Useful Tips for International Co-op
A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer. A valid passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify United States passports. If you currently hold a passport, check to see when it expires. If it is not valid for the entire duration of your stay abroad, you must renew it before you leave. It usually takes between 3 – 8 weeks to renew your passport. If you are a US citizen, passport information can be found on the web at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. If you need a new passport at this time, you MUST expedite your application.
To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to one of the 7,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license.
Visas are an official authorization appended to a passport, permitting entry into and travel within a particular country. Not all countries require a visa and requirements and cost differ from country to country. For a list of foreign entry requirements by country, visit the US State Department website at http://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html.
Visa applications are submitted to and approved by the Consulate of the country in which you will be living. If you are a non-US citizen, please pay special attention to the visa requirements of your country of citizenship. Contact the consulate for further information and instructions. Some consulates are very strict about their requirements, so follow instructions carefully and do not procrastinate. You can find a list of local Consulate offices at http://usembassy.state.gov.
The International Co-op team is available to assist you with the visa application process especially for the UK, France, Spain, Turkey, and certain South and Central American countries. Keep in mind, International Coop does not represent the different consulates and may not have all the answers you are looking for. Therefore, it is important that you contribute time and effort into researching the requirements. In some cases, employers are able to assist with the visa process.
You are responsible for booking your own flights, however, we suggest that you wait until your visa is granted before moving forward with travel arrangements. We also advise that you confirm your flight 48 hours prior to departure. Please make sure you are aware of travel restrictions including weight limits. For more information click here.
If you are eligible, you are encouraged to apply for The Presidential Global Scholars Program. The PGS provides financial aid for students going on international co-op.
If you have questions regarding how to file your taxes from abroad you must consult an accountant or tax expert. The International Co-op staff is in no position to advise students on this matter.
In addition to the advice you receive from your co-op coordinator, we encourage students to seek professional insight from Career Services (101 Stearns Center). NU’s Career Services can assist you with cover letters, resumés, and writing samples. Check out their website and also stop by during their walk-in hours.