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Read the U.S. Department of State's country specific page to learn about your destination

The U.S. Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world. You will find the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices, information about whether you need a visa, crime and security information, health and medical considerations, drug penalties, localized hot spots and more. This is a good place to start learning about where you are going.

At least 6 months before your trip (or before you consider an opportunity)