Supporting Your Son/Daughter
Administrative and Emotional Support: Stateside & Overseas
Your son/daughter will be continuously supported by the Office of International Programs from the moment they walk in our door for their first advisement, to long after they have returned from their study abroad. In addition, while your son/daughter is overseas, not only will they have our and their family's support back in the States, but they will have the support of their host program's international student administrative and support staff; we call these people our partners. They are our partners because we maintain strong communication with them before, during and after your son/daughter's experience abroad.
Tips for Parents in Supporting Your Son/Daughter
Before and During Study Abroad
• Maintain communication with reasonable frequency but not on a daily basis.
• Keep the program calendar in mind — if you haven't heard from your son or daughter, it may be because he or she is on a program excursion or traveling during a break.
• Review information (above) on culture shock, so that you can help provide support if your son or daughter struggles with the cultural transition.
• Encourage your son or daughter to refer to the Study Abroad Handbook for similar resources or practical information required for participation or return to GW.
• Stay in touch with the program sponsor concerning security precautions and conditions abroad.
• Monitor online information and advisories from the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
• Contact the Office of International Programs should you or your son or daughter need assistance with any aspect of the program abroad or matters on campus.
• Keep a journal of events and celebrations that occur during the semester or year to share with your son or daughter when he or she returns home.
• Consider a visit during the program break (but please not while classes are in session).
After Study Abroad
• Expect your son or daughter to have a period of transition upon return, sometimes as long as the period he or she was abroad.
• Review the information about “reverse culture shock” (above).
• Continue your enthusiasm for your son or daughter's experience in the months after he or she returns home — show interest in the photos, stories, and memories to help keep the experience, and the reflection and learning, alive.
• Encourage your son or daughter to participate in the Office of International Programs’ returnees’ retreat and conference for support and resources upon returning to campus.
• Encourage your son or daughter to resolve any remaining course approvals to prevent delay in the transfer of credit.
• Don't open transcripts received from abroad — these may have been inadvertently sent to your son or daughter rather than to the Office of International Programs: check with your son or daughter first to determine if he or she requested a copy.
• Forward any program-related materials to your son or daughter for processing on campus.
• Contact the Office of International Programs, should you or your son or daughter need assistance with the return to campus.