The Education Abroad Office encourages parents or guardians to be supportive of their student's interest to study abroad. However, students must take primary responsibility throughout the study abroad process, this includes communicating with you about their study abroad plans and the cost of the program. We invite you to peruse our website in full, but the resources to the left may be of particular interest to parents (Health and Safety, Finances, and In Case of Emergency).
The Education Abroad Office provides the following support to students going abroad:
- Students receive comprehensive, professional advising prior to applying. Advising is based on individual student’s academic and personal needs.
- Liaison with the Registrar’s Office
- Liaison with the Financial Aid Office
- The Academic Registrar evaluates all transcripts from overseas study and translates them back into the UMass system so the credits are counted as “residence credits.” The Academic Registrar can also approve Gen Ed course equivalency for students.
- Maintain contact with students while they are away. Staff members provide support for students and monitor world events for their health and safety
- Provides orientations and/or Pre-Departure Conference for students going abroad pertaining to specific counties, cross-cultural issues, and health and safety abroad (the Pre-Departure Conference is required).
- Conducts gathering for returning students that allows them to share their experiences and discuss the challenges of returning home
Our office is available to guide your student along in the study abroad process but we do rely on students to do their part in the study abroad process. Your student is responsible for the following:
- Where and when to study abroad
- Our advisors meet with students to direct them towards the best approved program for them personally and academically, but ultimately, your student will make the decision on where and when to study abroad.
- Program-specific details
- We may not be able to answer every question you or your student has. Some questions may be answered best by a specific program provider or a host institution. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the program provider or the host institution with particular questions such as living arrangements, courses offered, transportation to/from airport, visa information, etc.
- Our staff can provide guidance on visa requirements, but since visa processes change so frequently and requirements for a visa depend on individual consulates, individual citizenship, length and the nature of the program, it is best for students to confirm visa requirements with the consulate. If you cannot find information, contact the consulate, or program provider or host institution directly.
- Course equivalencies
- For questions about course equivalencies, students must contact their academic advisor(s). The Education Abroad Office can advise students about whether a course meets General Education requirements but for other questions about course equivalencies (e.g., major, minor), students must communicate with their academic advisor(s).
- Financial Aid
- Students who receive financial aid must attend a Financial Aid for Study Abroad Information Session. Specific questions about your student’s financial aid should be directed at the UMass Financial Aid Office. If you would like to have access to your student’s information while they are abroad, it is the student’s responsibility to list you as a “FERPA” contact. Your student can do this on SPIRE, by clicking on “My Personal Information” > FERPA Privacy Waiver>Add a Designee.