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Parent and Family Information

Studying abroad provides an incredible opportunity for your student to expand his or her worldview and gain an appreciation and understanding of a different culture. Students will gain a sense of independence, courage and self-­confidence that will help them navigate life as a global citizen.

SLU’s study abroad team 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.

Talk with your student and play an active role in his or her upcoming semester abroad, and encourage your student to contact the study abroad team directly with questions or concerns.


We encourage you to participate in a study abroad webinars tailored specifically to parents and families.

Webinars are tailored specifically to parents and families of students studying on our Madrid campus.

Webinars are also available that will address study abroad questions in a more general sense, not specific to a single program.

Watch a recording of a previous session:

FAQs for Parents

How can I help my student choose the right program?

Encourage your student to reflect on study abroad goals and expectations as they relate to language and cultural immersion, travel and academic experiences. Suggest that they research a variety of programs. The study abroad team has created a tool to compare and contrast programs that can help and is available for download.

Can my student study abroad and still graduate on time?

Yes. We encourage all students to meet with their academic team to discuss when a study abroad experience would best fit within their academic plan.

How much will it cost for my student to study abroad? Will financial aid still apply overseas?

Saint Louis University works to make the cost of a study abroad program fairly comparable to tuition, room and board here at our St. Louis campus. Academic scholarships, federal loans and grants may apply to SLU-­approved semester and year­-long programs (athletic scholarships do not apply).

The Study Abroad Financial Aid and Scholarship page will explain which aid will apply to study abroad programs and provide links to additional scholarships that are only available to students studying abroad.

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. Learn more about SLU’s international health insurance policy and coverage.

Who can I contact regarding my student’s academics while he or she is abroad?

The study abroad team can try to help answer your questions, but a lot of information about your student’s abroad experience is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA is a federal law that protects education records from being disclosed to anybody other than the student. Students may choose to waive their FERPA rights through mySLU. 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.

What is SLU's study abroad withdrawal policy?

The withdrawal and refund policies are explained on the Academic and Withdrawal Policies page.

How can I help my student prepare for a semester abroad?

Talk with your student, ask questions and encourage him or her to set goals and research prior to departure. Careful planning and research in advance often helps students manage their study abroad expectations and fosters positive academic, personal and professional experiences abroad.

The study abroad team is available for one­-on-­one advising and can work with each individual student as he or she prepares for a semester abroad. Additionally, all semester­ and year­-long study abroad students are required to attend a pre­departure session that covers many topics related to living in another country. Students are also requested to review the study abroad handbook.

How should I communicate with my student while they are abroad?

We encourage students to send a quick message to family and friends once they arrive at their destination to let you know they've arrived safely. Throughout the semester, friends and family can use email, video chats and internet calling to stay connected with students.

Can I visit my student while they are abroad?

Of course. Ask your student to review his or her academic calendar to determine the best dates to visit — students often have an extended break in the middle of the program, and many students opt to travel with family when their program is completed.

How can I prepare for my student to return home?

SLU’s study abroad team hosts a re­-entry series to help students acclimate to life back on campus. Additionally, many returning students become peer mentors for students just beginning the study abroad process.