Parents of Study Abroad Students
The Office of International Programs
Benefits of Studying Abroad
From experience, we know that often the parents are not the ones that need to be convinced of the good that studying abroad can do for a student. However, we want to reiterate how much good can come of an experience abroad for your student, just in case you need a little more convincing.
What better way to allow your student's individuality, independence, adaptability, and strength bloom than to let them face the challenges that come with study abroad. Your student will be required to exercise their mind as they live out daily life in a new environment, without mom and dad to immediately fall back on when they have decisions to make. Combined with new people and expanded expectations, studying abroad sets up a student to find their potential. This applies to students taking short-term, faculty led trips (you get the taste of world travel, cross-cultural exposure, and educational lectures, along with projects or reports based on what they see and where they have gone), but especially to long-term exchange or affiliate programs (giving more cross-cultural contact, interaction, and integration).
Acquire Language Skills Faster
Students may opt to learn a new language from native speakers, in the native environment, enabling them to improve at a much faster rate than if only studying in a non-native environment. Familiarity with the culture complements in-class learning, encouraging the student to think more like a native so the language itself becomes more clear and natural.
We have so many program options, with a wide range of program fees. Our exchange program with U of Hertfordshire allows the student to pay UT Tyler tuition, with most of their existing financial aid and scholarships still able to be applied, and less extra fees.
With affiliate programs, fees vary by location and length of program, and if the student opts in to any additional excursions or tours offered. Scholarships are often available from the organization, so when your student connects with their program advisor, ask for all the details on what they have available.
For faculty-led and all other programs, students can apply to UT Tyler's own scholarships, offered through the OIP, the International Education Fee Scholarship, and the Dorothy Bradley Brown scholarship.
There are many other scholarships students can apply for, as well as grants! Learn about some of the options on the scholarship page.
Prior to departure, all students have mandatory safety procedures they must go through; health and medical clearance, pre-departure safety meetings, registration for UT Systems travel insurance, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program registration through the U.S. Department of State, and this is just on the UT Tyler Office of International Programs side. Faculty-led programs usually also require meetings from the faculty who has visited the site and has familiarity of some degree with the culture, people, and region the program is taking place, to go over regulations and safety plans. Exchange and affiliate programs have their own additional requirements as well, and almost all of them provide students with emergency contacts and team members on-site that serve as guides to the student, to advise, acquaint with the campus and area, and to make sure they are staying on track.
If traveling with an affiliate, you may want to visit the parent section of their website as they usually offer a Parent's Guide that covers emergency and safety procedures should you need them. They likely won't have emergency contacts posted on the webpage as a safety precaution, but most send on-site contacts to your student who can provide you with that information.
Academic Rigor Abroad
We understand that this is a primary concern as many parents and students see study abroad as an additional unexpected, unwanted cost for classes that "could be taken here on campus for thousands of dollars less". We highly encourage the parents and the students to research their program at the host institution, whether faculty-led or longer-term, to examine and confirm that the course objectives are well defined and the program provides learning experiences that are closely aligned with those objectives to ensure no compromise in the academic gains and benefits for your student.
View our study abroad blog page to read about past study abroad students’ experiences.