I understand if you've never traveled before, you won't necessarily know what is required in terms of international travel documentation.
We realize this in our office as well, we're in the study abroad business after all, and have been for a while now. So, we understand the need to remind students of the requirement to hold a passport should they intend to participate on any of our programs.
Not only do we mention this:
- on our website
- in every program manual
- in all our interest meetings
- and in all our pre-departure orientation sessions...
I am a patient person, very understanding.
What I don't understand is how a student can feel justified saying to us, just a few weeks prior to program departure, "I wasn't aware I needed a passport". That's after 2 months of receiving our reminder emails...
This doesn't quite beat the time (before our online application system was in place) the one student just decided all her pre-departure paperwork was unnecessary, so she didn't open her mail, and we had to threaten to not allow her on the flight until she turned it in to our office - that was 4 days before departure.