Supporting Your Student’s Study Away Experience

Proactive Tips for Parents and Families

What positive steps can parents and families take to help their students stay safe and get the most from study abroad? GEO offers these tips for supporting your study away student.

1. Be fully informed: Ask your student for as much information as possible about the program and be sure to familiarize yourself with the policies outlined in the Duke Abroad Handbook. Everyone involved should be well informed ahead of time about the financial and academic commitments required and the possible consequences of not fulfilling them.

2. Talk to them about health and safety: Section V of the Handbook covers a number of important issues that you should discuss frankly with your son or daughter before departure. We encourage you to read it carefully and contact our office if you have questions.

3. Get documents in order: All study abroad participants will need a valid passport, and some may need study visas. Be sure to read carefully any program literature regarding student visa requirements. If it is a non-Duke program, please direct all visa-related questions directly to the program. You should have current passports so that, if the need arose, you could travel to the program site on short notice. You should also keep copies of your student's important documents (passport, ID, tickets, credit cards, etc.) for safekeeping.

4. Have a plan for communication: Make sure you have a good understanding of how to reach students at the program site and when they are traveling on their own, and that you have clear expectations about how closely they will be in touch with you.

Finally, please accept our heartfelt wishes that your student will have an enjoyable and enriching academic and cultural experience abroad. Do not hesitate to contact our office with questions or concerns related to the study abroad experience throughout the semester.