Recently, an international student who had not traveled home in several years arrived at the airport to check in, only to find that her flight would be making a scheduled stop in a country that requires transit visas for citizens of certain countries. She had not obtained the necessary transit visa in advance. Fortunately, her airline was able to re-route her itinerary, but not without a great deal of stress.
Always check your travel itinerary. If you are traveling to a country that is not your country of citizenship, find out if you need an entry visa to visit that country. The following web link will take you to a listing of all foreign embassies in the United States and their individual web sites:http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/dpl/32122.htm
From there, you can link to visa information for any country you may visit. If you are “transiting” into that country, meaning that your flight home requires an intermediate stop in a third country, find out if a transit visa is required, and if so, if it needs to be obtained in advance. This is most common for students with flights stopping in the United Kingdom. For information on the requirements for “Visitor in Transit” visas in the UK, visit the following web link: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/doineedvisa/
The ISSS has updated all of its travel information to include mention of transit visas.