Please choose the relevant topic below to obtain more information:
- Benefits of Studying Abroad
- Health, Safety, and Insurance
- Travel Information
- 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 child 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. Thank you in advance for your understanding!
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.
There are many studies that show the benefits of studying abroad. Here is just one done by the Institute for the International Education of Students, which surveyed over 3,700 students: IES Survey
Health, Safety, and Insurance Resources
All of our students are required to go through pre-departure preparatory meetings 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- Financial Planning Preparation
- Includes basic information provided by Georgia Tech on financial planning for study abroad.
- Study Abroad Scholarships
- OIE’s page on scholarships for studying abroad.
- Program Cost Comparison
- Compare costs of various programs offered by Georgia Tech.
- Current Exchange Rates
- Information on exchange rates throughout the world.
While your child 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 to. Here are some frequently used options for communication with your child:
INTERNATIONAL CELL PHONE USAGE
- Here is a useful website discussing different international cell phone plans and discussing the pros and cons of different methods of usage http://www.independenttraveler.com/resources/article.cfm?AID=552&categor...
- Phone cards can also be an option for communication abroad. For more information, please see: http://www.independenttraveler.com/resources/article.cfm?AID=246&category=3
- Skype is a free way of communication which, although mostly used on computers, can be used on some smart phones as well. It includes video chat, regular calling, and instant messaging. For more information on Skype, see: http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/home
- Email is of course another free, easy to use, option for communicating with your child while he/she is abroad.
When studying abroad, your child 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