What happens after my student is admitted to a study abroad program?
Once your student has been admitted to a study abroad program, the real work begins. The pre-departure preparations are many and detailed. They may include the following:
- Passport and visa applications, often a lengthy and occasionally frustrating process
- Housing arrangements
- Purchasing international transportation
- Reviewing and purchasing insurance for study abroad
- Academic arrangements, including internship arrangements
- Arranging personal effects/packing
- Working out a weekly/monthly budget
AU Abroad offers each program participant the opportunity to participate in a pre-departure orientation at AU to learn more about these preparations. Additionally, a range of pre-departure materials and forms will be required for each student to complete electronically. Those students who participate in a program offered through a study abroad organization, or a foreign partnering institution will likely receive additional materials and instructions directly from the study abroad program. For these students, pre-departure arrangements will take place largely between the student and the program, with AU Abroad assuming a supporting role.
How do I plan on communicating with my student while s/he is away?
During this phase, you will want to work with your son/daughter to establish a mutual understanding on how you will communicate while your student is away. You need to know what types of communication are readily available and what expenses are involved. Although cell phones have actually achieved a greater popularity around the world, most people overseas do not have a standard of keeping in touch on a daily basis. In addition, computers and the internet, while widely available in most (but not all) destinations, are not necessarily understood as on-demand items in the way we tend to view them in the US. In some more out-of-the-way locations, such as Nigeria and Cuba, communication can be quite spare and difficult to achieve; there may be times when you will simply not be able to communicate with your son or daughter at your convenience.