Overview and Resources
The Study Abroad Office (SAO) recognizes the important role parents, family, and friends play in a student’s global experience. Your support in this effort is crucial in ensuring your student’s success abroad. Our goal is to provide resources to help families best support and encourage your student before, during, and after their global experience. We encourage you to engage in open discussion with your student and utilize the resources available on our website. Thank you for supporting your student in this endeavor and we are grateful for your trust and collaboration with us as we work to ensure a positive and rewarding experience abroad!
We encourage students to begin researching study abroad opportunities as early as possible in their academic career at UNC. Our website and office provides numerous resources to allow them to explore program options, academic options, and costs, funding, financial aid and scholarships. Students are encouraged to begin their search by attending a Study Abroad 101 session.
The SAO seeks to ensure that students who study abroad use the opportunity to learn about the many tasks and responsibilities that are integral to becoming a global citizen, someone who is confident in crossing national boundaries and living in different cultural contexts. To this end, we expect each student to accept responsibility for following all guidelines and procedures that are required for their study abroad experience. The SAO is here to help guide students through this process and encourages you to support your student as they assume responsibility for participation in the program. Ultimately it is your student who will be traveling abroad and living independently in a new host culture on their own for an extended period of time.
The SAO respects the privacy of students who are of legal age, as required by FERPA student privacy regulations. These rules prevent our staff from sharing specific information about students, their program abroad, behavior, academic standing, or health conditions. We encourage you to share your questions and concerns with your student, who can discuss them their Study Abroad Advisor. Communication is an important component of a successful study abroad experience, and we ask that you talk with your student about the importance of sharing information with you throughout the process.
The study abroad process can be very extensive and requires a great deal of attention to detail. The Study Abroad Office is available to provide your student with guidance throughout the process. Study Abroad Advisors are available to meet with students to answer their questions while this website provides many resources to assist them as they seek a global experience. We encourage you to review each of these components so you have a greater understanding of the process.
- Starting the Journey: Students can begin their search by reviewing our Getting Started page, learning about who can study abroad and how to find a program that fits their academic, financial, personal, and professional needs.
- Applying to Study Abroad: Learn about the various steps in the application process through our online system.
- Once Accepted: Students are required to complete numerous items after they are accepted, including online submissions to our office and their host institution abroad and attend a pre-departure session. Our staff also provide resources and information about academics, health and safety abroad, traveling overseas, and passports and visas to help prepare the students for their time abroad.
- While Abroad: Our services do not end when the student leaves campus! Our staff are available 24/7 to assist students with any issues, challenges, or emergencies and partner with the student’s host institution to ensure a safe and successful experience.
- Returning to the U.S.: Once the student returns to campus, we provide numerous resources and activities to help the student adjust to life back on campus and how to incorporate the experience into their future job search.
This section provides information and resources to help you support your student and their decision to study abroad, allowing you to help maximize this opportunity for your student.
- Parents – pointers to prepare for the transformation from the Council on International Educational Exchange, provides some good advice on what to expect.
- The Institute for International Education (IIE) provides the book A Parent Guide To Study Abroad that can guide you and your student through all the steps of the study abroad process.
- The U.S. Department of State’s “Students Abroad” website is a one-stop reference for international travel specifically designed for college students and a specific page with information for parents.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travelers’ Health site offers information to assist travelers and their health-care providers in deciding the vaccines, medications, and other measures necessary to prevent illness and injury during international travel.
- StudentsAbroad.com provides tips and resources for parents of study abroad students.
- The Center for Global Education also offers a section for parents of study abroad students, including a handbook specifically designed for parents.