Living and studying abroad can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in a young person’s life. As a parent, you are naturally excited that your student will have the opportunity for tremendous academic and personal growth through this experience. At the same time, we realize you also have concerns and questions about the challenges ahead.
Studying abroad provides students with the opportunity to gain an international perspective on their chosen academic field or career path and to learn and practice important life skills — critical thinking, independence, flexibility, resilience, and the ability to interact and communicate across differences.
The University of Virginia International Studies Office (ISO) and Education Abroad Team are here to assist and support your student throughout this process. We provide extensive services including advising, pre-departure orientation and preparation, support while overseas, and resources when students return to Grounds.
The ISO appreciates parental support, as it is crucial in helping your student assume responsibility for their time abroad and to ensure a safe and successful experience. The Education Abroad Team also strives to help students develop the independence needed in order to live and study successfully abroad. We therefore stress direct communication between students and the team on the various issues that arise with education abroad. The ISO seeks to ensure that students who study abroad use the opportunity to learn, through direct experience, about the many tasks and responsibilities that are integral to becoming a global citizen. To this end, we expect each student to accept responsibility for following all guidelines and procedures that facilitate their education abroad experience.
Students also have the responsibility to keep their parents informed at each stage of the process. The ISO is here to help guide students through this process and encourages parents to support their student as they assume responsibility for their participation in the program.
Learn more about Education Abroad at UVA through our online Education Abroad Workshop.
The following resources are designed by education abroad professionals to assist you in supporting your student before, during, and after this experience.
- UVA Education Abroad Handbook
- SIT Parent Readjustment Manual
- U.S. State Department: International Travel
- Skype (free internet calls)
- The Center for Global Education: Advice for Parents
- The Center for Global Education: Culture Shock
- The Center for Global Education: Reverse Culture Shock
- What Parents Need to Know Before, During, and After Education Abroad by Janet Hulstrand, NAFSA Association of International Educators
- Confidentiality of student records (FERPA)
- DiversityAbroad: Parents
- A Parent Guide to Study Abroad