For Families

Some tips as your student  heads off on their international adventure.

As your student prepares to study abroad, we understand that you may have many questions as you assist them with arrangements. An important point to note is that they are also preparing, simply in a different manner. While they have nerves or excitement, you may be feeling the same, but as a parent or guardian it is entirely different.

Eventually, you will be watching from afar as they embark on their journey. This is often part of the process of your student becoming independent. More often than not, they will return with a sense of independence they gained from being somewhere culturally different than their home.  While safety is often a worry, other thoughts such as paying for study abroad can be an issue.  Below we have provided a few tips and links on how to navigate the entire process as a parent or guardian.

Encouraging your student to be proactive will help ease your mind about the study abroad process. It is important that your child is well prepared before they depart. Doing a bit of research about your student’s destination is always a good idea. We are always here to help with any questions that may arise. Click here for more information about Learn International Policies and Procedures.

Tips for parents and guardians: Positives about your student studying abroad

Health Insurance

Does your student have international health insurance for when they are abroad? Often the school or study abroad provider will provide information on how to go about getting international health insurance. If your student’s home university does not provide health insurance, we use CISI for students. Please visit our Health and Safety page here for more information. We require all students to have international health insurance.  

Staying in Touch

In case of emergency: Do you have means to get a hold of your student? Below are a few options for free smartphone apps so you can call, text, share photos and videos, etc:

Flights and Travelling

When booking flights, please ensure that the dates and arrival airport are both correct. This is sometimes done through the university, however more often students are encouraged to do this themselves, depending on their programme.

If your student is traveling independently on the weekends, it is mandatory that they inform us using the proper protocol. We also would encourage them to let you know as well.

For US citizens, we recommend that they register on STEP. This is a programme for US citizens and nationals travelling or living abroad who want to receive information from the embassy about safety conditions, as well as to be contacted in case of emergencies like a natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

If your student is not a US citizen, we would encourage you to research if your home country has a similar registry and consider signing up.

Visas, Passports and Immunisations

Currency and Banking

Additional Materials

Here are some additional materials that you may find helpful when your student goes abroad:

Visa information

Contact Learn International in case of emergency

All programmes have a 24/7 contact that your student has in-country in case of emergency. They will receive this number at their orientation.

If you feel there is an emergency, you contact Learn International by…

If your student worked with a study abroad office at their home institution, please also contact them if you are unable to get in touch with any of our staff.

How to help your student when they return from studying abroad:

There are many feelings, emotions, and thoughts that return with students after they study abroad. One of the most common is reverse culture shock. This is when a student returns from experiencing a different culture for a long period of time and they are adjusting to life back in their home country.  Here are some ways you can help your student ease into their return back home:

  • It is important to be engaged in your student’s experience. Showing interest in their international education journey is important to their wellbeing upon their return.
  • Encourage your student to get involved on their campus with their study abroad office.
  • Often there are opportunities for students to share their experiences with other students.
  • Upon returning, your student may have a new approach to their independence. It is important to let them flourish.
  • Allowing your student to embrace their new found independence can only be empowering to them.
  • You can encourage them to journal about their experiences and also get back into a routine, exercise, etc., which will help them adjust if they’re having a difficult time.
  • It is good to encourage your student to visit their career centre on campus to help them update their resume with their international experience.
  • If your student is having a particularly difficult time, encourage them to link in with other study abroad alumni or talk to a professional counselor.

Please note: We do honour confidentiality laws, therefore, for participants over 18 years of age, we cannot discuss personal, academic or medical information without prior written consent from the participant.