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Bobcats without Borders

Checklist for Parents

As a parent, it may be tempting to handle the logistics for your student such as making advising inquiries, making travel arrangements, or even applying for the student visa. However, these tasks should all be completed by the student. Students are automatically protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (a.k.a. FERPA), which will not allow university staff to discuss your student's participation with you, even if your student is still a minor. For other tasks such as applying for a student visa, authorities may only allow the applicant to apply in person. However, as your student is preparing to go abroad and will need a certain level of self-sufficiency and independence, we recommend that you encourage your student to handle such tasks without your intervention — even in frustrating circumstances — while you observe their personal growth throughout the process.

There are a few things we encourage parents to do. Here are some things you should take care of:

  Apply for your own passport

You might want to visit your student while abroad, but we recommend not arriving until after your student has settled in. We do not recommend arriving with the student at the beginning of the program because of the busy-ness of the program and because of the distraction of visitors.

You should have a valid passport in case of emergencies abroad.

  ❑ Bookmark / save all program guides  

IOP: Ask your student or the provider for a link to the program guide

UCEAP: UCEAP program guides

  ❑ Review the health / travel insurance plans / options for students  

IOP: Ask the program provider about health insurance

UCEAP: UCEAP insurance

  ❑ Plan how your student will contact you upon arrival  

❑ When?

❑ By phone, email, Skype, other?

❑ Plan how often you will communicate after arrival

  ❑ Acquire travel itineraries from your student  

❑ Airline itinerary

❑ Hotel itinerary

❑ Travel plans independent of the program

  ❑ Make a copy of all of your student's travel documents to keep at home  

❑ Passport information page

❑ Student visa (if applicable)

❑ Acceptance letter (if applicable)

❑ You might consider copying credit card information.