This page is a collection of tips and useful information to help you prepare your student for their Study Abroad experience.
Studying abroad is an exciting challenge for students, and the support of their parents can help make their experience safe, healthy, and meaningful. Although their time abroad requires a high degree of indpendence, parental guidance and support during the preparation phase can be helpful in alleviating stress as students navigate the process of travel planning for the first time.
After returning home, your child will have new foods, stories and ideas to share with you. Your involvement throughout the process can provide guidance and direction as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime!
This page is designed to support you as you support them, so that all students who study abroad through SUNY Geneseo's programs can maximize their experience.
How can I help my child prepare to go abroad?
Students have a lot on their plate as they prepare for their time abroad. Some important things you can do to keep them on track include:
- Discuss access to finances:
- Students will need to devise a plan for accessing funds while they are abroad. It is important to plan for this ahead of time so you are both aware of your options and your child has access to money in case of an emergency (or the perfect souvenir!).
- Students should also consider purchasing some of the currency used in their country of study before they leave. Understanding the exchange rate is helpful for both of you, so be sure to do some research before their departure! This currency converter is a helpful resource.
- Review your student's health insurance coverage through GeoBlue International Health Insurance:
- Please review GeoBlue Student Member Guide and Training Presentation. You can also visit www.geobluestudents.com/for-parents-guardians to access country information, travel alerts, provider information, medication translations and more. You must have your student's certificate number to create an account.
- Planning communication options:
- When your student arrives, she will likely be overwhelmed and exhausted. For this reason it is important to discuss how and when she can contact you once she has settled in. Information about things such as internet connection or cell phone service may not be available prior to arrival, but don't panic-- she will find a way!
- Online services such as Skype Calling Plans and Facebook can be useful in countries where cell phone use and access to wifi are not reliable.
- Collect their information into a convenient file:
- Students will accumulate numerous documents and informational handouts as they prepare for departure. Organizing all of these items into a single folder or file can prevent loss of important information, and also provides a one-stop resource for reference in the future.
- Plan for the worst:
- SUNY Geneseo only maintains programs in areas that they are confident will provide students with healthy, safe and enriching experiences. In the rare case of an emergency, preparedness is essential to the proper handling of any unfortunate situation.
- Students should be aware of local emergency services and contact numbers. In the case of a medical emergency, they should make use of the most immediate available treatment option. Work with your child to ensure that they know who to contact in the case of a medical or security emergency.
- In the case of an emergency requiring the involvement of Geneseo's Study Abroad office, please contact the office using the information provided on this page. Parents should also have information about MedEx and U.S. Embassy locations in their information folder. Students should register with the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP), which is run by the U.S. Department of State and intended to assist Americans living abroad in the case of an emergency.
- The Institute of International Educaiton recently published an extensive document for parents. A Parent Guide to Study Abroad is an excellent free download resource.