Welcome to CU Abroad! We are very excited to be working with you and your student as he or she embarks on the journey of a lifetime. The Study Abroad Coordinator is available to assist your student at any time before, during, or after his or her study abroad experience. At this point, you may have many questions about study abroad and how to help your student make the most of this opportunity. Below, you will find a number of questions that are comonly asked by study abroad parents. If you do not find the answer to your questions below, feel free to contact the Study Abroad Cooridnator by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (402-280-2221).
FAQs for Study Abroad Parents
Should I assist my son or daughter with pre-departure preparations?
The best way to assist your son or daughter with pre-departure preparations is to become informed. Do some reading and research about the host country. Learn about the culture, current events, and health matters. Be sure to browse the U.S. Department of State's website and the Center for Disease Control?s website for information regarding foreign entry requirements and travel health information. Encourage your son/daughter to take personal responsibility for their upcoming experience. He/she will need this sense of responsibility and independence while abroad, so there?s no better time to start than now! Let your son/daughter contact the program provider if he/she has questions and be sure to make him/her responsible for any routine program matters including packing, making travel arrangements, submitting forms, and other logistical responsibilities.
How do I contact my son or daughter while he/she is abroad?
After the initial period of excitement wears off in the host country, your son/daughter will begin to settle into his/her new environment. During this time, you should expect to hear stories of frustration, but keep in mind that you are not expected to solve the problem, and that your son/daughter is most likely looking for an ?understanding ear.? Decide in advance, how often your son/daughter should email or call home. If possible, schedule weekly phone calls that are convenient for you and your son/daughter. Daily calls or messages may be difficult for your son/daughter, especially due to time differences. Excessive contact with home can lead to homesickness and oftentimes, hinders study abroad participants from achieving a higher degree of immersion in the host culture.
How do I find out what immunizations/vaccinations are required?
Immunization information can be found online at The Center for Disease Control?s website. Students may also check with Creighton Student Health or a family physician for additional information.
What travel documents does my son or daughter need?
When traveling outside of the United States (including Mexico and Canada) a valid U.S. passport is required. To find out information about applying for or renewing a passport, please visit the U.S. Department of State's Passport Information Page. You may also contact the Omaha Post Office for Information at 402-348-2574. A visa is a stamp placed in a passport by the official of a foreign country allowing a person to visit that country. It is the responsibility of each study abroad student to obtain the visa, if required, from the embassy or nearest consulate of the host country. Obtaining a visa may take only a few weeks or as long as a few months, so plan accordingly. Keep in mind that your student may be required to apply for and/or pick up the visa in person at the consulate. To find out if your son/daughter needs a visa for his/her travels and how to apply, please visit the U.S. Department of State's Visa Information Page.
Should I purchase international insurance for my son or daughter?
Students participating on a "Creighton-sponsored" program (Encuentro Dominicano, University of Limerick, Sogang University, Sophia University or Faculty-Led Programs Abroad) are required to purchase Creighton?s insurance for international activity (iNEXT). The cost differs by plan ($115-$180) and is vaid for one-year from the date of issue. This insurance does not replace Creighton?s student insurance; it supplements and covers critical needs your son/daughter might have while abroad. If your son/daughter is participating in an Associate Program, the iNEXT insurance is not required, but he/she is strongly recommended to purcahse the iNEXT insurance. Minimum international health insurance should cover medical evacuation, family airfare expense, and repatriation of remains.
What is the best way for my son or daughter to access money while abroad?
Study abroad students should exchange a small amount of U.S. money for the currency of the host country before departure. This way, he/she will have some currency to pay for a bus, taxi, food, telephone, etc. upon arrival. It is a good idea for your son/daughter to carry a major credit card (VISA, Mastercard) while abroad. Make sure to keep credit card numbers and the toll-free assistance numbers separate from the cards. Your son/daughter should be able to use an ATM card in most countries. This is generally the most convenient way to access funds, but make sure to check with your bank for information on international withdrawal fees.
Should I visit my son or daughter in their host country?
Visiting your son/daughter abroad can be a very rewarding experience for you and your student. It is best to plan to visit after the program has ended rather than during classes, so that your son/daughter will have more time to show you around. Make sure to get a passport for your travels and remember that it may take 8-10 weeks for processing. Even if you do not plan to visit your son/daughter abroad, it is a good idea to get a passport so that you can get to your son/daughter in the event of an emergency.
Will my son or daughter receive academic credit for the courses taken abroad?
Study abroad students are required to complete the Study Abroad Approval Form prior to applying directly to a study abroad program. (NOTE: Encuentro Domincano and Faculty-Led Program participants are not required to complete this form). In order to complete the approval form, the student must meet with a variety of campus departments to discuss their course selections and the possible equivalencies at Creighton University. Course equivalencies and credit transfer will be determined upon receipt of an official transcript from the host institution. Upon completion of a study abroad program, academic transcripts should be sent to the Office of International Programs, Creighton University.
How will my son or daughter register for courses for the next term?
It is likely that your son/daughter will need to register for courses at Creighton for the term following his or her study abroad experience. Study abroad students will receive their PIN numbers and registration times via their Creighton email account. Students are responsible for registering at the designated time. If a student has a scheduling conflict or does not have access to internet, he or she should speak with their Academic Advisor. Students are encouraged to discuss course options and their four-year plans with their academic advisor prior to departure.
Resources for Study Abroad Parents
Study Abroad: A Parent's Guide, William W. Hoffa, 1998, 112 pp. NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Available from NAFSA Publications and Amazon.com.