Pointers for Parents

Prior to Departure:

  • Talk to your student about goals and expectations in studying off-campus.
  • Discuss any fears or apprehensions you or your student may have.
  • Encourage your student to take responsibility for all pre-departure logistics and paperwork.
  • Review Health and Safety information.
  • Make sure your student has adequate health coverage. Review the St. Olaf off-campus insurance policy and what it covers for students.
  • Talk to your student about responsible use of alcohol while off-campus.
  • Help your student organize his or her finances for the time off-campus.
  • Confirm that your student’s passport is valid for at least six months after their intended return date.
  • Ensure that one parent/guardian has a valid passport as well, in case on an emergency requiring travel to join your student.

During the Off-Campus Program:

  • Encourage independence.
  • Encourage your student to create networks and meet local people.
  • Avoid too-frequent contact via email, texting, or Skype to allow your student the best opportunity to integrate with the host environment.
  • Remind your student of your support.

After Returning Home:

  • Recognize that your student has likely had a life-affecting experience.
  • Let your student share their experience as much as he or she desires.