Involved families can provide sound advice and guidance, helping students adjust more smoothly before, during, and after the study abroad experience.

Prior to Departure

  • Familiarize yourself with their program—see Our Schools.
  • Talk about their goals and expectations for studying abroad.
  • Talk about any fears or apprehensions they may have.
  • Assure them that they have your support.
  • Encourage them to take responsibility for pre-departure logistics and paperwork—see Health and Safety for details.
  • Read both the General Handbook and the school-specific handbook, which you’ll find on the country pages at Our Schools.
  • Familiarize yourself with our emergency protocols and other safety information—see Health and Safety for details.
  • Make sure that they have adequate health insurance coverage.
  • Check to confirm that their passport is valid and extends at least six months beyond the end of the program.
  • Check to confirm that they are gathering the necessary paperwork to secure a visa, if required.
  • Investigate the possibility of securing a power of attorney on their behalf for the processing of documents in their absence.
  • Help them organize their finances for their time abroad.

While Your Student is Abroad

  • Encourage independence and self-reliance.
  • Do not accompany them to the host country at the start of the program.
  • Understand that all students will experience periods of cultural adjustment (what used to be termed “culture shock”) and that this may have a significant impact on what they are communicating to you about the experience.
  • Allow them the time and space to develop a support network abroad rather than relying totally on the one back home.
  • Avoid too frequent email or phone communication, which can interfere both with language learning and with integration into the host culture.
  • Avoid visiting while the academic program is in session.

Returning Home

  • Recognize that they have had a life-changing experience and that they are probably not the same person they were before going abroad.
  • Let them share the experience with you as much as they want.
  • Understand that they may experience re-entry adjustment and that this can be even more intense than the adjustment to the host culture they visited abroad.
  • Gather information for yourself and for them regarding the re-entry experience.

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us at any time during the process with your questions or concerns.