Studying Abroad is a beneficial experience for everyone, but it’s important to take academic, personal and financial factors into account. Here are things to consider when planning a study abroad experience with your student.
Finding the Right Program
Find out how long the program will last. Some abroad opportunities last a semester. Some last only a few weeks or a few days. Academic advisers can help them figure out the ideal length of a study abroad experience as well as other factors such as how the credit will count towards their degree, if they need any prerequisites before they study abroad, financial aid options, and how the experience will benefit them in the long-run.
FAFSA and other Scholarships are available for students who want to study abroad. It’s just a matter of finding the right one and applying for it. Here is a list of sites that provide a range of study abroad scholarships.
Preparing for Departure
- Complete all important paperwork. Your student will need a valid passport and will need to know whether or not they need to apply for a student visa.
- If your child is a recipient of DACA, they can apply permission to leave and reenter the U.S. using a document called Advance Parole found at https://www.ilrc.org/sites/default/files/documents/advance_parole_guide.pdf
- Packing less is better. Your student will need to haul their luggage from the United States to where they will stay, so a lighter load is important. They also will want to leave room for souvenirs when they return.
- Keep the weather in mind. Will air conditioning be readily available? Will you need water-resistant clothing/shoes?
- Standards for proper dress might be more conservative where your student it going. It will be easier for your student to be comfortable if they conform with local standards while abroad.
We Help Students get the Most of their Study Abroad Experience
Stay in touch. Though scheduling around time zone difference might be difficult at first, free forms of communication such as Skype that can easily connect you to your child.
Know how to deal with culture shock. Depending on how long your child stays abroad, your you may need to help them overcome difficulties of living in another culture. View the online training resource for students to prepare them for understanding culture shock. Also read the article, “5 Steps to Adapting to Life as an Expatriate” which has beneficial information for both you and your student to know.
Many countries are just as safe as the United States. Keeping this in mind, it’s still wise to exercise safe behavior.
- Travel with other people instead of alone—especially at night
- Use caution when talking to strangers
- Stay away from dangerous areas
- Do not drink to excess and avoid illegal drugs
- Follow the laws and customs of the host country.
Whether it’s getting special immunizations or obtaining a prescription, the health practices in other countries are bound to be different than in the United States. Here are some sources to help address health-related concerns: