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Student Identities Abroad

International Students

International students are well aware of the value of studying in another country and are already gaining meaningful experiences while at Dickinson. Many international students may choose to study abroad even more. 

You’ll want to begin by meeting with the CGSE to talk about education abroad to ensure you understand your options and any additional immigration documents you will need. It will be good to stay in contact with your ISSS advisor as you prepare for your experience abroad as well as when you return to Dickinson to continue your studies.

Questions to ask yourself/your Education Abroad Advisor:

Visa/Immigration questions

  • What type of visa will I need? What documents can the CGSE provide and what will I be responsible for obtaining?
  • Can I apply for a visa while I am in the US or will I need to return to my home country to apply?
  • Are my passport and US visa up to date and valid for at least 6 months after the end of my program? 

International Student Identity

  • How might I be perceived while I study abroad? Will I be perceived as a US student, international student, neither, both?
  • How are people from my national origin and/or racial group perceived in my host country? What kinds of stereotypes exist?
  • How might stereotypes about what Americans look like create assumptions about my identity? 
  • What is the history of ethnic or racial tension in the country? Is the situation currently hostile to members of a minority race or particular ethnicity or religion?
  • Are issues of racism/ethnic discrimination influenced by immigration in my host country? 


Obtaining the Right Visa

One of the most difficult tasks for a non-U.S. resident going abroad is obtaining the right visa.

Because visa regulations change often and vary from country to country, the Center for Global Study and Engagement is not able to assist students directly with all aspects of the visa application. While the CGSE will provide students with general information and the necessary documentation. International students are responsible for getting any special visas they may need to participate in their program abroad. To help, follow these guidelines.

  • Make plans for all countries you will travel to and through. If you want to travel outside of your program, research ahead of time what visas (tourist, transit, etc.) you may need. .
  • Apply as soon as possible. Many students wait too long to apply for their visa. You may need to travel a long distance to hand in your documents and pick up your visa and you will need extra time.
  • Think about applying from the United States. It may be faster and more convenient to apply for your visa from the United States. Applying from your home country can be difficult and take a long time.
  • Keep your U.S. visa current. You must make sure your U.S. visa is current so that you will be able to re-enter the U.S. when you return from your program abroad. If you are unsure, please check with an ISSS advisor.

On-Campus Resources

General Resources