Advice for Parents
If your student is considering study abroad, you probably have a lot of questions. We appreciate your interest in your student's decision to take part in the educational opportunity of a lifetime and we are happy to assist you at any time! This page is specifically designed to give you helpful 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. Please consider the following 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 student? Why has my student decided that this is the right program to select?
Be informed about the program and review program orientation materials given to your students. Your student may need additional assistance in determining everything from how to pay for their program and what to pack.
Students may need visas, vaccinations, special documents and other important documents. Ensure your student has the appropriate documentation well in advance of departure.
If you don't have a current passport, please consider obtaining one. Should you choose to visit your student while he or she is abroad, you'll certainly need one! If, on the other hand, you have to visit your student in case of an emergency, you don't want to find yourself stuck in the United States because you don't have a passport. If you live in the Phoenix metropolitan area, you can apply for a passport at the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office.
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, in case you need to reach your student in the event of an emergency. Remember to get names and phone numbers of Academic Advisors at ASU and Resident Directors or contact persons abroad.
- The ASU Study Abroad Office is required to adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) http://students.asu.edu/policies/ferpa. We recommend that you have your student file the Consent for Access to Educational Records form on your behalf with ASU so we may provide you with information about your student if needed. Every student is required to indicate an emergency contact with our office. Encourage your student to make you that emergency contact.
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, email address and so on. As well, you should have a way to contact your student while abroad and should be sure to have the Study Abroad Office'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 does not call at the designated time. Travelers change their plans often...and usually at the last minute! Have a back-up 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?