Parents of Study Abroad Students
Congratulations! Your student has decided to study abroad, an experience we hope will be fulfilling and transformative. Thank you for supporting your student, not only through the planning and participation process, but also when he or she returns from a study abroad experience.
Georgia College strives to provide students with the knowledge, skills and tools that foster success and independence, and study abroad can be an integral part of that personal and academic growth process.
Throughout a study abroad experience, the safety, health and well-being of our students are our highest priorities. Advisors with international expertise are available to offer advice, before, during and after programs. We offer an informative pre-departure orientation, extensive medical insurance coverage, and a comprehensive emergency response system.
Once a student arrives at a program destination, he or she may experience stress and a period of adjustment related to being in a new and different location and. Below offers tips on how you can support your student through what can be both a challenging and exciting time.
Parents are encouraged to communicate with their students about the study abroad experience, to use the resources available on our website and to contact the International Education Center and program directors directly if you have any questions or concerns.
Check out A-Parent-Guide-To-Study-Abroad (1).pdf (pictured to the left) published by the Institute for International Education and AIFS, world leaders in Study Abroad. Please keep in mind, while this is a wonderful resource, it is not specific to Georgia College. If you have questions about the program your student has selected, please contact the International Education Center or the program director.
Advice for Parents
If your student is considering study abroad, you probably have a lot of questions and/or concerns. We appreciate your interest in your child's decision to take part in the educational adventure of a lifetime and we are happy to assist you at any time! This page is designed to give you some advice on how you might be able to assist your student through the entire process from choosing a program to your student's return home.
How can I help my student?
There are a number of steps you can take to help ensure that your student's experience is a positive one. Here are some suggestions:
You may want to research the program and destination that your student is considering to alleviate any concerns. What type of program is it? Where will my student be living? How does the program ensure the safety of my child? Why has my student decided that this is the right program for him/her? Communicate with your student.
Be informed about the program and review program orientation materials given to your students. Your student may need assistance in determining everything from how to pay for their program to what to pack.
Students may need visas, vaccinations, special documents and so on. Ensure your student has the appropriate documentation well in advance of departure.
Keep copies of important documents for your student. This includes a copy of the student's passport and visa cover pages, medical prescriptions, credit card numbers, and social security number. Have your student provide you with all relevant contact information, so you can reach him/her in case of emergency.
While Your Student is Abroad
Be supportive of and confident in your student, and always keep lines of communication open.
Make sure your student has an easy way to contact you while abroad. Your student should know every possible way to contact you including home phone, work phone, cell phone, fax, e-mail address and so on. As well, you should have a way to contact your student while abroad and should be sure to have the International Education Center's contact information for your student while abroad.
Keep track of dates and times you have contact with your student. This makes it easier to locate your student in case of emergency.
Try to remain calm if your student doesn't call at the designated time. Travelers change their plans often (and usually at the last minute). Have a backup plan to reach your student.
When Your Student Comes Home
- Your student may return home a changed individual. Your student may be more independent and mature and could possibly have difficulties readjusting to life back home. Help your student connect with resources that can help with the process of adjusting to life back in the United States. Ask them questions. How can you help them?
Looking for more detailed information?
This is referenced elsewhere on the website, but if you have not already taken a look at A-Parent-Guide-To-Study-Abroad (1).pdf, please take some time to do so now. It is published by the Institute for International Education and AIFS, world leaders in Study Abroad. Please keep in mind, while this is a wonderful resource, it is not specific to Georgia College. If you have questions about the program your student has selected, please contact the International Education Center or the program director.