Study Abroad Information for Parents
Resources and Information for Parents & Family
Below you will find helpful information on how to support your student throughout his or her study abroad experience, as well as details on LIM College’s health and safety policies, resources for parents and family members, and an FAQ section.
Parents’ Role in Study Abroad
Parents and family are an integral support system for students during all phases of their study abroad journey. Here you’ll find information on the role that parents and family can play throughout the process.
- Before your student ever leaves the U.S. there are many preparations that need to take place. Make sure that he or she has completed the necessary steps on campus, including meeting with the Study Abroad Coordinator, his or her Academic Advisor (to ensure that students are on track with graduation plans), and with Student Financial Services regarding financial aid and payment for the term abroad.
- Your student may also need to apply for a visa. Make sure that he or she is on top of this step as the process can take up to two-three months to complete. Remind students that the Study Abroad Coordinator is available to help guide them through this process should they need assistance.
- Assist your student with other necessities, such as booking flights, securing accommodation, and finding adequate health insurance. (These requirements vary by program. See specific program information at https://www.limcollege.edu/life-at-lim/study-abroad.)
- Attend the Pre-Departure Orientation that will be held before your student leaves for his or her program. The Orientation is also open to parents and family members.
During the program
- Your student may experience stress, especially when he or she first arrives in their host city. Remind your student that this is very normal when traveling to a new place and adjusting to a new city and culture. The best ways to deal with this stress is by encouraging your student to get enough sleep, eat well and drink plenty of water, and be sure to stay busy, as well as open-minded about the things that he or she is experiencing. Remind your student that an adjustment period is inevitable, but if they feel that things are not improving, they should reach out to resources at their host school and to the Study Abroad Coordinator for support.
- Stay in touch and support your student throughout the time that they are abroad. Use resources such as Skype or FaceTime to make free video calls. Gmail, iMessage, and WhatsApp provide free messaging services.
- Make sure to give your student time and space to explore their new city and to immerse themselves in the culture abroad. Parents and family are an important support, but be sure to avoid monopolizing your student’s time or allowing them to avoid interacting with their new environment.
- Support your student when he or she returns from their time abroad. They may experience reverse culture shock. Your students has adapted to life abroad and may need time to reconnect with family, friends, routines, and their identity at home. Your student may also feel anxious or depressed about returning home. Be an open ear for them and let them talk about their experiences. Remind them to stay busy and to get back into hobbies or work that they previously enjoyed at home in order to reconnect with their community. Reflecting on their journey through journaling, scrapbooking, or blogging can also be helpful. It's also important for students to stay in touch and maintain a connection with the friends that they made abroad.
- Remind your student to review the re-entry materials provided to all returning students and to attend Re-Entry Orientation when it is held. This Orientation will give your student a time to share stories and experiences about being abroad and to learn more about how to market their experience abroad to employers.
- Your student has the unique opportunity to participate in information sessions, panels, study abroad fairs, and orientations upon returning to campus from time spent abroad. These events provide a chance to speak about their experiences and share them with other students who are interested in going abroad. Encourage them to reach out to the Study Abroad Coordinator to participate in these events.
Health & Safety Procedures
Your student’s health and safety while abroad is our number one priority. Here you will find more detailed information on our policies and procedures.
Safety procedures and resources
- Your student’s safety is LIM College’s highest priority. There are several systems in place to help keep your student safe while abroad:
- LIM College programs are developed and vetted using a series of criteria to ensure that the location(s) being traveled to are safe for our students. One of the primary resources used is the Department of State's Travel Advisories, which rate countries around the world from Level 1 (exercise normal precautions) to Level 4 (do not travel). LIM College generally requires that a program location be rated a Level 2 (exercise increased caution) at the time of planning the program. However, in cases where the College is partnering with an organization, company, or insitution that is based in the host country, a rating up to a Level 3 (reconsider travel) will be allowed.
- All students are required to register with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP – See more information here: https://step.state.gov/step/). Doing so allows students to receive important information from the closest Embassy or Consulate regarding safety conditions in their host country. STEP also helps the Embassy contact your student in the event of an emergency and makes it easier for family and friends to contact them as well.
- All students are required to register their travel information with LIM's MyTrips service. This service centralizes student travel information and makes it easy for staff and administrators to reach out to travelers no matter where they are in the event of an emergency. In addition, registered travelers will automatically receive a summary of health, safety, and cultural information about the destination country(s) upon entering their travel information. Students will be provided with information on how to register in the system prior to their departure.
- Students should visit https://travel.state.gov/ to learn about the American Embassy or Consulate which will be closest to them in their host country. Students should also keep the Embassy/Consulate’s address and emergency contact information with them at all times.
- All students are automatically enrolled in International SOS (ISOS), a membership service that provides assistance in the event of an emergency. Your student will be provided with an International SOS membership card prior to departure, which provides information on LIM College’s dedicated telephone line and membership number. Your student should reach out to International SOS prior to travel to learn about any advice to consider before traveling to their host country. In addition, students should contact ISOS in the event of a personal emergency, natural disaster, or civil unrest as they will be able to provide guidance on what steps the student should take to ensure their immediate safety and can provide assistance with arranging evacuation if necessary. Students can access International SOS information by phone, online at https://www.internationalsos.com/members_home/login/login.cfm, or through the ISOS mobile app. There is no cost to students for contacting ISOS for advice or assistance.
- All students are required to complete International SOS online training modules regarding health and safety while traveling prior to their time overseas. Students will be provided with information about how to create an account within the ISOS Training Hub and to complete these modules.
- All students are required to attend a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation prior to departure. The date and location of the Orientation will be communicated to your student well in advance so that they can plan to attend. During the Orientation, the Study Abroad Coordinator, Faculty/Staff Program Leaders, other LIM College administrators will provide information on safety precautions that your student should take while abroad. It is your student’s responsibility to understand these measures and to set up a time to meet individually with the Study Abroad Coordinator if they have any questions.
- The Study Abroad Coordinator and other LIM College administrators closely monitor the Department of State’s alerts regarding travel for US citizens abroad, as well as the advice provided by International SOS. Any program that is deemed unsafe by the College administration will be immediately cancelled and students will be assisted with making plans to return home.
- In the event of an emergency, your student should do the following:
- Obey all instructions from local police and emergency forces.
- If students are not at their home, they should return to their accommodation (if it is safe to do so) and remain there. They should contact International SOS if they are away from their apartment/residence hall/hotel as this service will be able to assist them with finding a safe way to get back to where they are staying.
- Your student should contact their family and the Study Abroad Coordinator as soon as possible to let them know that they are safe and to provide information on their current location. Remind your student that it is very important for him or her to check their LIM email address regularly. This is where the College will reach out to students to make contact and provide information on the next steps to take.
- If you are seeking information on safety conditions in your student’s host country, the resources below provide objective, fact-based information. Be wary of relying on the media, which can sometimes provide a skewed or overstated picture of conditions abroad.
- Department of State: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html
- International SOS: https://www.internationalsos.com/private/ConsumerPortal/ (Your student must log in with their Membership ID number. This information is on the International SOS card; please email the Study Abroad Coordinator to ask for a card if you would like to log in and your student has not yet received the membership information.)
- All LIM College students are required to be covered by comprehensive health insurance while abroad. LIM College’s insurance plan, provided through Gallagher Student Health, covers students while they are abroad. If students are enrolled in the College’s plan there is no need to purchase additional insurance. If a student's current insurance does not cover medical treatment and services while overseas, along with emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains, he or she will need to purchase additional insurance. Please contact the Study Abroad Coordinator for additional information on this topic.
- Students should contact International SOS before traveling regarding any prescriptions/medication with which they are planning to travel. ISOS will be able to provide information on how to bring their medication abroad. (For example, some medications which are commonly prescribed in the U.S. are illegal in Europe and can cause problems for your student at the border if they are not prepared beforehand.) In addition, ISOS can assist your student with getting required medication and equipment while abroad.
- Students should be prepared to cover all medical costs while abroad. It is recommended that the student make arrangements to do so prior to departure from the US; this could include steps like acquiring an emergency credit card to carry while overseas.
Health emergency procedures
- In the event of a health emergency, your student should do the following:
- Contact International SOS immediately to find a healthcare facility in the vicinity that has English-speaking personnel and accepts your student’s insurance.
- Contact the Study Abroad Coordinator as soon as possible to inform them of the emergency and to update them on the current situation. The Study Abroad Coordinator will work closely with your student, in-country partners, and the LIM College administration to determine the best course of action.
- All students are responsible for paying for their healthcare costs. Students are advised to ensure that their insurance abroad covers a range of situations and to have access to funds in case of an emergency. In extreme situations LIM College may cover the cost of your student’s emergency medical care. In such cases your student will be billed for the cost of the care and must reimburse LIM College in an expeditious manner.
FAQ & Resources for Parents
Here are the answers to many of the common questions that parents have about studying abroad.
Can I speak to LIM College staff about my student’s study abroad experience before, during, or after her program?
- Like all higher education institutions, LIM College is bound by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and our staff are unable to share any student’s academic information with parents or family (including, but not limited to, their study abroad experience, financial aid, and course registration) without a FERPA release form on file. If you would like to be able to speak to College staff about your student, please ask your student to email the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a release form, which your student will then need to complete and submit.
What is the application and selection process?
- LIM study abroad programs require that students submit a hard-copy application from to the Study Abroad Coordinator. The form for student programs and the submissions deadlines can be found on that program’s page of the website. Search by country here: https://www.limcollege.edu/life-at-lim/study-abroad. Deadlines are often six to nine months in advance of a program, so encourage your student to plan ahead if he or she is interested in applying to study abroad.
- LIM College’s study abroad programs are competitive as more applications are typically received than there are spots available. The following factors are considered when the Office of Study Abroad selects candidates to participate in LIM College’s study abroad programs:
- Personal statement/essay: the instructions for the personal statement are included in the application packet. Original, succinct essays with well-thought out content will be rated highly.
- Interview with Study Abroad Coordinator: this is required for all semester-long exchange programs and some short-term programs. Students should be prepared to speak about why they are a good candidate for the program to which they are applying.
- GPA: Your student’s LIM College GPA is taken into consideration.
- Demonstrated interest: Your student can increase their chance of being selected by attending information sessions and/or setting up a time to meet one-on-one with the Study Abroad Coordinator.
Will my student earn credit for their program abroad? Which types of courses can my student register for? How many credits will my student earn abroad?
- All LIM College study abroad programs involve credited coursework that should count toward your student’s degree. The number of credits and flexibility of the course(s) completed is dependent on which program your student is doing,. Please see the individual program pages for more information. Your student should also contact the Study Abroad Coordinator for program-specific information.
- Students are encouraged to meet with their Academic Advisor as soon as they have been accepted to a study abroad program in order to discuss how study abroad fits into their graduation plan. The Study Abroad Coordinator can assist your student with course selection, evaluation of transferability, and registration abroad, but is unable to tell your student if a given course will count towards their degree or not. It is your student’s responsibility to meet with his or her Academic Advisor to find out how the courses taken abroad will fit into their degree and academic plans.
- Semester-long programs:
- All students in semester-long programs are required to register for and complete a minimum of the equivalent of 12 credits while they are abroad. Your student will be asked to complete a Course Proposal Form with the Study Abroad Coordinator as part of preparations to study abroad. Remind your student that they may only register for courses that they have had pre-approved and they must immediately report any changes to their registration abroad to the Study Abroad Coordinator. A failure to do so may result in courses not transferring back and/or a loss of financial aid for the semester.
- Students may take an online class at LIM while they are abroad. This may count toward the required 12 credits, but this is dependent on the program and visa the student is studying under. Your student should inquire with the Study Abroad Coordinator if he or she has any questions about the requirements of the program and/or visa.
- Students must earn the equivalent of a D or higher in any course in order for it to transfer back to LIM College. LIM students who participate in an exchange program are bound by the same rules and expectations as a matriculated student at their host institution and LIM administrators do not have the jurisdiction to intercede on matters regarding grades or academic performance.
- All grades from semester-long exchange programs will transfer back to LIM College as Pass/Fail and will not factor into your student’s GPA.
- Short-term programs:
- The exact course(s) and number of credits that a student takes through a short-term program is usually pre-determined. For specific information about this please refer to your student’s program page.
- Your student must complete all parts of the course associated with their short-term study abroad program in order to receive credit, including required assignments, exams, travel, and online activity. Failure to complete any one of these parts or dropping out of a study abroad program early may result in no credit being granted. Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of their course.
- The course(s) that are part of your student’s program may be taught by LIM faculty, faculty from a partner institution abroad, industry professionals, or a combination of these. All students are expected to uphold the same standards of behavior that would be asked for in a typical on-campus class, regardless of where their course is taking place or who is teaching it. If it becomes clear that students are not meeting these behavioral requirements they will need to meet with LIM faculty and/or staff to discuss their behavior and may be subject to disciplinary consequences. In the most serious cases this includes being asked to return home at their own expense.
- Short-term program courses may either: transfer back to LIM as pass/fail and will not affect your student’s GPA; or, if the credit is granted by LIM College, appear as a graded course on your student’s transcript and therefore be integrated into their GPA. Please ask your student to reach out to the Study Abroad Coordinator for clarity on this issue if he or she is unsure which type of credits will be received abroad.
What expenses will my student be charged for their program abroad? Can my student get a refund if they decide to opt out of the program after accepting an offer to participate? Are there scholarships available for study abroad?
- Students are encouraged to meet with Student Financial Services as soon as they have been accepted to a study abroad program. This ensures that students fully understand the payment process for a particular program, as well as their financial obligations for their time abroad.
- Semester-long programs
- Students who participate in LIM College exchange programs will be billed for full-time tuition as if they were spending the semester on campus at LIM. Any financial aid and/or scholarships that your student normally receives should apply during a semester abroad. Your student may pay for tuition in the way that tuition is normally paid for, including with loans, online, or through a payment plan.
- Students are responsible for paying for their housing abroad. They will be billed directly by their housing provider, which could be their landlord, their host school, a student apartment company, or another provider. All payments for housing should be paid directly to the housing provider.
- Students sometimes assume that living abroad will be more costly than a typical semester in New York. However, depending on where your student is studying, the cost of living abroad can actually be less than it is in New York. Although the cost of room and board for semester-long programs is often comparable to that of a semester on campus, there are some additional costs to consider. These include airfare, visa fees, transportation costs, and entertainment and travel costs. You can find more information about the estimated additional costs on your student’s program page.
- Short-term programs
- Your student will be provided with a payment schedule for their program.
- Payments may be made in person or online. If your student would like to pay in-person, he or she should go to the Student Financial Services office on the third floor of the Townhouse at any time Monday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Students may pay by cash, check, or money order. Checks and money orders must be made payable to LIM College. Alternatively, students may pay online through the following link: www.limcollege.edu/pay. Once they have done so, students should email the Study Abroad Coordinator with the receipt (if they pay in person) or the agreement number (if they pay online) that they will receive once they submit their payment so that we can make sure the funds are applied correctly.
- Once your student has communicated to the Study Abroad Coordinator that the offer to participate in an LIM study abroad program has been officially accepted and the deposit has been submitted, the Office of Study Abroad will begin submitting funds to secure a plane ticket, hotel rooms, and site entrance tickets, among other items. If your student chooses to opt out of the program after payment, LIM College cannot guarantee a refund. (Hotels and airlines often have very strict cancelation policies and penalties.) It is a good idea to remind your student that he or she should be sure that they are committed to the program when they accept.
- There are both institutional and external scholarships available for study abroad. Your student will receive information about LIM College scholarships via email from Student Financial Services and should be encouraged to submit complete applications in a timely manner. The Study Abroad Coordinator will also provide information on available national scholarships.
Does my student need to acquire a visa?
Whether or not your student needs to secure a visa in order to study abroad depends on their host country and the length of the program.
- Semester-long programs: Most students are required to obtain a visa prior to departing the U.S. for semester-long programs. Your student will be provided with more detailed information on what documents he or she will need to collect and how to submit applications. Your student should be aware that the visa process can be long, so he or she needs to ensure that they stay in control of the process and complete the steps in a timely manner.
- Short-term programs: Most short-term programs do not require a student to obtain a visa. The Study Abroad Coordinator will be in touch with your student following acceptance to the program with more information. In addition, details on this topic can be found on your student’s program page.
- Non-U.S. citizens: If your student is not a U.S. citizen, the student may be responsible for completing additional steps in order to obtain a visa or may need to obtain a visa when their United States-citizen peers do not. Instruct your student to reach out to the Study Abroad Coordinator well in advance of his or her travel to ensure that any necessary visa procedures have been completed.