Supporting Your Son/Daughter
Suggestions on Supporting
Your Son or Daughter:
Before, During and After Study Abroad
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.