Sending your Student Abroad

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 International Programs Advisor is available to assist your student at any time before, during, or after his or her study abroad experience.  If you do not find the answer to your questions below, feel free to contact the International Programs Advisor by email ( or phone (402-280-2221). 

Before They Depart

Options - Encourage your student to research their options.  They may have already met with a Peer Advisor or the Global Programs Coordinator regarding possible programs, and they have likely already spoken to friends about possibilities.  Encourage them to share this information with you!

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. State Department website as well as the Center for Disease Control 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.

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.

While Abroad

Communication - 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 child.  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.  

Stay in Touch - Stay in-the-know about security precautions and conditions in your student's location.  Many program providers have a program sponsor whom parents can contact if they have questions or need assistance.

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.

After They Return

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 and under their parents' roof or back at Creighton.  A Returnee Orientation is provided 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 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 ( 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 child.

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 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 is 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 find out what immunizations/vaccinations are required?
Immunization information can be found online at The Center for Disease Control website. Students are also required to schedule a travel consultation with Creighton Student Health or their home provider before departure.   

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 website.

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 (ISIC).  The cost is $50 and the coverage is valid any time that the student is outside the U.S. for one full year.  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 ISIC insurance is not required since the provider might have an alternate insurance benefit.  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, they will have some currency to pay for a bus, taxi, food, telephone, etc. upon arrival.  It is a good idea for your student 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 child 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 Dominicano 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 Global Engagement Office (GEO) at 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 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.