Saint Louis University

Parent and Family Information

Congratulations, your student is interested in studying abroad!

Studying abroad provides an incredible opportunity for students to expand their worldview and gain an appreciation and understanding of a different culture. A study abroad experience is also an excellent opportunity for students to develop valuable and transferrable skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and adaptability.

In addition to the development of these marketable and transferrable skills, international experiences often provide a powerful and unique opportunity for students to gain greater insight into personal strengths and aspirations. Students gain a sense of independence, courage, and self-confidence that will help them navigate life as a global citizen.

The study abroad team strives to foster a spirit of independence throughout the study abroad experience, beginning with pre-departure preparations, to maximize the academic, personal, and professional growth of our students. The study abroad team at Saint Louis University will provide your student with the tools necessary to take responsibility and ownership for his or her study abroad experience, and we encourage you to do the same. We encourage you to talk with your student and play an active role in his or her upcoming semester abroad, but we do encourage students to contact the study abroad team directly with any questions or concerns they may have.

Careful planning and research, prior to departure, often helps students manage their study abroad expectations and foster positive academic, personal, and professional experiences.

Parent & Family Webinars:
For additional information, we encourage you to please participate in the Parent and Family Study Abroad Information Webinar and the Parent and Family Pre-Departure Webinar. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR PARENTS:

Where can I find information about study abroad programs at Saint Louis University?
Are there information or pre-departure sessions for parents and families?
How can I help my student choose the right program?

Can my student study abroad and still graduate on time?
Will my student need a passport and/or visa to study abroad?
How much will it cost for my student to study abroad? Will financial aid still apply overseas?
Will my student have health insurance while abroad?
What is FERPA?
What is SLU's refund policy?
How is my student prepared prior to departure?
How can I help my student prepare for a semester abroad?
How should I communicate with my student while they are abroad?
Can I visit my student while they are abroad?
How can I prepare for my student to return home?
What resources are available as my student returns home?

Where can I find information about study abroad programs at Saint Louis University?
Saint Louis University offers many types of international programs that students can participate in. Please explore the wide variety of
SLU approved study abroad/exchange programs and gather additional information regarding the unique opportunities available through each of these programs.

Are there information or pre-departure sessions for parents and families?
The study abroad team offers both an Information Webinar and a Pre-Departure Webinar geared towards parents and families.  Additional information, including dates and times, may be found on the Parent & Family Webinar page.

How can I help my student choose the right program?
Talk with your student and ask questions.  The following topics may help you get started talking with your student about his or her upcoming semester abroad:

  • Set goals. Ask your student what they hope to accomplish and gain while they are abroad. Encourage your student to reflect on study abroad goals and expectations as they relate to language and cultural immersion, travel, internship opportunities, volunteer opportunities, academic experiences, and more! 
  • Research. Encourage your student to research the host country and host institution in order to gain greater insight into the culture prior to departure. What monuments do they hope to see? What food do they want to try? What is the appropriate style of dress? How does the host institution differ from SLU? What is the typical mode of transportation in the host destination?
  • Academics. Talk with your student about how he or she plans to use this experience to enhance his or her overall academic plan. What type of courses will your student take abroad? Are there internship opportunities available? Grades do factor into a student's overall SLU GPA, for all SLU-approved semester and year-long programs.

Encourage your student to research a variety of programs to determine which program will best fulfill your student's goals and expectations.  The study abroad team has also created a tool for students to use when deciding which program is best for them. This tool is available online and will help students compare and contrast different programs.
 

Can my student study abroad and still graduate on time?
Yes! We encourage all students to meet with their academic team to discuss studying abroad and when a study abroad experience would best fit within their academic plan.  

Will my student need a passport and/or visa to study abroad?
All students studying abroad will need a valid passport. Some students will also be required to obtain a student visa. Students obtain a visa after they are accepted to a program. Obtaining a visa can be a lengthy process so we encourage students not to delay in this process. Additional information regarding passports and visas may be found here.

How much will it cost for my student to study abroad? Will financial aid still apply overseas?
Saint Louis University strives to make the cost of a study abroad program fairly comparable to tuition, room and board here at SLU. Saint Louis University academic scholarships, federal loans and grants may apply for SLU approved semester/year programs (athletic scholarships do not apply).  Students participating in a SLU approved semester and year-long program will continue to receive bills from Saint Louis University.

Tuition remission, tuition exchange and FACHEX only apply towards the SLU Madrid campus.  SLU scholarships do not apply towards non-SLU programs.  Other aid may apply.

There are a number of external scholarship opportunities funded by independent organizations with a dedicated interest in promoting global education.

Specific program fees are detailed on the Study Abroad Financial Aid and Scholarship portion of the webpage.

Will my student have health insurance while abroad?
Saint Louis University requires all students participating in a SLU approved program to obtain international health insurance. The Office of International Services will enroll all students traveling internationally with a SLU approved program, providing students with this comprehensive insurance while abroad. Additional information regarding the international health insurance policy and coverage is available here

What is FERPA?
FERPA is The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and is a federal law that protects education records from being disclosed to any party other than the student.  Students do have the option to waive their FERPA rights, through mySLU Share, should they choose to make this decision. If your student has not given us permission to speak with you about his or her program, we will only be able to answer general questions.

Additional information regarding FERPA, may be found on the Office of the University Registrar webpage.

We do strongly encourage students to maintain an open line of communication throughout their study abroad experience.

What is SLU's refund policy?
Please refer to the refund policy found here.  

How is my student prepared prior to departure?
Study abroad is a comprehensive experience at Saint Louis University.  The study abroad team is available for one-on-one advising and looks forward to working with each individual student as he or she prepares for a semester abroad.  In addition to individual advising, all semester and year-long study abroad students are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure session. The pre-departure session covers topics such as: goal setting, cultural competence, culture shock, academics abroad, travel preparations, health and safety, international insurance, drugs and alcohol, and safety and security resources.  The pre-departure orientation provides an opportunity for students to meet other study abroad students and recent returnees.   

Students are also requested to review the study abroad handbook, available online

How can I help my student prepare for a semester abroad?
As mentioned previously, talk with your student, ask questions, and encourage your student to set goals and research prior to departure.  Careful planning and research, prior to departure, often helps students manage their study abroad expectations and foster positive academic, personal, and professional experiences abroad.  

How should I communicate with my student while they are abroad?
Communicating with your student once they arrive abroad is important. We encourage students to send a quick message to family and friends once they arrive to their host destination, to let you know they've arrived safely! Friends and family can use email, video chats and internet calling to stay connected with students. These are inexpensive ways to communicate with one another.  

Can I visit my student while they are abroad?
Of course! Talk with your student and assure that he or she reviews the academic calendar of their host institution to determine the best time to visit!  Students often have an extended break in the middle of the program, and many students opt to travel with family as the program ends.  Visiting your student abroad is a great opportunity to travel and to experience your student as the ultimate travel guide!

How can I prepare for my student to return home?
Encourage your student to complete any last minute items while they are abroad. Whether that is meeting with professors to assure that they have completed the necessary course work or confirming flight details, this will allow for a smooth transition as students return to the U.S.  

Returning home from a semester or year abroad can be difficult for students and many students experience reverse culture shock. Please talk with your student, ask questions, look at pictures, and exhibit a genuine interest in their experiences abroad.   Encourage your student to talk with the study abroad team and participate in re-entry events on campus. 

What resources are available as my student returns home?
As mentioned previously, studying abroad is a comprehensive experience at Saint Louis University that continues as students complete their semester or year abroad and return to the St. Louis campus.  Returning from a semester or year abroad can be an emotional rollercoaster for students.  The study abroad team hosts a re-entry series to help students acclimate to life back on campus.  Additional information regarding our re-entry series may be found here.

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