Things to Consider
Support and encouragement from parents, family and friends play key roles in helping students see study abroad as a meaningful and viable academic opportunity that is right for them. We invite parents and families to learn about the global programs we offer by engaging with the resources on our website or by attending a study abroad information session at New Student Orientation or Carolina Family Weekend.
Talk to your student about the value of studying abroad and encourage them to start researching programs as early as possible in their academic career at UNC. Early planning allows students to seamlessly integrate study abroad into their degree plans so they can stay on track to graduating on time. It also grants students the opportunity to identify and leverage all the funding opportunities available to them. Through our website and office, we offer resources to assist students in finding the program that fits best with their academic goals and financial realities. The best way for our students to begin their search is by attending one of our Study Abroad 101 sessions, which provides a general overview of all the essentials.
We want students to return from their time abroad with a better understanding of what it means to be a global citizen; someone with an international mindset who is confident living in a variety of cultural contexts. Being abroad will test your student’s ability to be independent, and we expect each student to accept responsibility for following all the guidelines and procedures required for their study abroad experience. The student’s responsibilities include understanding, completing and submitting their application and pre-departure materials by the stated deadlines; understanding and making all required program payments on time; gathering and submitting credit requests; attending all predeparture meetings; and responding to communications from the Study Abroad Office in a timely manner. We kindly ask parents not to complete these tasks on behalf of the student as they are an important part of the learning process for the student.
Our advisors help guide students through the process from start to finish, and we appreciate you supporting your students as they assume responsibility for participation in the program. If you are unable to find the answer to a question on our website, we encourage you to have your student contact their advisor.
It is important that you regularly talk with your student about their plans to go abroad. The Study Abroad Office respects the privacy of students 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. As a parent or guardian, we know you likely have many questions and concerns regarding the study abroad process. We hope that you address these with your student, who can in turn have a discussion with their Study Abroad Advisor. Communication is an important component of any successful international experience, and we ask that you talk with your student about the importance of sharing information with you throughout the process.