U.S. Passport Holders

Participants are limited to a 90-day stay in the Schengen Region. This is why we have specific arrival and departure dates.

Kasteel Well students cannot overstay their limit in the Schengen Zone or apply for a Dutch national visa as Emerson is not an official educational sponsor in the Netherlands. Unless you are a dual citizen with a Schengen country, you will need to exit the Schengen Zone after the program ends and then remain out of it for at least 90 days.

Obtaining a Passport

All students traveling to Europe must have a valid passport that does not expire for at least 6 months after you return home.

Once your application is complete, your passport should be mailed to you within 25 business days. It will be valid for ten (10) years.

To view comprehensive information on obtaining U.S. passports and download the application forms and instructions, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s passport page. Please make arrangements to secure your passport as soon as possible as processing times range from 10 to 13 weeks. If you wait until the last minute, you will have to pay an additional $60 to expedite your application, which still takes 7-9 weeks, plus time for mailing.

Passport Tips

  • Your passport is your only legal, official proof of citizenship and will be your most important possession while traveling.
  • You may need to use your passport when making reservations for plane and train and often when using transportation or accommodations while abroad.
  • Remember to sign your passport; it is not valid until you do.
  • Keep track of it at all times.
  • In the event it is lost or stolen, contact the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate and the local police in the country in which you are traveling.
  • Keep a photocopy of your passport in your dorm room and with you when traveling.
  • The U.S. State Department maintains a website with helpful tips specifically for students studying abroad.

Non-U.S., Non-E.U. Passport Holders

Non-U.S. and non-E.U. passport holders may need to obtain a Schengen Visa in order to attend the Kasteel Well Program. Please consult with the Education Abroad and Domestic Programs Office [abroad [at] emerson.edu (abroad[at]emerson[dot]edu)] or the Dutch, embassy, in your home country for further information. It is ultimately the student's responsibility to obtain the appropriate immigration documents.


As a satellite campus of an American college, Kasteel Well does not adhere to the Dutch government's higher education regulations; therefore, Kasteel Well students are not eligible to apply for student visas. Participants are limited to a maximum 90-day stay in the Schengen Region.

The Schengen Region

All Schengen countries are in Europe. However, it should not be confused with the EU (European Union). The Schengen Area is a group of European countries which have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. The Schengen Region functions as a single country for international travel purposes.

U.S. Passport holders are advised not to travel within the Schengen Region three months prior to the start of the program, and three months after the end of the program. Travelers who exceed the 90 days within 180 days period of legal stay in the Schengen area risk being fined, deported and even banned from entering the entire Schengen area for a period of time. Please visit this site for more information on overstaying the 90-day limit. You can read more information about how a 90 day Schengen stay is calculated here.

It is important to get your passport stamped when entering the Schengen area. The absence of an entry stamp from the initial Schengen point of entry could result in a fine or create difficulties during encounters with police or other authorities throughout the Schengen area. Students should carry their passport at all times when entering or leaving the Schengen area and when traveling between Schengen countries.

SCHENGEN COUNTRIES: The Schengen Region includes Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. By virtue of their location the European microstates, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are also included in the Schengen Region.

NON-SCHENGEN COUNTRIES: The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) and The Republic of Ireland are not part of the Schengen Region.

MORE NON-SCHENGEN COUNTRIES: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey are are NOT part of the Schengen Region as of July 15, 2014.

View more information on the Schengen Regions.