Parents and Family
Auburn Abroad recognizes the important role parents, guardians, and other loved ones play in a student’s study abroad experience. Our goal is to provide resources to help families learn how to best support and encourage their student before, during, and after the student’s time abroad.
If you have questions about this opportunity, we encourage you to talk with your student and review the resources available throughout our site. If you still have questions, we invite you to contact us.
Tips for a Successful Transition for You and Your Student
- DO be supportive of your student’s decision to study abroad. This is an immense decision and will have positive outcomes on your student’s development as a fully-functioning adult. Your support will be able to quell the anxiety that comes with facing the unknown.
- DO encourage your student to create solutions for issues that arise in the study abroad process. These issues often mimic real-life scenarios that students may face after graduation. Facing them now in a more controlled environment will help them know what to expect later in life.
- DO communicate with your student while they are abroad. There are many free and inexpensive ways to communicate internationally and it helps to have a reminder of home while in a foreign environment.
- DO understand that this experience may affect your student’s idea of self. Studying abroad exposes students to new cultures and ideas that may influence your student’s overall perception. Additionally, when your student returns home, they may have some difficulty readjusting to American life. This is normal for everyone, and encouraging your student to share their experiences with you can help them through this period.
- DON’T try to plan your student’s study abroad program. Allow your student to plan as much of the program as possible. You may be surprised by the amount of responsibility and maturity that develops from this process.
- DON’T try to call every day to check in, and do not worry if your student has not spoken with you in a few days. Students often live on schedules and in time zones that are far different from the standard schedule here in the United States. Try setting a scheduled time to communicate with each other, and be understanding if your student needs to reschedule.
- DON’T go with your student overseas to help them "settle in" to their new homes. While this may seem helpful, it will have negative effects on your student’s ability to adjust to life overseas and may exacerbate the effects of culture shock. Additionally, if you visit your student overseas, please do not take them out of class to travel. Foreign universities may not forgive absences for travel causing your student to perform poorly in the class.