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Information for Parents: Preparing Your Student

How can I help my student prepare?
It’s understandable for a parent to feel some anxiety about putting their student on an airplane to live in a new culture, whether they’re going for 10 days or a year.  Parents can help their students, and possibly calm some of their own concerns, by encouraging students to learn more about the site where they’re going before they travel. Students may need help getting the documentation for their first passport or assistance with providing vaccination records. They may also need help creating a realistic budget for independent excursions during their time abroad. Set up a way to maintain communication – this could be Skype, text, phone calling cards, social media or email.

That said, it’s also important to remember that meeting deadlines, providing required follow-up materials and applying for scholarships are all the student’s responsibility, not a parent’s, and a student who takes on that responsibility during the application process will be more successful in meeting the challenges they encounter during their program abroad: after all, when they are overseas, they will have to be able to keep their own schedule, meet course expectations and navigate new surroundings on their own. Our office is happy to answer questions from parents about programs, but please be aware that federal regulations (FERPA) restrict information we can share about students’ records, so you will need to get some information directly from your student.