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International Student Services

» Travel Guide

This page is about traveling while a current student at Chapman. If you are an incoming student planning your travel to Chapman, please use our Arrival in the U.S. webpage.

This Travel Guide provides information for students on an F-1 visa who wish to travel within the United States or are re-entering the U.S. after traveling abroad. 

Please contact International Student Services if you have any questions prior to leaving the country.

Travel Within the United States

As an international student, you are allowed to travel within the U.S. When flying domestically, you must present a Real California ID or your passport (must be valid at least six months after the date you are traveling). We also recommend you travel with your I-20 Form.

International Traveling and Re-entering the U.S.

Before leaving the U.S., make sure you have:

  • A valid travel endorsement signature on page 2 of your I-20 form.
  • A valid passport.
    • Be sure your passport is not expired and will be valid at least six months after the date you plan to re-enter the U.S.
  • Valid F-1 visa.
    • The visa in your passport must be valid on the date you plan to re-enter the U.S. (except Canadian citizens).
  • Visas for other countries.
    • You may need a visitor’s visa to travel to other countries. Go to www.embassy.org for a listing of foreign consulates in the U.S. to see if you might need a visa for the country to which you are traveling.

Use Your Most Updated I-20 

Always use the most recently issued I-20 form. Students with "transfer pending" or “initial” listed on their I-20 can request an updated I-20 form stating "continued attendance" from the ISS office. 

Renewing your Visa While Abroad

If you do not have a valid visa to re-enter the U.S., you must renew your visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy before re-entering the United States. Check the website of the U.S. consulate you will visit to see what documents, including forms and photos, you will need to present.

If your visa has expired, but you are not leaving the U.S., it is legal to remain in the U.S. as long as you are maintaining your F1 status.

Travel on Optional Practical Training

Please follow the specific guidelines below for traveling internationally while on Optional Practical Training:

Toggle Section

Chapan student in front of Sydney Opera HouseStudying Abroad as an International Student

International students can and are encouraged to study abroad while at Chapman. While looking at programs, please keep the following in mind: 

  • Research your host country’s visa process thoroughly to make sure that you are following all of the necessary steps to obtain your visa and ensure that you are submitting the necessary paperwork. As a student at a U.S. institution you may be able to apply through the host country’s consulate in the U.S. However, if you plan on applying at the host country’s consulate in your home country, have an understanding of the visa processing time as it may be longer.
  • Understand your travel throughout the program. If you are studying abroad for a summer, semester, or on a short-term program, you should know which countries you are going to visit and understand the visa process for each country to ensure that you will be visiting them legally.
  • Follow the international travel and re-entering the U.S. guidelines on this page to make sure you complete all of the necessary steps.

International Student Services provides general guidance. Any advice provided to you by the ISS should not be construed as legal advice.

Additionally, due to the fluid nature of governmental interpretation, government agencies such as USCIS/ICE/CBP may change their interpretation of immigration laws/regulations and eligibility requirements for benefits at any time. We will do our best to provide the most current guidance.

Each case is fact-specific and it is advised that you contact an experienced immigration attorney if you have questions regarding your situation.