Study abroad is one of the best ways students can develop: greater independence, maturity, and self-confidence; the flexibility to adapt quickly and creatively to unexpected developments and changing circumstances; and the ability to interact effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds. They can also gain many other skills and experiences that will become invaluable to them throughout their lives, as well as to their employers as they enter the workforce. More and more, in our increasingly global economy, leaders in business, government, and academia are recognizing the importance of U.S. students gaining international experience, and becoming globally competent citizens and employees. So study abroad is not only fun and exciting, it is an excellent investment, both for the short-term and long-term, in your child’s future.

If you were fortunate enough to have a study abroad experience yourself as a college student, you are almost certainly aware of and appreciate the many personal, academic, and professional benefits to be gained by studying abroad. If not, you may have some reservations and concerns, along with enthusiasm and excitement, concerning your child’s upcoming international experience.

Perhaps one of the hardest things for parents to do is to step back and, for the most part, let the student take responsibility for the myriad and complex tasks of preparing for the study abroad experience, and to attend to all of the necessary details. Yet this is truly one of the best ways you can set your child up for a successful study abroad experience. For many reasons, it really is important for you to try to step aside and let him or her take responsibility for most of the planning and follow-through in the preparation stage of his or her study abroad experience. Please direct any of your student’s questions or concerns to the International Programs office.

To the right, are resources specifically for parents.

*adapted from NAFSA Education Abroad Series