embassy of the country in which you plan to study, regarding visa requirements. Permanent Residents of the U.S. should check with U.S. Immigration as leaving the country for more than one year may jeopardize permanent resident status. Tax clearance and re-entry forms may also be necessary in these cases. If you are from a non-English speaking country, you may be required to submit an English proficiency exam or certificate.