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.
  • Talk about their goals and expectations for studying abroad.
  • Talk about any fears or apprehensions they may have.
  • Ensure them that they have your support.
  • Encourage them to take responsibility for pre-departure logistics and paperwork, including fees and financial aid.
  • Read the Study Abroad: Pre-Departure Handbook.
  • Familiarize yourself with our emergency protocols and other safety information.
  • 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 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 culture shock and that this can be even more intense than the culture shock upon arrival 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.

Study Abroad
Sunderland Language Center, First Floor
356 College Street
Middlebury, VT 05753