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Parents: What You Need to Know about Study Abroad

Did you know studying abroad through an approved University of Hartford program counts as a High Impact Practice (HIP)? Students are required to engage in a number of HIPS throughout their college career, which are designed to deepen learning and promote engagement.

Having a son or daughter pack up and travel thousands of miles away can be a nerve-wracking experience. The University of Hartford has considerable experience in study abroad programming, and their security and safety is our highest priority.

Beginning with pre-departure orientation and information sessions and continuing overseas with regular program monitoring by University of Hartford staff, our programs abroad offer a strong, comprehensive support system for all participants.

We encourage you to apply for a passport, or—if you already have one—make sure that it's current. In an emergency situation, having a passport gives you the freedom to immediately fly overseas. During a crisis, the last thing you want is to wait for paperwork  when your son or daughter needs you at his or her side.

We recommend that you talk seriously with your son or daughter about the adventures and responsibilities of their upcoming overseas experience. Together, take a look at the program materials and find out when the mandatory, pre-departure, orientation meetings will be held and feel free to attend. They're not just for students. Discuss the types of payments due and when they are due so that all payments are made on time. Get a copy of the travel itinerary and contact phone numbers before the group departs, so that—if they don't call home—you can call them abroad.

On most study abroad programs, students will have free time when they are not in class, just like they do in Hartford. Please understand that during non-class time students are often free to engage in activities of their own choosing, without the supervision of program staff. Depending on the program type and site, this may mean traveling to another city or outside the country, visiting a museum or pub, participating in high-risk activities such as skydiving or bungee jumping, or going on an outing with individuals they've met locally.

Please discuss with your student the types of activities which you do and do not encourage. Students should understand that they, not the University, assume full responsibility for their safety and well-being during free periods. However, staff will certainly be available to assist students as best they can in an emergency situation.

You might also enjoy watching this CNN video about study abroad by First Lady, Michelle Obama, and reading this article published in Better Homes and Gardens magazine entitled "Before They Go Abroad," by James McCommons.

Please note:  The International Center adheres to the University’s policy regarding communication with parents based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which limits access to the information contained in student records by third parties. Students therefore have the primary responsibility of keeping their parents and/or guardians informed about enrollment in an international program.

 The International Center, in compliance with this policy, will send all program-related information directly to the student. Students are encouraged to share this information with their parents and/or guardians, and to review the complete University's FERPA Policy.