Information for Parents

Parent's Webinar Recording from March 15, 2017

Please choose the relevant topic below to obtain more information:


A Note About FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

FERPA is a federal law that affords all post-secondary students certain rights pertaining to their educational records.  Under this law, Institute employees are not allowed to disclose information (other than "Directory Information") without the student's written consent.

As your student prepares for an amazing educational experience abroad, we understand you may have certain questions about his/her program or standing.  However, other than information that is public and posted on our website, we are not permitted to discuss the details of his/her participation.  All pertinent study abroad information is sent directly to your child, so please feel free to ask them to share that information.  If you still have questions, please have your son/daughter send written consent to his/her study abroad advisor (see contacts) to discuss his/her study abroad record with you.  

For more information on FERPA, please visit:  http://www.registrar.gatech.edu/alumni/parentinfo.php


Benefits of Studying Abroad

In an increasingly global world, it is important for students to acquire knowledge and experience in dealing with foreign cultures. Study abroad provides, not only a new perspective, but also allows students to develop new skills, independence, and the self-confidence needed to survive and succeed in the global marketplace.  International experience gives students a competitive edge when applying for jobs or graduate programs, and also builds foreign language skills and intercultural understanding.
 


Health, Safety, and Insurance Resources

All of our students are required to go through pre-departure orientations before they study abroad to help prepare them for a safe and enjoyable experience abroad.  

For more information and tips about safe international travel, please see some of the following helpful links:

  • http://www.studyabroad.com/pages/sitecontent/healthandsafety.aspx
    • Includes basic information on health and safety while traveling internationally - also includes tips about study abroad in general, such as packing tips, how to choose the right program, and a helpful checklist.
  • http://travel.state.gov/
    • Contains profiles for countries: includes a breakdown of safety information, such as crime rates, medical facilities and health information, US Embassy locations, and helpful visa information.
  • http://www.cdc.gov/travel/
    • The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention provides useful information on vaccines, medications, and other measures to prevent illness and injury while abroad.

For information on insurance which is included with all GT study abroad programs, please see:
Download PDF Version Insurance Information

For our general safety guide, please see:
Download PDF Version Safety & Security Information

 


Finances

Most scholarships and financial aid can be used to finance study abroad program expenses, and there are even special scholarships available just for study abroad students!  Here are some useful links about program costs, financial planning for study abroad, scholarships, and dealing with money abroad.


Communication

While your student is abroad, he/she will be very involved in the program coursework and exploring new surroundings, so will probably not be able to maintain the same level of instant contact that you may be accustomed to normally.  Daily contact may not be possible due to cost, time differences, schedules, technological limitations, etc.  We encourage students to become fully integrated into their experience abroad - rather than being tied to their lap-tops, we encourage them to explore and discover.  We do recommend students to talk to their families ahead of time and set up a realistic plan of communication to regularly touch base, so that you may know they are doing well and to hear about their adventures abroad.

To find out the best ways to communicate and keep in touch, students may ask their advisor/program director, host university staff, or past participants about the different options that work best in the country(ies) they are going. 
 


Travel Information
When studying abroad, your student will need a valid passport. It is also recommended that a family member hold a valid passport as well in case of emergencies. 

In some cases, students will also need to apply for a visa to enter the country/countries where they are going to study. For visa information and information on obtaining a passport, visit the U.S. Department of State "Students Abroad" portal: http://studentsabroad.state.gov/

Although it is not a requirement, some students obtain a Student Identification Card for their time abroad. This card provides a picture identification besides their passport, and includes benefits such as discounts, insurance, and emergency help. These cards include:
    iNext Travel Card: www.inext.com
    International Student Exchange (ISE) Card: www.isecard.com
    International Student Identity Card (ISIC): www.isiccard.com
 


More Information
For additional information, please visit our FAQ webpage

Feel free to message a GT Study Abroad Peer Advisor to ask about their study abroad experience.  Peer Advisors are GT students who previously studied abroad and wanted to stay involved in international education on-campus.  They provide an invaluable student perspective, among so many other fantastic things, and love to talk about their experiences abroad!

Please feel free to come by the office or contact us whenever you have other questions or concerns.