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A Parents Guide to Study Abroad


									       A Parent’s
        Guide to
      Study Abroad
                               TABLE OF CONTENTS

Greetings from the Assistant Dean and Director              2

Frequently Asked Questions                                  3

Types of Programs                                           4

Financing Study Abroad                                      5

Insurance                                                   8

Mandatory Pre-departure Orientation                         9

Contacting UR offices                                       10

Responsible Study Abroad: Good Practices for                11
     Health and Safety

Useful Items and Gift Ideas for Students                    15

Websites of Interest                                        17

Information in this Guide is current as of February 2009.

Dear Parent or Guardian:

Your son or daughter has expressed interest in studying abroad next semester. We have assisted
of University of Rochester students in internationalizing their undergraduate experience. Most
of them say that it was a time of tremendous intellectual and personal growth; you may know
this if you yourself studied abroad in college, or have another child who has already done so.
The University of Rochester is committed to international education and to preparing students to
take their place in the global political and economic community. This commitment ensures
enthusiastic support for all students who choose to enhance their education by studying abroad.

Your son or daughter will go through a number of steps in order to spend a semester or year
earning credits towards their degree in another country. They may apply to two or more study
abroad programs, spend time in our resource library, meet with faculty and study abroad
advisors, and consult with peer advisors who have already studied abroad. They will be enrolled
in a non-credit, online course entitled "Study Abroad Orientation." This includes online
presentations as well as a mandatory in-person group meeting. The course covers topics such as
health and safety, financial aid, budgeting, packing, transfer credit, and much more. Through
good preparation, we help make their transition to living overseas as smooth as possible. As part
of the orientation, students receive a pre-departure orientation handbook. You may read this at, or contact the Center for Study
Abroad for a printed copy.

While your son or daughter is away, it is important for us to be able to reach parents and families
if necessary. We want to be able to contact you in the way that is most convenient for you.
We’ve enclosed a Family Contact Information Form, and request that you return it with the
Acknowledgement Form. Please send these to us at your earliest convenience.

We hope that you find the information in this packet useful and interesting. We also have a section
for parents at our website: If you have any questions
please do not hesitate to call us at (585) 275-7532. You may also email us at


Jacqueline Levine
Assistant Dean and Director

Parents’ Frequently Asked Questions

“Won’t study abroad cost a lot more than spending a semester or a year at Rochester?”
It’s a fact that for most students, a semester or a year abroad costs about the same as a semester
at UR. If your son or daughter receives University of Rochester financial aid, it will transfer to a
Rochester-sponsored study abroad program. Advisers in the Financial Aid office are there to
help, and there are many special scholarships for which students may be eligible.

“I don’t want my daughter to have to spend an extra semester at Rochester. What if
the courses or credits don’t transfer?”
Study abroad advisors only recommend programs where the courses do transfer, so students
graduate on time. Faculty and staff advisors help students to transfer courses for majors and
minors, and even clusters.

“I’m concerned – how do employers and graduate schools look at study abroad?”
Students who study abroad highlight it on resumes. Employers and graduate schools – yes, even
medical schools – look for independent people who can adjust to new situations. Alumni
emphasize how interested interviewers are in their international background. The Career Center
also encourages these experiences.

“He’s got so much going on at UR – how can he leave for a whole semester?”
That’s a good question. Most UR students are involved in many campus activities. But our busy
and engaged students also enjoy exploring similar interests in Melbourne, London, Cairo, Tokyo,
Granada, Dublin, Shanghai, Vienna, or Beijing, too. In fact, the “break” from the routine often
permits them to connect with new intellectual and extracurricular pursuits. Our musicians seek
out venues to play and new groups to join. Our athletes meet local students through sports.
Rochester will still be here when your son gets back – and he will have new perspectives on UR,
the United States, and himself when he returns.

“My daughter is a science (or engineering) major so there’s no way she can study
See our “Study Abroad Opportunities for Science and Engineering Students” flyer for a list of
programs. There are plenty to choose from. Science and engineering faculty will be very

“My son took Spanish years ago, never did well, and doesn’t speak another language.”
Study abroad can change that. Many students who did not enjoy foreign language classes in high
school or college find that study abroad changes their mind about the process. He may study on
one of our many English-language programs (Barcelona, Budapest, Vienna, Buenos Aires, Paris,
and St. Petersburg, to name a few). Or he may choose a program in an English-speaking

“My daughter has learning disabilities.”
All programs are open to students with disabilities. Learning Assistance Services counselors and
study abroad advisors work with students to identify the programs that best suit their interests,
talents and academic needs.

“My daughter is planning Take Five/med school/grad school/law school. Won’t a
semester abroad get in her way?”
Students who have clearly defined interests such as graduate or professional schools can plan
with counselors in the Center for Study Abroad, the Center for Academic Support, and the
Career Center. Feeling short on time? The Take Five Scholars Program can help to integrate
study abroad into a five-year program.

“Nobody in our family has ever traveled abroad. How will my daughter know what to
We provide comprehensive advice and guidance to all students considering study abroad. We
begin with information meetings, and follow-up with individual appointments with study abroad
advisors. In fact, many of our students are the first in their families to go on study abroad

Types of Study Abroad Programs
Rochester students may choose from a wide variety of study abroad programs. These programs
fall into two categories: those which are sponsored by the UR, and those which are not. This
distinction has several consequences, which are detailed below.

A UR-sponsored program is one with which we have a formal affiliation. Current programs

Advanced Studies in England                           American University in Cairo, Egypt
Ben-Gurion University, Israel                         Hebrew University, Israel
Internships in Europe                                 Jagiellonian University, Poland
Uppsala University Exchange, Sweden                   Univ. Of Cologne Exchange, Germany
Rochester in Arezzo, Italy                            Meiji Gakuin University Exchange, Japan
University of Sussex Exchange                         Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú
ORT-Braude College Exchange, Israel
Council on International Educational Exchange (selected sites)
Institute for the International Education of Students

The list of non-UR programs includes nearly 2500 programs offered by other institutions and
universities. For example, SUNY Brockport’s program in London, University of Virginia’s
Semester at Sea, and any of the programs offered by the School for International Training are
non-UR programs. Unlike some schools, which restrict student participation to their own
affiliated programs, Rochester students may use non-UR programs, but usually need to do a little
more “legwork” themselves, particularly in terms of transfer credit and finances. Credit may not
be transferable from all study abroad programs. It is essential that your son or daughter consult
with a study abroad adviser about this.
Advantages of a UR program
There are some advantages to participating in a UR-sponsored program. First, grades earned on
a UR-sponsored program will be shown on the UR transcript, although they will not be
calculated into the grade point average (GPA). (The only exceptions are the internship portion of
the Internships in Europe and faculty-led programs: these grades will be calculated into the GPA
because they are awarded by UR faculty.) Grades earned on non-UR programs will not be
shown on the UR transcript, nor will they be calculated into the GPA (This is consistent with
UR’s transfer credit policy for all courses taken outside UR.)

Applications for UR programs are available at the Center for Study Abroad, and all application
materials are coordinated by our office. Students applying to a non-UR program usually need to
contact the sponsor directly regarding application materials, program questions, financial aid,
etc. Our office still acts as an important liaison between students and program sponsors.

On a UR-sponsored program elective transfer credit is automatic (following normal transfer
credit guidelines) upon completion of coursework with a C or better. Language courses and
independent work need to be approved by faculty. All students need to obtain appropriate written
faculty approval on a course approval form for overseas coursework to count towards a major,
minor, or certificate program. Students on non-UR programs need to obtain approval for all
coursework taken overseas. Some courses may not be accepted by the UR for transfer credit;
therefore, approval should be sought before studying abroad. Advisers in the Center for Study
Abroad are available to assist students in determining transferability of overseas coursework.

Study Abroad Status
All UR students studying abroad who wish to receive academic credit for their work are placed
on study abroad status. Study abroad status maintains the student's classification as a full-time,
matriculated, University of Rochester student. All students studying on non-UR sponsored
programs are assessed an administrative fee which is charged to the term bill. The study abroad
fee for the 2008-09 academic year was $1100 per semester, but is subject to change. This fee
partially covers costs incurred by the University for administrative services in connection with
study abroad. It guarantees that credit will be awarded for courses taken abroad when we receive
an official transcript and course approval forms when appropriate. Students on study abroad
status are eligible for continuation of UR health insurance while abroad. Students may not
declare Inactive Status (used for a leave of absence from UR) and receive academic credit from a
study abroad program.

Financing Study Abroad
Listed below are general guidelines regarding financial aid eligibility for students on study
abroad programs. However, as each student's financial situation is unique, it is his or her
responsibility to meet with a financial aid counselor while planning a semester(s) abroad.

Financial Aid Counseling
Financial Aid Counselors are available to meet with students by appointment to discuss their
specific study abroad plans and their financial aid eligibility. To set up an appointment with a
counselor, students may call the Financial Aid office at (585) 275-3226, stop by our front desk,

or email the counselor directly. Counselor assignments and contact information are listed online

Application Requirements
Students must complete the Financial Aid Application to be eligible for any need-based aid
(including loans) while on a study abroad program. A completed application includes the
following items:

      FAFSA
      University of Rochester Returning Undergraduate Application
      Copies of Federal Tax returns for both student and parents, including parent W-2
      Business supplement form if a parent is self-employed

With the exception of family federal tax returns, the forms listed above are all available through
FAOnline (

Returning students who do not submit their financial aid application with all supporting
documentation by the April 15th deadline should be aware that they are not guaranteed full
consideration for need-based assistance and may have their aid reduced due to limited
UR Programs: All students studying on UR-sponsored programs will be charged UR tuition and
room costs for their semester abroad. These charges will appear on the UR term bill. The bill will
not reflect the registration for a specific study abroad program, but will show any anticipated or
expected financial aid.

Cost figures are estimated by the Center for Study Abroad in consultation with program
sponsors. These figures will include UR tuition and room charges, fees, board, personal
expenses, international airfare, books, and other required expenses. Optional expenses, such as
additional travel, restaurant dining, visa fees, and souvenirs are not considered when calculating
educational costs for the semester/year. These discretionary costs are the student's responsibility.

Non-UR Programs: Each non-UR program has a different fee depending on what the program
includes (room, board, tuition, etc.), as well as cost of living in the host country, currency
exchange, and other factors. Keep in mind that studying in Paris, London, or Tokyo will prove
much more costly than a semester in Jerusalem or Lima.

Financial Aid Eligibility
UR Programs: Students who are financial aid recipients will be eligible to receive financial aid
during a semester abroad. If the total program cost is less than the cost of studying at UR for that
semester, a student’s need-based aid will be reduced proportionately. Merit awards will not be
reduced. Each student should meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss his or her specific
situation, including which awards are need-based.

Non-UR Programs: If a student chooses to study on a non-UR program, he or she will not be
eligible to receive the same financial aid. Most importantly, students participating in non-UR
programs will not be eligible for any University of Rochester assistance. It is especially
important for the student to discuss study abroad plans with a financial aid counselor to
determine what types of aid he or she will be eligible for while abroad and to ensure the
continuation of financial aid upon returning to UR. A small number of study abroad programs
have their own financial aid available; applications are available from the sponsors.

A student should speak with a financial aid counselor about how an outside scholarship will
affect a financial aid package.

Federal Direct Loans and Federal Pell Grants may be used while on a non-UR program, provided
that the student has completed a Consortium/Contractual agreement and the Financial Aid Office
has verified the program sponsor's eligibility. TAP awards for NYS residents can be used if the
non-UR program is sponsored by a NY college or university.

In order for a student to be eligible for these funds (as well as for a Parent PLUS or alternative
loan(s)) for the semester he or she is abroad, a Consortium/Contractual Agreement must be
completed. This Agreement can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office, or online through
FAOnline. Detailed instructions on completing the Agreement are included. A
Consortium/Contractual Agreement involves multiple steps and requires several signatures so do
not delay in completing this requirement. The student’s coursework must be approved before
the UR Dean can sign the Consortium Agreement.

Non-refundable Deposits
Once students are admitted to programs, they are required to inform the Center for Study Abroad
and the program sponsor of their plans as quickly as possible. Many programs ask for a non-
refundable deposit to hold a student's place in the program. Deposits range from $100 to $1000
and are discussed in acceptance materials. The average is around $300. Note: upon admittance
to an IES program, UR students will be asked to submit an Intent to Enroll form, rather than
submitting the $500 confirmation deposit. If a student submits the Intent to Enroll form and
subsequently decides not to participate in the program, he or she will be responsible for the $500

If a student is participating in a study abroad program in the fall, the fall semester bill will be
sent to you in July. If a student is participating in a study abroad program in the spring, you will
receive the spring semester bill in December. No bill will be received in November unless there
is an outstanding balance from the fall semester. Students participating in a full-year program
will be billed on a semester basis.

A student’s balance must be paid in full from the prior semester in order to register for a study
abroad program. If there is a past due balance, the account may be settled with the Bursar's
Office, 330 Meliora Hall, 275-3931. Registration for a study abroad program is subject to
cancellation if payment is not kept current and there is a past due balance is $5,000 or greater, or

if you submit a check that is returned by the bank, unless acceptable arrangements are promptly

If a student is participating in a non-UR program, UR will bill the student for the study abroad
fee. The college or university that sponsors the program will bill the student directly for the
program costs. In most cases, for non-UR programs, sponsoring institutions must pay costs to
the overseas program before the student leaves the U.S., so it is expected that a student pay the
balance of the program fee prior to the start of the program.

Before a Student Leaves UR
Students need to update their billing addresses with the Bursar's Office before departure, and
again upon return, if the billing address should change.

If a student is receiving an outside scholarship or alternative loan that requires his or her
endorsement, then the student should contact the Bursar's Office before departure. We will make
arrangements with the student to have the check(s) signed so that the student’s account will be
credited with the funds.

If a student is expecting to receive a refund of financial aid (when financial assistance exceeds
charges), he or she needs to contact the Bursar's Office before leaving to make arrangements to
receive this refund. If the student is participating in a UR-sponsored program, the Bursar's Office
cannot issue a refund until at least ten days prior to the start of classes at UR, so the student
should not plan on having this money to pay for initial expenses. If he or she is receiving NYS
TAP, which is usually certified in October for the fall semester or in March for the spring
semester, that portion of the refund will not be disbursed until those funds can be credited.

If a student is on a non-UR program and has completed a Consortium Agreement, the Bursar's
Office will need to verify his or her registration before financial aid can be credited to the
account and a refund check issued. Registration cannot be verified until the program start date;
the student should therefore plan to cover a minimum of one month's expenses before the refund
will be available.

In Section III of the Consortium/Contractual Agreement, students are required to indicate how
their refund check should be made payable. If the student wants the refund check to be issued to
his or her study abroad program, this must be indicated on the Consortium/Contractual
Agreement. If this section is left blank, the refund will be made payable to the student and sent to
his or her billing address. Payment will not be sent to the Consortium School unless this has
been requested this in Section III of the Consortium/Contractual Agreement.

Medical Insurance: Students need to have adequate health insurance. Check your existing health
insurance coverage to find out if the student will be covered during the stay abroad, and whether
any special conditions apply. If the student is insured through the University of Rochester Health
Service, this coverage will extend overseas. In any case, make sure you and the student know

how this system works: how bills are paid, in the case of a medical emergency, and how to
access routine treatments. Some plans include “reunion” coverage in the event that a family
member wishes or needs to fly to an overseas destination.
Should students require medical attention abroad, it may be necessary for them to have sufficient
cash on hand to make payment at the time of treatment since the foreign physician and/or
hospital may not be able to process medical bills through an American insurance company. In
such cases, they should obtain a receipt to submit with their insurance claim for reimbursement
upon return to the US. It may also be helpful to carry a few blank claim forms in case they
should need them while abroad.

For students who study abroad during the academic year, the UR provides a MEDEX insurance
policy (ID#3433; group #7218) that covers emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of
remains. These policies do not cover routine medical services. In the case of students who
participate in programs through the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES)
comparable coverage is provided by the sponsoring consortium.

In addition, we highly recommend that students consider purchasing personal liability insurance
against injury or damage caused by or resulting from students’ acts or omissions during
enrollment in any program.

Travel and Property Insurance: Student travelers should have insurance to cover at least partially
any loss of money because of trip interruption or cancellation, as well as loss of baggage and
personal effects either while traveling or living in residence halls. Theft or property loss from
negligence is not an altogether uncommon occurrence for the inexperienced traveler, and
students are well-advised to take some preventative measures.

The University of Rochester is not liable for damage or loss of personal property. Many
homeowner or renter insurance policies contain a clause about this coverage extending
worldwide. Normally the insurer will require a copy of the police report filed at the time of loss
before they will consider any claim. Contact your insurance agent regarding property insurance.

Mandatory Pre-departure Orientation
The Center for Study Abroad organizes a pre-departure orientation for students studying abroad
in the coming semester. The orientation begins with an on-line component and includes a
mandatory group meeting. Students are required to attend one of these meetings. Students must
attend even if they have not yet been admitted to a program. The agenda covers topics such as
the UR transfer credit policy, fellowships and scholarships for post-graduate work, and how to
contact various UR offices. Information from the offices of the Bursar, the Registrar, Financial
Aid, Residential Life, and the Career Center will be presented about services they provide to
study abroad students. Also, study abroad returnees speak about their experiences and answer
questions about safety, packing, money, traveling, and health and cultural issues. All students are
given a departure packet containing much valuable information; they can share it with you, and
then take it overseas with them as a resource guide. If you would like a copy of the Pre-
departure Guide for your own use, please contact our office. Students must successfully
complete the on-line orientation by the stated deadline or they will not be permitted to study

     abroad. More information about the study abroad pre-departure course is available at

     Taking Care of Business While Still at UR
     We often remind students to take care of all business before they leave the UR campus. Some
     things already mentioned are course approvals, promissory notes, and financial aid concerns. It is
     much easier for students to contact professors and staff members, obtain necessary signatures,
     and sign important forms in person, rather than from a distance.

     How to Contact the Center for Study Abroad & Other UR Offices

     206 Lattimore Hall                        
     Rochester, NY 14627-0376
     TEL: (585) 275-7532                       
     FAX: (585) 461-5131

      University of Rochester Security                            Residential Life
    Maintenance & Transportation Building                   Contact: Laurel Contomanolis
   TEL (585) 275-3333 FAX (585) 273-1128               TEL (585) 275-3166 FAX (585) 275-7941
     e-mail:               e-mail:
               Bursar’s Office                                    Registrar’s Office
            Contact: Karen Akers                                Contact: Nancy Speck
   TEL (585) 275-3931 FAX (585) 461-3356               TEL (585) 275-8131 FAX (585) 275-2190
     e-mail:                  e-mail:
               Career Center                               River Campus Parking Office
      Law professions, career planning                      Contact: Glenroy A. Sicard, Sr.
   TEL (585) 275-2366 FAX (585) 461-3093               TEL (585) 275-3983 FAX (585) 275-8097
     e-mail:                 e-mail:
            Financial Aid Office                            International Services Office
     Contact: Any financial aid counselor                        Contact: Cary Jensen
   TEL (585) 275-3226 FAX (585) 756-7664               TEL (585) 275-2866 FAX (585) 244-4503
      e-mail:                  e-mail:
           University Health Services                 Warner Graduate School of Education and
(UHS Health Insurance Coverage)\Contact: Linda        Human Development (MA, 3/2 Programs)
             Dudman; Laurie Strang                    TEL (585) 275-3950/ FAX (585) 473-7598
                  Box 270617                           e-mail:
  e-mail: ldudma@uhs.rochester.eduImportant
           Simon School of Business                         Center for Academic Support
             (MBA, 3/2 Programs)                    General academic issues: any Academic Advisor
Contact: Gregory MacDonald, Executive Director       Certificate Programs: any Academic Advisor
   of M.B.A. Admissions and Administration              Graduate Fellowships: Belinda Redden
   TEL (585) 275-3533 FAX (585) 271-3907               Health Professions: Scott MacPhail/Kate
                                                                 Take Five: Sean Hanna
                                                      TEL (585) 275-2354 FAX (585) 275-2190


Responsible Study Abroad:
Good Practices for Health & Safety
by the Inter-organizational Task Force on Safety and Responsibility in Study Abroad
NAFSA: Association of International Educators

The Inter-associational Advisory Committee on Safety and Responsibility in Study Abroad
(formerly the Inter-organizational Task Force on Safety and Responsibility in Study Abroad) was
formed as a joint venture among a number of professional organizations and study abroad
providers. One outcome of this task force was the creation of "Responsible Study Abroad: Good
Practices for Health and Safety."

Statement of Purpose
Because the health and safety of study abroad participants are primary concerns, these statements
of good practice have been developed to provide guidance to institutions, participants (including
faculty and staff), and parents/guardians/families. These statements are intended to be
aspirational in nature. They address issues that merit attention and thoughtful consideration by
everyone involved with study abroad. They are intentionally general; they are not intended to
account for all the many variations in study abroad programs and actual health, safety, and
security cases that will inevitably occur. In dealing with any specific situation, those responsible
must also rely upon their collective experience and judgment while considering their specific

1. Responsibilities of Program Sponsors
The term "sponsors" refers to all the entities that together develop, offer, and administer study
abroad programs. Sponsors include sending institutions, host institutions, program
administrators, and placement organizations. To the extent reasonably possible, program
sponsors should consider how these statements of good practice may apply. At the same time, it
must be noted that the structure of study abroad programs varies widely. Study abroad is usually
a cooperative venture that can involve multiple sponsors. Because the role of an organization in a
study abroad program may vary considerably from case to case, it is not possible to specify a
division of efforts that will be applicable to all cases. Each entity should apply these statements
in ways consistent with its respective role.

In general, practices that relate to obtaining health, safety, and security information apply to all
parties consistent with their role and involvement in the study abroad program. Much of the basic
information is readily available and can be conveyed to participants by distributing it and/or by
referring them to—or using materials from—recognized central sources. Statements of good
practice that refer to the provision of information and the preparation of participants are intended
for parties that advise, refer, nominate, admit, enroll, or place students. Statements of good
practice that suggest operating procedures on site apply to entities that are directly involved in
the operation of the overseas program.

It is understood that program sponsors that rely heavily on the collaboration of overseas
institutions may exercise less direct control over specific program components. In such cases,
sponsors are urged to work with their overseas partners to develop plans and procedures for
implementing good practices. The use of letters is provided for ease of reference only and does
not imply priority.

Program sponsors should:
A. Conduct periodic assessments of health and safety conditions for their programs, and develop
and maintain emergency preparedness processes and a crisis response plan.

 B. Provide health and safety information for prospective participants so that they and their
parents/guardians/families can make informed decisions concerning preparation, participation,
and behavior while on the program.

 C. Provide information concerning aspects of home campus services and conditions that cannot
be replicated at overseas locations.

 D. Provide orientation to participants prior to the program and as needed on site, which includes
information on safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in
the host country. In addition to dealing with health and safety issues, the orientation should
address potential health and safety risks, and appropriate emergency response measures.

 E. Consider health and safety issues in evaluating the appropriateness of an individual's
participation in a study abroad program.

 F. Determine criteria for an individual's removal from an overseas program, taking into account
participant behavior, health, and safety factors.

 G. Require that participants be insured. Either provide health and travel accident (emergency
evacuation, repatriation) insurance to participants or provide information about how to obtain
such coverage.

 H. Conduct inquiries regarding the potential health, safety, and security risks of the local
environment of the program, including program-sponsored accommodation, events, excursions,
and other activities, prior to the program. Monitor possible changes in country conditions.
Provide information about changes, and advise participants and their parents/guardians/families
as needed.
I. Hire vendors and contractors (e.g., travel and tour agents) that have provided reputable
services in the country in which the program takes place. Advise such vendors and contractors of
the program sponsor's expectations with respect to their role in the health and safety of

 J. Conduct appropriate inquiry regarding available medical and professional services. Provide
information about these services for participants and their parents/guardians/families, and help

participants obtain the services they may need.

 K. Develop and provide health and safety training for program directors and staff, including
guidelines with respect to intervention and referral that take into account the nature and location
of the study abroad program.

 L. Develop codes of conduct for their programs; communicate codes of conduct and the
consequences of noncompliance to participants. Take appropriate action when aware that
participants are in violation.

 M. In cases of serious health problems, injury, or other significant health and safety
circumstances, maintain good communication among all program sponsors and others who need
to know.

 N. In the participant screening process, consider factors such as disciplinary history that may
impact on the safety of the individual or the group.

 O. Provide information for participants and their parents/guardians/families regarding when and
where the sponsor's responsibility ends and the range of aspects of participants' overseas
experiences that are beyond the sponsor's control.

 In particular, program sponsors generally:
A. Cannot guarantee or assure the safety and/or security of participants or eliminate all risks
from the study abroad environments.

 B. Cannot monitor or control all of the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of

C. Cannot prevent participants from engaging in illegal, dangerous, or unwise activities.

 D. Cannot assure that U.S. standards of due process apply in overseas legal proceedings, or
provide or pay for legal representation for participants.

 E. Cannot assume responsibility for actions or for events that are not part of the program, nor for
those that are beyond the control of the sponsor and its subcontractors, or for situations that may
arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.

F. Cannot assure that home-country cultural values and norms will apply in the host country.

2. Responsibilities of Participants
In study abroad, as in other settings, participants can have a major impact on their own health
and safety through the decisions they make before and during their program and by their day-to-
day choices and behaviors.

Participants should:
A. Assume responsibility for all the elements necessary for their personal preparation for the

program and participate fully in orientations.

 B. Read and carefully consider all materials issued by the sponsor that relate to safety, health,
legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country(ies).

 C. Conduct their own research on the country(ies) they plan to visit with particular emphasis on
health and safety concerns, as well as the social, cultural, and political situations.

D. Consider their physical and mental health, and other personal circumstances when applying
for or accepting a place in a program, and make available to the sponsor accurate and complete
physical and mental health information and any other personal data that is necessary in planning
for a safe and healthy study abroad experience.

E. Obtain and maintain appropriate insurance coverage and abide by any conditions imposed by
the carriers.

 F. Inform parents/guardians/families and any others who may need to know about their
participation in the study abroad program, provide them with emergency contact information,
and keep them informed of their whereabouts and activities.

G. Understand and comply with the terms of participation, codes of conduct, and emergency
procedures of the program.

 H. Be aware of local conditions and customs that may present health or safety risks when
making daily choices and decisions. Promptly express any health or safety concerns to the
program staff or other appropriate individuals before and/or during the program.

I. Accept responsibility for their own decisions and actions.

J. Obey host-country laws.

 K. Behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others, and encourage
others to behave in a similar manner.

L. Avoid illegal drugs and excessive or irresponsible consumption of alcohol.

M. Follow the program policies for keeping program staff informed of their whereabouts and

 N. Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and legal system
services in the host county.

3. Recommendations to Parents/Guardians/Families
In study abroad, as in other settings, parents, guardians, and families can play an important role
in the health and safety of participants by helping them make decisions and by influencing their
behavior overseas.

 Parents/guardians/families should:
 A. Be informed about and involved in the decision of the participant to enroll in a particular

 B. Obtain and carefully evaluate participant program materials, as well as related health, safety,
and security information.

 C. Discuss with the participant any of his/her travel plans and activities that may be independent
of the study abroad program.

 D. Engage the participant in a thorough discussion of safety and behavior issues, insurance
needs, and emergency procedures related to living abroad.

E. Be responsive to requests from the program sponsor for information regarding the participant.

F. Keep in touch with the participant.

 G. Be aware that the participant rather than the program may most appropriately provide some

Useful items and gift ideas for students going abroad
Many parents, family members and friends of students going abroad ask about suitable gifts.
Here are some suggestions that can be purchased on-line, at discount department stores, or in
stores that cater to travelers’ needs.

A travel guide and map to the city or country can provide an armchair introduction, and will be
an invaluable companion. Students tend to like the Rough Guides, Lonely Planet, Let’s Go

Lonely Planet publishes regional guides, and there are many others. These books are either
general or region-specific (Australia, Latin America, Africa, etc) and cover nutrition,
medications, fitness, travel stress, and much more.

All students, unless living in homestays, need to know the basics of food buying and preparation.
Eating in restaurants on a regular basis can be very expensive. Most study abroad programs and
overseas universities do not offer meal plans.


Small valuables such as jewelry should be left home, but a watch is essential. Some programs
require students to wear them on field trips so no one in the group is left behind or kept waiting.
If the watch has an alarm feature, they won’t need a…

Trains and planes leave on time, and most faculty overseas are not as sympathetic as their
American counterparts to those who are late to class!

One of the most useful items in a student’s backpack.

Use it, or risk losing it! A wallet worn under the clothes is the best way to protect credit cards,
passport and cash. Thieves know exactly where students are likely to stash wallets (in pockets or
backpacks) and they know how to get at them. The safety wallet is the best defense.

Students like to show pictures of the folks back home, the college roommates, even the family
pet, to their new friends. Helps homesickness, too.

Handy for those inevitable travel delays.

A great way to encourage postcards from your traveler. Include the grandparents, etc.

Pre-paid phone cards, which can be used most anywhere in the world, can be a cheap way to call

A liner, usually made of washable silk, lightweight and compact. A great comfort as a sleeping
bag liner, or for use in youth hostels.

Useful as a light towel or washcloth. Rayon travel towels absorb 10 times their weight in water,
and lose most of it with a simple wringing.

Many students keep on-line journals to record their travels and experiences. Some like the old-
fashioned way. It’s hard to sketch in an on-line journal, or to use it to stash souvenir ticket stubs,
postcards, etc.


Depends on the individual’s needs and interests. Some will want a high-tech model with
hardware to e-mail home photos and videos. Others will just want an inexpensive auto-focus
camera so there’s no worry about loss of an expensive item.

                                Websites of Interest

UR Center for Study Abroad       

Internships in Europe Programs   

U.S. Department of State         

Universal Currency Converter     

Country calling codes            

Worldwide travel information     

International Student ID Card    

International Youth Hostel Card  

Travel Gear:
LL Bean                          




Travel Smith                     


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