What is a passport?

A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries, so you will need a valid passport to study abroad. If you already have a passport, be sure to check the expiration date. You will need a passport that is valid for six months beyond the end date of your program. Passports obtained before turning 16 years old are only valid for 5 years.  If you do not have a passport or your current passport will expire soon, please apply for a new passport now. This can be done in Walla Walla at the County Clerk’s office, but Whitman OCS advises that you call their office at (509) 524-2780.


Note to U.S. citizens applying to study abroad

Due to the pandemic, both the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Postal Service are experiencing delays in the processing/mailing of passports. If you are under time constraints, Whitman College encourages you to consider applying for an expedited passport which will cost an additional $60 but will reduce the processing time. 

Your passport will also be your primary source of identification abroad. We recommend that you make copies of the picture and signature pages of your passport and of your visa (if required for your program); leave a set with your family and bring a set abroad with you. It is always good to have copies of your passport and photos of it on your phone in case of an emergency.


Information for Non-U.S. Citizens

If you do not currently have a U.S. passport, it is your responsibility to have a valid passport from your country of citizenship. Notify your Whitman Off-Campus Studies adviser of your citizenship status and the type of passport you hold so you may be properly guided to acquire the necessary visas for your time abroad.