When traveling outside of the United States, you must carry a passport, as it is the only form of identification recognized everywhere that verifies your citizenship. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your planned return date. If you do not have a passport, or if your passport will expire soon, you should apply for one as soon as possible to avoid any unforeseen delay. It can take up to eight weeks to process your passport application.
Visit the U.S. Department of State for comprehensive information regarding the passport application process and associated fees. You will be able to download an application on their website and find the nearest office that will accept your application.
Once you have your passport, make several photocopies. Leave a copy at home and carry a copy with you at all times when you are overseas. Keep an additional copy with your belongings. If your passport is lost or stolen, the copies may speed up the replacement process. If this happens, immediately notify the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
A visa is an endorsement placed in your passport that indicates that you are able to enter, exit and stay in a country (in this case, in Spain) for a specific period of time. The exact process for applying for a visa will vary depending upon your program and destination. You should confirm first whether a visa is required and if so, what the specific process is for obtaining it. To apply for a visa you may need to appear in person at a consulate office. Some consulates will permit you to send your actual passport (not a copy), and application materials in by mail. You generally apply to the consulate that serves the state of your permanent residence.
Obtaining a visa could take as long as three months, so begin early. You will not be able to apply for the visa until you are fully accepted by your host institution or program, but it is a good idea to begin gathering the needed materials for your visa as soon as you apply to your program. The embassy or consulate website will usually indicate how long it will take to process the visa.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
All study abroad participants are registered by the Study Abroad office at Gonzaga through the STEP program. Students are strongly encouraged to additionally register their own independent travel they may do while abroad.