Information For Parents
Studying abroad enhances your child’s education and transforms him or her into an international citizen by providing skills and knowledge to compete for jobs in the 21st century global workforce.
This site provides resources that make study abroad more accessible, affordable, and applicable to your child’s professional, educational, and personal development goals. Stay informed, stay connected, and help your child stay safe to ensure the best study abroad experience possible.
Parents, family members, students, and educators can use this site to identify international program options funded in whole or in part by the U.S. government or foreign governments. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education provides information about types of federal financial aid that can be applied to study abroad programs.
You and your student should research his/her destination before traveling, including visa requirements, health and safety conditions, local laws, and what to do in case of an emergency. It is especially important for travelers with disabilities, female travelers, and LGBT travelers to know the specific challenges they may face in certain destinations. Visit travel.state.gov for our traveler’s checklist and much more information.
Once your child has selected a program and is ready to go overseas, s/he should enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information about local safety conditions and to help the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate make contact in an emergency. As a parent, you can also sign up in STEP to receive travel and safety updates from the country where your child is studying. In an emergency, help is available to your student 24/7.
Your student’s health and personal safety while s/he is abroad is important. Check your health insurance policy to see if it covers your child outside of the United States. If not, consider buying supplemental insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation. If there is a family emergency and you cannot reach your student, or you are worried about their welfare, you can call Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, D.C. at 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444. Read more about what the Department of State can -- and can’t -- do in an emergency here.