Information for Families

Sending your loved one across seas and international borders will most certainly be a defining period in your son or daughter's educational experience.

 

The NAFSA Association of International Educators offers the following recommendations to parents/guardians/families:

"In study abroad, as in other settings, parents, guardians, and families can play an important role in the health and safety of participants by helping them make decisions and by influencing their behavior overseas."


To counteract anxieties and help you better understand your role in this process, here are some FAQs  and tips you may find helpful.

Parents/guardians/families should:

A. Be informed about and involved in the decision of the participant to enroll in a particular program.

B. Obtain and carefully evaluate participant program materials, as well as related health, safety, and security information.

C. Discuss with the participant any of his/her travel plans and activities that may be independent of the study abroad program.

D. Engage the participant in a thorough discussion of safety and behavior issues, insurance needs, and emergency procedures related to living abroad.

E. Be responsive to requests from the program sponsor for information regarding the participant.

F. Keep in touch with the participant.

G. Be aware that the participant rather than the program may most appropriately provide some information.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please note the SUNY Potsdam International Education staff CANNOT discuss information from a student's records unless we have received a completed Agreement/Release Form from the student. 

1.  Where can I find information about my student's program like housing and fees?
A:  You can find program information, including fees by searching the study abroad program menu.

2.  My son/daughter received an acceptance packet, can I see the materials they received?
A.  You can find some of the materials under Study Abroad & Exchange Forms.  

3.  What about financial aid?
A:  Financial aid will come through the student's home campus in the US.  For more information, please contact the Financial Aid office of your student's home campus.

4.  Does my student need health insurance while abroad?
A:  Yes. You may either verify the student's current health insurance provider will provide coverage outside of the U.S. and includes medical evacuation and repatriation or purchase the SUNY international health insurance for the duration of the student's program of study overseas. 

5.  Will my student need a visa?
A:  This varies by country.  The International Education and Programs office can provide support during the visa process, but ultimately visa requirements are dictated by the host country's government.

6.  What about orientation?
A.  The International Education & Programs office conducts a pre-departure orientation which parents may attend.  The date, time and location will be e-mailed to your student.  Please contact your student for the details. 

7.  Is there an orientation guide or study abroad handbook I may review?
A.  The International Education & Programs office distributes a Study Abroad Guidebook at the orientation. Please contact your student to obtain the hardcopy paper version, alternatively you may download and review the SA Guidebook.

8.  What about Health & Safety abroad?
A.  Health and safety advice is available online and was included in the Study Abroad Guidebook given to your student during the orientation.  Please ask your student to share the SA Guidebook with you or you may download and review the SA Guidebook.

9.  Do I, as a parent/guardian, need a passport?
A.  It is strongly recommended that a parent/guardian obtain a valid passport in case of an emergency. Since passports take some time to receive, you should begin the passport application process early.

10. Other Resources:
It is suggested you review the parent information available on the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) website, a non-governmental international education organization and on the Diversity Abroad website for information, suggestions, and advice.