A visa is the written authorization from the foreign government allowing you to enter the country. It is typically stamped in your passport. You may need to obtain a student visa to enter your country of destination. You can find information about the visa requirement of your host country on the web by searching for the country's Embassy or Consulate in the United States. You may also call the country's Embassy or Consulate (usually located in Detroit, Chicago, or Washington, D.C.) to inquire about visa procedures and request a student visa application. In addition, the Country Specific Information Sheets on the U.S. State Department's website http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765.html provide contact information for the country's Embassy or Consulate in the U.S. It is your responsibility to request the visa application from the consulate and inquire about the requirements to be granted a visa.
Obtaining a visa often involves sending your passport and other documents to the nearest consulate. You should mail your visa application with next day service and provide a next day, traceable service envelope with the appropriate postage for your passport and visa to be returned to you. Please be aware that some consulates may require you to appear in person to apply for a visa. This may mean driving to the nearest consulate in Chicago or possibly Detroit. Some countries also require you to apply for your visa up to three months prior to your departure. Check the requirements early!
Note to non-U.S. Citizens: Visa procedures and customs requirements may be different for students holding a passport from a country other than the United States. You should contact the nearest consulate to establish the current procedures and requirements. You will also need to meet with your International Student Advisor to ensure that your status in the United States is not jeopardized.