Travel abroad can be both exciting and stressful, even when you speak the language! There are entry permits and work Visas to think about, as well as the travel arrangements themselves.

The Excitement of Traveling Abroad

It is an exciting time in a students’ career to travel abroad for both school and professional opportunities. There are many programs, and promising opportunities that are coming to realization for you at this point in your life. Congratulations! You are on your way to broadening your horizons as a student or professional in the US or the UK. However the stress of traveling abroad can dampen your excitement, leading unwanted obstacles to your dream of being a student or a professional in the US or the UK. A well-researched early start to your traveling adventures is key to reducing stress and taking advantage of the positive aspects of the next steps in your career as a student or profession.

Currently, students are planning to have at least part-time careers while studying in the US or the UK. To make sure that you know the basics of how to approach this experience of being a working student, this posts reviews a few simple steps to help you begin a well-informed search.

The English Language Paradox

As American student traveling to the UK or a British student traveling to the US, it is important to take into consideration the variance in language that you will encounter once you arrive. Many native speakers of English are required to take tests such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in the US, or sit for the International English Language Test System (IELTS) in the UK, even if English is your first language. This should not cause you any extra anxiety. This is actually helpful for you as a student in a new country. You can study the idioms and language structure variations of the US, or the UK and be prepared to enter into your program of study successfully.

Entry Permits and Work Visas

In the US and the UK, you must have a visa to pursue your academic studies. In the UK, if you are planning to study for more than six months, you must apply for a Tier 4 Visa. If you are studying for up to six months you can enter the UK as a Student Visitor, which does not have a visa requirement. If you are planning to study in the US in from kindergarten through higher education, you will need an F-1 Visa. If you plan to attend a vocational program in the US, you must obtain an M-1 visa. This visa must be obtained before classes begin but after being accepted to an SEVP program (your future institution, one that is accredited and can accept international students). You must also schedule an interview with the US consulate for student Visa application. Alternatively, students who would like to pursue non-credit degree courses that do not count toward a major program may enter country on a Visitor’s (B) Visa. Students may not pursue a degree of any kind with this visa.

Travel Arrangements

Now that you know more about which Visas you will need for the US and the UK, you need to plan your travel so that you are always able to re-enter either country when returning from holidays or other international travel. In the US and the UK students who are on extended student visas (Tier 4 in the UK, F-1 or M-1 in the US) must work with their international student offices to file the correct forms for reentry. Please don not leave the country with out a consultation from your International Advisor!

You now have the basic information needed to acquire a Student Visa for long-term study or a Visitor’s Visa for short-term study for the US and the UK. Make sure to pay attention to every detail of every form that you must complete for your applications. Mistakes can delay your application and delay your start to an exciting academic career! Be persistent in your process of obtaining a Student Visa!

Sources: UK Border Agency; Travel and Immigration- Studying in the UK; US Visas; Bureau of Consular Affairs, US Department of the State- Student Visa