Once you decide to study abroad, you should apply for a passport. Passport applications and instructions can be found on the U.S. State Department website. Follow the instructions on the form, gather appropriate proofs of identity, and go to your local passport services office to submit your application.
If you already have a passport, make sure it is still valid and will be valid for at least six months after the end of your exchange period. Passport renewal forms are available online at the web address listed above.
Once you decide to study abroad, you should apply for a passport. Passport applications and instructions can be found on the website. Once you have been accepted to study abroad and have received your passport, you may need to apply for a visa. A visa is a stamp in your passport allowing you entrance into the specified country for a specified reason and period of time. Most commonly you will apply for a student visa. You will typically apply for your visa through your host country's Embassy in the U.S. or one of its Consulates located in various parts of the U.S. Visa application procedures vary by country and can even vary from Consulate to Consulate of the same country. You will receive general visa information either from your program provider, your host university, or the UI Study Abroad office, however, it is your responsibility to determine specific requirements of the Embassy or Consulate that you are required to apply through. In many cases will need some months to apply for your visa prior to your departure so start looking into this as soon as you have been accepted to your program.
You will not be allowed to enter the foreign country without the proper travel documents, visa, etc. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the proper documents have been secured in a timely manner.