Tips for Parents/Guardians of Study Away Students
Encourage and support your study away student to do as much as they can on their own, since an important aspect of study away is learning how to prepare and plan for the experience. While you can and should help and support your student, letting them learn by doing – including areas such as acquiring visas, learning how to pack appropriately, doing advanced research about the program site, etc. – is an important learning component of the overall study away experience.
Please remember that Keene State College will send important information regarding your student’s study away program to their KSC email – even while they are away – so if you don’t know something, ask your son or daughter! They just might already have the answer!
Familiarize yourself with the information on this website but understand that your student should be doing the same.
Remember your student will go through an intense period of adjustment upon arriving in their new study away site, and again on returning home. The best way to support them is to be patient and to listen to their experiences.
While your student is away, understand that s/he will gain deeper cross cultural learning if they do not speak to someone from home on a daily basis. We advise crafting a plan for communicating that includes a schedule. See the Parent/Guardian Information Book for more information on communication while abroad.
If you can, we recommend making sure that your student has multiple ways of accessing funds while abroad, in case of any problems with ATM or credit cards.
Encourage your study away student to take responsibility for their own health and safety while away. It’s true that emergencies do happen, but if students act responsibly and know the steps to take in a situation where they may require support, they are less likely to require emergency assistance. You will want to familiarize yourself with emergency procedures as outline in the Parent/Guardian Information Book.
One way you can support your student and be prepared yourself is to keep copies of all of his/her important documents – both electronic and paper copies, if possible. This means their passport, their visa page, photo IDs, insurance card, and any prescriptions they will need throughout the year.
If your student is overseas, at least one member of your family is recommended to obtain a valid passport in case of emergency. You will not be able to visit your son/daughter in another country, under any circumstances, without a valid passport, and they can take up to six weeks to process.
Enjoy knowing that your son or daughter will come home with new knowledge, skills and attitudes that will benefit them for the rest of their lives!