Important Required Documents


The most important document you will need before planning your time abroad is a passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 full months after your return date.

It usually takes up to six weeks to get your passport, but during peak travel times it may take longer. It is important to include your departure date on your passport application.

For further information about getting or renewing a U.S. passport, fees and obtaining passport application forms, please visit the official website of the U.S. Government of State at:


Make 2 copies of your passport & visa

Copy #1: Leave at home with your family. If your passport is lost or stolen, it is easier to replace it if you have a copy.

Copy #2: Carry with you at all times. We recommend that you keep your original passport in a safe place in your apartment (abroad) and carry a copy with you at all times in case you need it for identification purposes.

**Note: You will need your original passport whenever traveling, so be sure to bring it with you everywhere (even if you don’t have to cross a border to reach your destination).

Visa & Entry Requirements

The following Athena semester programs require U.S. citizens to apply for a visa in advance of the program start in order to enter the country of study:

  • Italy
  • Spain

In order to apply for a student visa, you will require documentation from Athena and the overseas institution that cannot be provided until you have completed all post-acceptance requirements. Please note that while your program may not require you to apply for a visa in advance, the country of study may have specific entry requirements and/or travel restrictions.


Please refer to your location section for specifications on entry requirements and visas for your program.

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