Information for Parents
As you may already know, study abroad is often a life-changing
experience, not only for the student abroad, but for her/his family
as well. We encourage you to learn about study abroad yourself, so
that you can help your daughter or son as he or she embarks on this
journey and so that you can be informed about the various issues
related to study abroad. These include Butler University's policies
and procedures, the patterns of cultural adjustment, health and
safety abroad, and so forth. Approximately 150 Butler students
study abroad each year and have access to program in Africa, Asia,
Canada, Europe, Latin America and the South Pacific for a full
academic year or a semester.
Some of the work the Center for Global Education does to help
students in the study abroad process includes:
- Evaluate potential programs for affiliation and monitor
currently affiliated programs.
- Develop and implement educational programs including Study
Abroad Information Sessions, pre-departure orientation and special
events for students who have returned from abroad. These programs
provide students with the practical, educational and emotional
knowledge to help them choose an appropriate overseas study
experience, make the most of their time abroad and continue to
learn from their experience once they return.
- Work closely with faculty and administrators to clarify and
streamline study abroad materials and policies.
- Produce informational materials on study abroad for students,
faculty and administrators.
- Advise students on an individual basis as often as the students
- Talk with parents/guardians about the study abroad and related
- Facilitate student registration for study abroad status.
- Facilitate the billing of study abroad students.
- Maintain contact as needed with all students abroad.
- Facilitate the posting of study abroad academic credit once
students return to campus
Assisting Your Son or Daughter
We offer the following suggestions to help you participate in
your son's or daughter's exploration and experience.
- Values and Goals - help your student identify
and clarify values and goals for the study abroad experience early
in the process.
- Options - understand the options available to
- Models - be familiar with the various types of
programs and what they are designed to facilitate or promote.
- Fit - determine how well individual programs,
services and environments fit your student's academic needs,
personal goals, linguistic preparation, expectations and
- Features and Benefits - consider what is
available and if these features provide benefits valued by your
- Informed Choice - consider how study abroad in
a less-traditional destination might fulfill your student's
academic, cultural, linguistic, personal and professional
- Advantages and Disadvantages - help your
student weigh the likely advantages of study abroad in a particular
program or destination against any perceived disadvantages.
- Approval Process - learn what your student
must do to be authorized to study abroad by BU - review policies
concerning eligibility and approval.
- Participation Requirements - understand the
requirements your student must meet to participate, including
academic performance, social standing and behavioral
- Costs, Financial Assistance, and Scholarships
- assess program costs and what they cover; anticipated personal
expenses associated with participation; and the availability and
process for financial aid and scholarships.
- Volatility - understand that study abroad
involves risk and volatility regardless of where your student
studies, though some destinations may be more likely to present
specific risks such as health precautions, strikes, political
turmoil, natural disasters, or crime - gather information about
such concerns and evaluate them carefully - learn more about local
conditions and travel precautions through the U.S. State
Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, http://travel.state.gov and the
Centers for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov.
When your student has selected a specific site, be sure you
receive, review and understand the following information about your
- Program Structure - type, location, duration,
size, facilities and staffing
- Academic Credit - how earned, courses
available, how applied to degree at BU
- Living Arrangements - homestay, residence,
independent living and other options
- Orientation - pre-departure program on campus
and upon arrival in country
- Safety and Responsibility - security measures,
precautions, local conditions, contingency plans and emergency
- Health and Wellness Resources - recommended
precautions and required immunizations, local medical care, program
services and referrals
- Support Services - academic, social,
emotional, health and wellness and special needs
- Cost - program fee, what the fee covers, and
how to pay
- Travel Arrangements - how to make them and
**Please make sure one parent or guardian has a valid passport
during the time of your son or daughter's study abroad experience.
To find out how to apply for a new passport or renew an
expired passport, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/passport/
- Maintain communication with reasonable frequency but not on a
- Keep the program calendar in mind - if you haven't heard from
your son or daughter, it may be because he or she is on a program
excursion or traveling during a break.
- Encourage your son or daughter to refer to the Study Abroad
Pre-Departure Orientation Handbook.
- Stay in touch with the program sponsor concerning security
precautions and conditions abroad.
- Monitor online information and advisories from the State
Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs.
- Contact the program provider should you or your son or daughter
- Keep a journal of events and celebrations that occur during the
semester or year to share with your son or daughter when he or she
When They Return
- Expect your son or daughter to have a period of transition upon
return, sometimes as long as the period he or she was abroad.
- Continue your enthusiasm for your son or daughter's experience
in the months after he or she returns home - show interest in the
photos, stories and memories to help keep the experience
- Encourage your son or daughter to resolve any remaining course
approvals to prevent delay in the posting of academic credit.
- Don't open transcripts received from abroad - these may have
been inadvertently sent to your son or daughter rather than the
Center for Global Education - check with your son or daughter first
to determine if he or she requested a copy.
- Forward any program-related materials to your son or daughter
for processing on campus.
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