Sometimes being abroad can make it difficult for a student to stay in touch with their family ─ you have to consider time differences, additional commitments such as academic excursions/personal travel, cost, and potentially unreliable technology that may limit access to communicating. Here are a few tips to help you keep in touch with your student while he or she is abroad.
Develop a communication plan:
Schedule a time to talk weekly or more often as your family deems appropriate.
Consider various technologies:
There might be tools that will work better across time zones and oceans than what you currently use: WhatsApp, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Skype, phone calls/chat.
Use social media to stay connected:
Follow your student’s experiences through their posts on Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, and SnapChat.
Contacting your student’s study abroad site
At some point while your student is studying away, you may want or need to contact your student’s study away site. However, please keep in mind that due to several Federal laws, such as FERPA and HIPAA, there may be limited or no information that your student’s study away site will be able to share with you pertaining to your student’s housing, academics, and health. We encourage parents to discuss these topics with their students directly and contact the study away site in the instance that a parent needs to report something significant to the study away staff.
Sending Packages Abroad
If you’re planning to ship packages abroad, please pay special attention not only to shipping costs, but also to possible taxes that you son or daughter will have to pay when picking up your care package. These costs vary dramatically and the laws governing them change frequently, so it’s best to ask your shipping carrier of choice for more information.
Find our office’s contact information here. If this is an emergency, please contact Zane Segle, the Director of Study Abroad, International, and Domestic Programs, directly on his emergency line: 843-469-7817.