Traveling Outside the United States

Under most conditions, international students are permitted to travel outside the United States with an easy re-entry.

Request a Travel Signature on your I-20 or DS-2019

If you leave the country and plan to return to the U.S., you must obtain a travel signature on  page 2 of your I-20 or DS-2019 from a Designated School Official (DSO).  If you already have a signature, it is valid for 1 year and it must be valid on the date of your return. For example, if your travel signature is dated 3/16/2020, it is valid until 3/16/2021.
If you do need a signature on your I-20 or DS-2019, please complete the following steps:
  1. Complete the Request for Travel Signature form.
  2. Bring your I-20 or DS-2019 to the Center for Global Learning and Engagement Office to be signed.
  3. Please expect 2-3 business days processing time for the signature. You will be contacted by email when your I-20 is ready to be picked up.

Check the travel warnings and be safe!

Some countries where you may wish to travel may not currently be safe for you. Use the United State’s State Department website to for travel alerts and warning and safety tips. Also keep in mind that travel warnings for Americans might be different for travel warnings for citizens from your home country. So check with your embassy or travel sites other travel sites to find all the current countries under travel advisory.

Even for countries that are not under any travel advisory, be sure to make safe decisions when making travel plans. Stay in groups of 2 or more. Always be aware of your surroundings. Tell someone where you are going and when they should expect your return. Talk to the UCA Police Department for an upcoming self-defense class!

Center for Disease Control

Info on diseases, water, and food conditions in specific regions. Also tips for avoiding traveler’s sickness.

Information for Travelers who are Women

Safety Tips for Women Travelers
Contact Overseas Citizens Services:
1-888-407-4747 (toll free in the United States and Canada)
1-202-501-4444 (outside the United States and Canada)

Information for LGBTI Travelers

Obtain the proper visa for the country to which you are traveling

If you are traveling into another country, you may be required to obtain a visa for that country. Canada is a frequent travel destination for international students. Many students on F-1 or J-1 visas do not need a visa to enter Canada, but some countries do. Just be safe and find out all the visa details before your trip.

Check to see if your U.S. visa is still valid

While you are in the United States, your visa can expire without causing you any immigration trouble. However, once you leave the country, you cannot return without an active visa. You cannot renew your visa in the United States. In most instances, you must return to your home country to renew your visa.

Make sure your passport is not expired

While you are an international student in the United States, your passport must never become expired. This is especially important as you travel within and outside of the U.S.

Extended absence from the United States

If a student plans to withdraw from class and leave the U.S. for an extended length of time, they must see the Designated School Official (DSO) in the Center for Global Learning and Engagement before making travel arrangements, withdrawing, registering or not registering for classes. Depending on the amount of time the student will be gone, the procedure for exiting and reentering the country will vary. More information about Leave of Absence will be posted. (Absence from the U.S.)