....on talking with your student about study abroad! We hope you look forward to searching for programs together. At the University of Oklahoma, we are committed to helping students have an international experience that will help them become global citizens, broaden their experiences, increase their job search potential and provide a fascinating and educational experience.
What you can do to help your student prepare for study abroad
You play an important role in helping your student prepare for and go abroad. Here are some things you can do to support and assist them and be involved in the process:
- Make sure your student is taking care of their visa paperwork. Detailed visa instructions can be found on the consulate website for the country in which your student will visit.
- Assist with flight arrangements.
- Develop a plan for handling any family emergencies that may arise while your student is abroad.
- Encourage your student to complete all the necessary health and safety documents and read all the preparatory materials provided by the university.
- Discuss health, safety and wise decision-making with your student before they go abroad.
- Encourage your student to learn about the destination they are going to.
- Have a communication plan with your student so you know when and how you will communicate with them while they are abroad.
- Plan to communicate with your student while abroad and support and encourage them throughout - their trip will include both amazing moments and challenges.
Resources for Parents
The links below offer helpful information on study abroad topics. These materials discuss ways to help your student transition to life abroad and plan for appropriate physical and mental healthcare overseas.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Increase their career prospects and become more viable candidates for future jobs,
- Develop leadership skills,
- Increase cultural competency through interaction with a broad array of people,
- Improve their foreign language skills,
- Learn to navigate different environments,
- Gain self- reliance and problem-solving skills.
Job Market: Successfully completing a study abroad program can make your student a more attractive candidate to future employers.
Growth and development: Study abroad not only promotes greater confidence and self-sufficiency, but also provides opportunity for personal growth, reflection, and learning that goes far beyond the classroom.
Intercultural Competency: Study abroad exposes students to new ways of thinking about both other cultures and their home culture.
Many of the study abroad programs offered at OU allow students to utilize their tuition waivers, scholarships or financial aid. Students should work with their study abroad adviser, the financial aid office and their scholarship office, if applicable, to make sure they are taking all necessary steps to pick an applicable program and utilize their funds. OU offers many scholarships specifically for students to help offset the cost of study abroad programs. A list of scholarships is available one the Scholarships page.
The health and safety of your student is the top priority of OU. That is why we have implemented several helpful measures, including:
- Mandatory international health and emergency evacuation insurance
- A 24/7 emergency phone number
- Training for all faculty/staff that lead study abroad programs
- Required study abroad health and safety orientation for students
- Availability of advisors to help students throughout the program selection, application processes and while abroad
The OU family works together to provide resources to any students who have an issue or emergency abroad.
You may find the resources in this section helpful to learn more about specific health and safety topics:
- Complete all study abroad application materials
- Work with their academic advisor to plan for any coursework abroad and how it will transfer back to OU.
- Prepare their finances including: notifying their credit card company or bank of their travel and working with the financial aid office and scholarship offices, if applicable.
- Complete the pre-departure orientation at OU
- Submit required documents for their applications
- Read guides and materials to prepare
- Research additional materials of their choice to prepare for life in their host country (examples include: online newspapers, historical novels, blogs of current study abroad students).
All students are required to attend one or more pre-departure orientation sessions facilitated by Education Abroad advisors and college staff. These sessions will cover the details of OU policies, academics, financial information, health and safety, cultural differences and culture shock. Besides the mandatory orientation sessions, advisors are available to discuss any questions or concerns a student may have about his/her upcoming time abroad and what to expect in the local culture. It’s helpful to keep in mind that cultures in other countries have different views about race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation, and it is helpful to prepare for this.
Education Abroad advisors work closely with the on-site staff for all OU-sponsored programs and are in direct communication regarding any issues or emergency occurring abroad. The College of International Studies has a Director of Risk Management who provides 24/7 emergency assistance, including an emergency phone number, and can connect students abroad with any OU resources they need in case of emergency. Advising staff also keep in touch with students via email while abroad and encourage them to be in contact with any questions or concerns. In the unlikely case that there is some type of political upheaval Education Abroad will coordinate with on-site colleagues and CMI Insurance to ensure our students are safe and, if need be, evacuate them from the country.
Back at OU
Once the student completes his or her study abroad program, the Education Abroad and Office of Admissions staff helps to facilitate the course equivalency process (issuing OU credit for coursework taken abroad). You're OklaHOME events are held each semester for returning students to have the opportunity to share their experiences with fellow study abroad students and learn how to utilize study abroad on their resume and in interviews.
Students are encouraged to share information they receive from Education Abroad or their host program with parents and family. Please ask your student to share this information with you. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), staff is not permitted to release private student information - even to parents - without prior written student consent. Please communicate with your student about any information you would like to know about their program.
Explore our website for more information about our programs. Each program has a brochure page that provides more information, including individualized budget sheets. Search for a program on our website to find brochures about each program.