Study abroad is one of the best ways students can develop: great independence, maturity, and self-confidence; the flexibility to adapt quickly and creatively to unexpected developments and changing circumstances; and the ability to interact effectively with people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. More and more, in our increasingly global economy, leaders in business, government, and academia are recognizing the importance of U.S. students gaining international experience, and becoming globally competent citizens and employees. Study abroad is not only fun and exciting --- it is an excellent investment, both short-term and long-term, in your child's future.
Perhaps one of the hardest things for parents to do is step back and let their son/daughter take responsibility for the complex task of preparing for the study abroad experience. For many reasons, it is important for you to step aside and let your child take responsibilty for planning the experience. You should be available and ready to lend your child help, advice, and support, but it is critically important that you let them take primary responsibility for planning the experience.
UC International Programs provides a Know Before You Go packet as well as a frequently asked questions page on our Web site. We urge students and parents to carefully read all of the information provided. Try reading these materials before you call the international office with questions: many of your questions may be answered in the materials prepared by them. If you still have questions after reading through the materials provided, the advisors are happy to answer them for you.
What can parents reasonably expect from a good education abroad program?
What are some "unreasonable" expectations?