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Parent and Family Resources

Sending Your Student Abroad

We are very excited to be working with your student as they embark on the journey of a lifetime. You play an integral role in helping your student to think globally and in preparing your student for success abroad. 

Please review the parent and family videos and resources below.

Before They Depart

Encourage your student to take the lead in this process! Researching destinations, program and course options, study abroad application requirements and more helps students to take early initiative in shaping their experience abroad. Your student may have already met with a Peer Ambassador or Global Programs Coordinator regarding possible programs, and they have likely already spoken to friends about possibilities. Encourage them to share this information with you!

“Each time you try something for the first time you will grow-a little piece of the fear of the unknown is removed and replaced with a sense of empowerment.” -Annette White

Considerations:

  • Selecting a Program - How well does the program fit your student's course requirements, language level, personal, and professional needs?
  • Identify goals - Help your student reflect on their desired outcomes for their experience.  Encourage them to keep a journal or blog to track their progress, thoughts, and experiences.
  • Finances - Depending on the program type your student is looking at, the way that they will pay for a term abroad can vary.  Encourage them to discuss this information with you and to speak with the Financial Aid Office.  There are also frequently different scholarship options available to students which they can pursue either through their program itself or through the Global Engagement Office.

  • Health and Safety - Your student's well-being is of primary importance.  Be sure to check the U.S. Department of State's website as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site to be aware of any conditions that may present concern in your student's desired location of travel.  Some risk is always present, but being well-informed about possible situations that could arise will help keep your student safe during their sojourn.

While Abroad

It is equally as important for parents, families, and loved ones at home to adjust expectations of what a new "normal" will be for communicating with your student while abroad. Remember, they are adjusting a different time zone, culture, language, academic schedule, and more.

“Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end…because in the end, it shows you a whole new world.” -Manoj Arora

Considerations:

  • Communication - Decide in advance how often your student should email or call home. If possible, schedule weekly phone calls that are convenient for you and your student. Daily calls or messages may be difficult for them, especially due to time differences. Excessive contact with home can lead to homesickness and can also hinder study abroad participants from achieving a higher degree of immersion in the host culture. During the "settling in" period, your student may want to call to express frustration with some of their new surroundings.This is very typical, and most often students just want an understanding ear.  
    • WhatsApp is a popular messaging app used worldwide. It may be a convenient way to stay in touch with your student while abroad. 
  • Stay Informed - Stay in-the-know about security precautions and conditions in your student's location. You can stay informed through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) thorugh the U.S. Department of State
  • Check their Blog - If students are keeping a blog while abroad (highly encouraged!) be sure to check it as this is an easy way to keep up with their experience without interfering too much with their acquisition into the new culture.

Upon Return from Abroad

Your student is home! Whether they are moving back home, into the dorms on Creighton's campus, or other, there is a lot to do! There will likely be an adjustment period of re-entry along the way. 

“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realized what’s changed is you.”-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Considerations:

  • Reverse Culture Shock - Students almost always experience some form of reverse culture shock, in which they must become re-accustomed to living in the United States. Creighton University GEO hosts a study abroad returnee event each Spring for students to gather to discuss how this shock has affected them, as well as to get tips for integrating their experience back on campus and in their future job searches.
  • Show Enthusiasm - It is important for your student to be able to share their sojourn with you!  Encourage them to show pictures, tell stories, and help them keep the experience alive.
  • Resolve Pending Course Approvals - If your student took any courses abroad which were not pre-approved by Creighton, remind them to e-mail the Global Programs Coordinator (studyabroadadvisor@creighton.edu) to finalize approvals and avoid a delay in posting their grades.
  • Transcripts - Avoid opening transcripts that come from your student's host institution; these must be sent unopened to the Global Engagement Office for processing if they were mistakenly sent to your student.

Oh, The Places Jays Go!