How can you help your student access and prepare for study abroad?
Study abroad options
Study abroad is overseas experiential learning with course credit attached. It’s one of the major transformative experiences your student will have a King’s College while he/she grows into an adult. We have one and three-credit short (2-4 week) programs and longer (full semester) study abroad options. In all cases, students are taking classes that they need for their King’s majors, minors, core, or electives. See here for a list of our summer faculty-led study abroad programs or here for a list of semester and external summer study abroad options.
Discuss with your student – in what academic area would you like to study abroad? Do you want to take major, minor, core classes abroad (or a mix)? What types of locations excite you? And what are your personal, professional, and academic goals for study abroad?
Interested students should seek advising, from the King’s College Office of Study Abroad as well as a faculty adviser. For a semester study abroad program, we encourage students to have an introductory advising meeting in the Office of Study Abroad at least one year in advance of travel. For our short-term faculty-led programs, applications are due early November for summer (late May-mid-June) travel. The best study abroad program is the one that’s the best fit for your individual student, in location, timing, courses offered, and the overall student support environment. Scholarships are available and financial aid applies in most cases. With careful planning, students can maximize financial options.
Helping your student prepare
Encourage your student to seek information from the Office of Study Abroad and plan early – for both program selection and financial aspects.
Help your student stay organized. There is a lot of paperwork that goes into planning for study abroad; it’s helpful for students to have support in submitting required forms and payments.
One of the greatest areas of growth in study abroad are in what career professionals have termed “soft-skills” – curiosity, flexibility, ability to deal with uncertainty, independence. At King’s we believe that these are essential skills for today’s young professionals. Encourage your student to step outside his/her comfort zone.
At the same time, urge your student to get the proper professional support he/she needs -whether that is with continued accommodation for any type of need/disability or identifying ways in which study abroad might present new challenges.
Practice relaxing! Study abroad is one of a suite of educational experiences that will help your child to transform during college. It will involve uncertainty and much growth. Figure out the kind of support that works best for your child during this important time.
Don’t hesitate to ask the Office of Study Abroad any questions that may arise. We offer support along the entire planning process – from initial advising to pre-departure safety and security workshops – and are here to help. At the same time, use this as a time to help your child build some new skills, whether that’s in staying organized during preparations or learning to create and stick to a budget.
Support for students in-country
Like you, we are concerned for your student's health and safety. For faculty-led study abroad, external summer programs, and semester programs, we are available for support during the pre-departure, travel, and reentry phases. Our study abroad partners in-country also provide active support to students during their study abroad.
Students will receive information on exactly what to do when they arrive in-country (e.g., airport pickup), and will be led through an orientation process – including opportunities to meet fellow students as well as information on safety and who to contact in an emergency.
Our partner organizations will provide student support throughout the study abroad experience. Students will have access to academic, student life, and medical/health services. Many programs have writing and math support services, for example. All programs have emergency contacts who can connect students with necessary services. Some programs have onsite doctors and mental health counselors. All programs have knowledge of where to receive such services in their communities.
All students will have special medical insurance for the travel period – either provided by the host institution as part of the program fee or purchased through the King’s College Office of Study Abroad.
Programs will also offer excursions and other organized activities to cultivate social connections and help students to get to know their host community.
The King’s College Office of Study Abroad is here to help during study abroad in the case of student need or emergency. Parents should feel free to contact the Office of Study Abroad with questions related to student support or the study abroad experience.