Pre-Departure Checklist for Parents

(for parents of Middlebury students studying abroad
on externally-sponsored programs)

Pre-departure resources: Read the Pre-Departure Handbook and any other parent resources.

Required forms: Encourage your son or daughter to take responsibility for pre-departure logistics and paperwork. Confirm with your son/daughter that s/he has read the Pre-Departure Handbook and has read, signed (electronically) and submitted the following (students can access these forms on our web site):
•    Externally sponsored Programs Approval Conditions & Guidelines
•    General Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risks and Release Agreement
•    Externally sponsored Programs Pre-Departure Orientation Questionnaire
•    In addition, students should complete all required pre-departure forms with their program/university.

Study abroad program information: Familiarize yourself with the format, goals, and philosophy of the program on which your son or daughter is about to embark.

Financial aid: If your son/daughter is on financial aid, make sure s/he checks with Student Financial Services to make sure financial aid is in order, both for the semester abroad and for the return to Middlebury. If your son/daughter is taking federal financial aid abroad, the student and the study abroad program or university must complete a Consortium Agreement.  Further information about financial aid policies can be found in the Pre-Departure Handbook, see Chapter 3.

Fees: Take care of any outstanding financial matters at Middlebury. Pay any required fees to the study abroad program or university. Please be reminded that Middlebury charges a study abroad administrative fee of $1,700 per semester abroad for all students studying abroad (except those studying on UK exchanges).  Please see the Handbook for more information.

Insurance: It is very important that your son/daughter has adequate insurance abroad, including medical/evacuation/repatriation insurance, as well as any other travel insurance you wish to purchase. See our Insurance page for more information.

Passport and visa: Your son/daughter should have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of their program abroad, and, for most countries, students must obtain a student visa.

Copy important documents: Your son/daughter should make copies of all important documents (e.g., passport, visa, etc.), credit cards and medical records and leave one set at home with you (and take the others abroad).

Communication: Be sure you have established (and practiced) communication plans with your son/daughter and have determined how to contact each other in case of emergency.

Safety and health: Discuss safety issues with your son/daughter. We strongly encourage you to go through the Health and Safety chapters in the Pre-Departure Handbook with your son/daughter, as well as any health and safety information from the study abroad program. In particular, please go over the information regarding sexual assault, and please talk about all of precautions students can take to minimize their risk. While abroad, students are not as attuned to the non-verbal cues of what may be an unsafe situation in a foreign country, and this (along with other factors) places them at greater risk of assault than when they are at home or on their home campus. More resources on health and safety abroad can be found on our web site.

Power of attorney: Your son/daughter may wish to arrange for "power of attorney" for you to handle his/her financial affairs while s/he is abroad.


Pointers for while your student is abroad:

✓ Encourage independence and self-reliance.

✓ Avoid communicating too frequently, which can interfere both with language learning and with integration into the host culture. Allow your son or daughter the time and space to develop a support network abroad rather than relying totally on the one back home.

✓ Later in the semester, you may wish to discuss again health and safety information. There can be an increase in safety incidents and health-related problems toward the end of the semester, when students tend to let their guard down after becoming more familiar with their host country.

✓ Understand that all students will experience some degree of culture shock and that this may have a significant impact on what your son or daughter is communicating to you about the experience.


More information for parents 

Other Pointers for Parents


The student pre-departure checklist
can be found in the Pre-Departure Handbook
(see Appendix)