How Parents Can Help Before Departure
- Since your son or daughter's passport may be at home with you, you can help by checking the expiration date as some countries require that visitors have a passport that expires at least 6 months after they leave the visiting country.
- If your son or daughter will be applying for a passport for the first time, his or her birth certificate or official abstract of the birth certificate will be required.
- Permanent residents will need their U.S. Resident Alien Card up-to-date and will need a valid passport from their country of citizenship.
- You should also have a valid passport in case of an emergency.
- A student visa is required for a stay of over 90 days in most countries. While CUI staff, program sponsor staff, or host university staff may provide tips or advice, the student is ultimately responsible for obtaining his/her own visa. Student visas are issued by the host country's government through its embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. The student will need to know where to apply, what application materials are required, and when to apply.
- It is very important to consider the timeline for applying for a visa. For some countries, students must submit their visa application months before going abroad. In the meantime, the student's passport may be held at the consulate until soon before studying abroad. Keep in mind that this could interfere with your student's or your family's vacation travel plans.
- Keep in mind that non-US Citizens may have to follow different procedures in order to obtain a visa. Research the necessary steps as early as possible.
Before departure, your son or daughter should have a general physical and any immunizations that are necessary. Any pending dental work should be done before going abroad. Make sure he/she packs a complete medical record and any needed prescription medications. Continue carrying your child as a dependent on your health insurance policy, even if he/she will have other coverage while studying abroad. Be aware that in many countries the cost of medical services must be paid in advance by the patient (and then reimbursed by insurance). Learn more information about Health and Safety in Study Abroad
Access to funds
- Decide with your son or daughter how to access money for both everyday financial needs and also in case of an emergency. Your student should ask the bank how (or if) its ATM card will function abroad and what extra fees there might be. A personal credit card with cash advances or traveler's checks could also make sense. The student should contact the credit card provider to inform them of the dates and location of his/her overseas study program in order to avoid fraud alerts and holds being placed on the credit card account.
- For students receiving financial aid and/or scholarships, keep in mind that they are usually disbursed shortly before the CUI semester begins. If your student's study abroad program begins prior to the CUI semester, your student may need some money in advance.
- If your student does not have much experience making and sticking to a budget, the pre-departure period is a good time to discuss wise consumer behavior and set some guidelines as to how much extra spending money will be available.
Let your child take responsibility before and during the semester or year abroad, but make sure he/she knows you are also there if he/she needs someone to talk to or needs any kind of support. Discuss any travel plans independent of the program so you have a clear idea of the duration and cost of your child's experience.