Travel Handbook

Passports, visas and other forms of identification

If you're traveling by plane, you'll need proper identification to board. Obtaining these documents requires advance planning.

International travelers must have a valid passport and may require a visa.

Domestic air travelers must have a valid government-issued ID.


If you're traveling internationally, you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of your program.

If you don't have one, apply for one immediately. The application process can take up to eight weeks, and you must have a valid passport before you can apply for your visa, if required. You'll be given a deadline to submit a copy of your passport to The Media School.

 IU's Passport Acceptance Facility in Poplars can facilitate your application, including the required photos.

Learn how to apply

The U.S. State Department's website also explains the passport application process and lists other passport acceptance facilities.

Visit the State Department's website

DO NOT LOSE YOUR PASSPORT. If you do not have your passport before the trip departs, you will not be able to travel. If it is stolen or misplaced during your trip, your best-case scenario will be interrupting your trip to spend time at the nearest U.S. Embassy to obtain an emergency replacement passport, a process that is costly and not guaranteed. Please do not put yourself or others in your group in this situation.

  • Sign your passport as soon as you receive it.
  • Make three photocopies of the passport page that has your name on it. Leave one copy with your family when you go abroad and take another with you. Submit the third copy to The Media School's student services program coordinator.
  • Don’t carry your passport or wallet in a backpack, especially in an outward-facing pocket. These are easy targets for thieves, especially in crowded areas. You may want to consider buying a money belt or waist wallet.


A visa is an official authorization affixed to your passport that confirms you have the permission of the government to enter a foreign country. U.S. citizens are not required to have a visa to study in many countries, but some programs will require visas.

The Media School will notify you if you need to apply for a visa, and in most circumstances will help you through that process. Visa applications usually involve an additional fee, which may or may not be included in the cost of the course.

If you are a non-U.S. citizen, your visa requirements may be different from domestic students. Please contact The Media School's student services program coordinator as soon as possible. She'll help you navigate potential visa requirements.

Identification for domestic air travel

If you're flying domestically, you'll be required to show valid government-issued identification, such as a driver's license, before boarding the plane.

See a list of acceptable forms of IDs


Contact Eliza Erxleben, director of student services.