UIW Study Abroad

Top Ten Study Abroad Tips for Parents

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1. RESEARCH the country and host school your student wishes to attend. Links to all schools can be found on our Sister School page.

2. VISIT THE FINANCIAL AID OFFICE. Your student will meet with the Study Abroad Coordinator to obtain a consortium form which outlines the budget including tuition, fees, books, housing, meals and airfare. Additional expenses may include passport, visa, housing deposits and personal expenses. After obtaining a consortium form, students should meet with the financial aid office to determine what is applicable towards their semester abroad. 

3. MEET WITH THE STUDY ABROAD COORDINATOR. Appointments available during lunch and after 5 with advance notice. You can schedule an appointment by e-mail or phone, 210-805-5709.

4. ATTEND THE PRE-DEPARTURE SESSION. The Pre-departure session includes information regarding registration, money, health, safety, culture shock, etc. Pre-departure sessions are held twice a semester for departing students and their parents. Students studying abroad in the summer and fall should attend the session in April and students studying in the spring should attend the November session. Contact the study abroad office for dates and times. 

5. CONTACT YOUR BANK AND/OR CREDIT CARD COMPANY. Notify your bank and/or credit card company that your student will be abroad. If your bank has not been notified and they notice international charges, they may freeze the account for your safety. You should also ask your bank about fees that your student will incur for withdrawing money abroad and/or using his/her credit card. These fees vary from bank to bank. Some banks may have sister banks abroad that you can use without a fee.

6. ASK YOUR CURRENT CELL PHONE PROVIDER what options are available. Some cell phone providers may offer international plans, however in many cases students choose to turn off their data and use their smart phones in locations where Wi-Fi is available. 

7. BECOME FAMILIAR WITH SKYPE and communication apps. Many families rely on Skype to communicate with their student abroad. If you have a smart phone there are also apps (WhatsApp, FaceTime, etc) available that will allow you to text or video chat with your student.

8. CONSIDER SOCIAL MEDIA. Facebook and similar social media sites allow families to follow their students' adventures abroad, seeing the places they are visiting, their photos and in some cases even chatting with them. With the increasing availability of Wi-Fi in many locations, social media has allowed families a way to maintain contact.

9. HAVE YOUR STUDENT REGISTER WITH STEP. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

10. OBTAIN A PASSPORT. In case of an emergency it is recommended that a parent/ guardian have a passport. Visit the U.S. Department of State website for details.