Supporting Your Student
Living and studying abroad can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in a young person’s life. As a parent or family member, 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. The resources on this page and on our website will answer many of your and your student’s questions, and we look forward to working with your student as they explore the opportunities available to them, study abroad, and return to share about their experiences.
Benefits of Education Abroad
Education abroad positively impacts students. 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, problem-solving, creativity, independence, flexibility, resilience, and the ability to interact and communicate across differences. In addition, many students report upon returning from an education abroad experience that they have more confidence, an increased network, and more cross-cultural awareness. These transferable skills are valuable in a student’s personal and professional life. By engaging in an education abroad experience, students can grow academically and personally which can positively impact their future career opportunities.
Encouraging Student Growth and Independence
The University of Virginia International Studies Office (ISO) and Education Abroad Team are here to assist and support your student throughout their education abroad journey. We provide extensive services including advising, pre-departure orientation and preparation, support while abroad, and resources when students return to Grounds.
The ISO appreciates and values parental and family 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 Education Abroad 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/families informed at each stage of the process and we encourage them to do so. The ISO is here to help guide students through this process and encourages parents and families to support their student as they assume responsibility for their participation in the program.
Health & Safety
Health and safety is a priority. Visit our Health & Safety Abroad page to learn about how health and safety is addressed within education abroad.
For information about education abroad and COVID, visit our COVID Considerations page.
We encourage students to plan ahead when considering education abroad, and this includes financial planning. Students have access to a wide range of education abroad programs which all have different costs. We encourage students to consider their finances and explore financial resources from the beginning of the advising process. Students are welcome to apply for scholarships and to explore resources available to them to understand how their financial aid may be portable to a term abroad.
Visit our Finances page for resources and information about planning and budgeting; using financial aid for education abroad; education abroad scholarships; how fees, billing, and payments work for different education abroad programs; and more.
Additional Parent & Family Resources
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.