Ohio University

Parents

Useful Information for Parents

Click the link below to go directly to information about the following:

Costs, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

Health & Safety

Keeping in Touch

Supporting Your Student

Costs, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

Cost

The cost varies depending on the program your student has chosen. If the program is an OHIO program, please look at the program page to find specific cost information. If it is a provider program, costs can be found on the provider's website.

Financial Aid

Ohio University financial aid may be applied to Ohio University-sponsored study abroad and exchange programs, programs offered through the Ohio International Consortium (OIC), and programs offered through affiliated third party providers such as:

American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)

Academic Programs International (API)

CEA Study Abroad (CEA)

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)

CISabroad (CIS)

International Studies Abroad (ISA)

USAC

Scholarships

Check out our Funding page for information about scholarships.

Health and Safety

What the Office of Global Opportunities does to keep your student safe:

  • Monitors security list-serve and State Department warnings daily.
  • Requires faculty directors to submit a trip itinerary and an Emergency Action Plan, which details in-country resources in the event of an emergency.
  • Maintains a 24-hour emergency line with a staff member on-call at all times (contact 740-593-4583 if you need to get in touch with us).
  • Ensures that each participant has an Emergency Contact Card before they leave the U.S., which supplies contact information for their program director and other in-country resources (police, hospitals, etc.) in the event of an emergency.
  • Requires students to register with the U.S. embassy in their country. The embassy can provide assistance to students in many emergency situations.
  • Enrolls students in mandatory international health insurance for the duration of their time abroad.

Health Insurance

Everyone participating in an Ohio University sponsored education abroad experience is required to enroll in a mandatory international health insurance policy identified by the Office of Global Opportunities. Click here for more information on the policy and its coverages. Those students traveling on a US-based program must verify that they are enrolled in a valid domestic insurance policy.

Applying for a Passport/Visa

It is recommended that at least one parent or support person have a valid U.S. passport in case of emergency. If you need more information on how to apply for a passport please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Supporting your student

Culture Shock and Adjustment

What is culture shock? It is not quite as "shocking" or as sudden as the term may imply. Basically, it is the realization that many of your presumptions about the world and the way to get along may not always be accurate in another culture. It is also a deep and sometimes disturbing recognition that you are far from home, and you feel a growing sense that the rules you have learned your whole life do not apply. The "shock" is not a single moment but rather a growing emotional, physical, and mental awareness.

It is important to remember that this shock is part of your student's adaptation and a very normal process. These are feelings that are commonly experienced by anyone going through a major transition. Even those who regularly travel abroad can experience this, it is important that your student does not feel ashamed about their reactions to new situations. Acknowledge them and try not to let the negative feelings cloud their entire experience.

Phases of Culture Shock Experienced Overseas

Honeymoon Phase:

Your student will have great expectations and a positive mindset. Anything new is intriguing and exciting; new sights, new tastes, new smells, etc. Early problems are usually masked by the many tasks and adjustments that your student has to make. This phase may last from a few days to a few weeks.

Rejection Phase:

Your student will begin struggle to perform daily tasks because of the differences in language, housing, friends, or schoolwork. Your student may become aggressive and begin to complain about the new country and culture. Your student may begin to reject the new country and only notice the bad things that bother them.

Regression Phase:

Your student may begin to indulge in their own culture by only speaking English, eating food from home, and only socializing with people from his/her own culture. He/She may continue to complain about every aspect of the new country/culture and only remember the good things about their home country/culture. They may begin to remember their home as a wonderful place where nothing ever went wrong and often question why they left. Your student may have feelings of anxiety, sadness, and homesickness and may be affected by these feelings through compulsive eating/drinking, change in sleep patterns, or irritability.

Adaptation Phase:

Your student will become more comfortable with the language and customs on the new country. He/She will become accustomed to the culture and begin to realize that no country is that much better than another, just different. Your student will become more comfortable with the new place, the new food, the new customs and will find their sense of humor begin to return.

Reverse/Return Phase: Symptoms Experienced Upon Return to the U.S.

Your student may feel depressed and miss the country and friends they have left behind. He/She may feel that no one understands or cares about what they have experienced. Your student may come home with different perspectives and views about their culture and lifestyle. He/She might feel like a stranger in their home and become irritated and critical others and American culture.

Remember…Everyone is Different:

Not everyone will experience all of the phases of culture shock. Some will experience the phases in different orders and for different lengths of time.

How a Parent Can Help: While Your Student is Abroad

  • Listen to their exciting stories and remember these for the future when times may become more challenging for them.
  • It is important for you to be supportive. Listen carefully and try to find out exactly what is upsetting your student.
  • Make a suggestion for your student to talk with the on-site staff. They have experience in helping students adjust during the initial period abroad.
  • Listen to your student’s stories and congratulate them on adapting to their new surroundings and culture.
  • As a parent, you may not understand what your student is going through. It may be enough to be aware that culture shock exists and that it probably will affect you student in some way.

How a Parent Can Help: Once Your Student has Returned

  • Listen to their exciting stories and remember these for the future when times may become more challenging for them.
  • It is important for you to be supportive. Listen carefully and try to find out exactly what is upsetting your student.
  • Make a suggestion for your student to talk with the on-site staff. They have experience in helping students adjust during the initial period abroad.
  • Listen to your student's stories and congratulate them on adapting to their new surroundings and culture.
  • As a parent, you may not understand what your student is going through. It may be enough to be aware that culture shock exists and that it probably will affect you student in some way.
  • Listen to your student's stories without cutting them short. Your student may want to talk for hours about their experience abroad. Many of their friends will not have the time or patience for this, so your student may rely on you.
  • Encourage your student to stay in contact with their friends abroad.
  • Make a suggestion for your student to get involved with international activities on their college campus once they return.
  • Your student may come back feeling more independent than before they left. Be patient and open-minded and look for ways to accept this new independence. Rules that were in place before they left may need to be adjusted.