While an international experience is an exciting opportunity, there are many things to consider when planning to take your child or family with you.
- The age of your child may affect resources available on-site as well as the child's option to participate in program activities.
- Extra costs will be incurred if family members come abroad with you. Some potential examples may include international health insurance, visas, immunizations, housing, child care, and flights. Amounts vary depending on location. These additional costs are not covered by financial aid.
- You are likely to have extra planning responsibilities such as obtaining international health insurance, visa, housing, and other necessities that may be provided to you by the program, but will likely not be provided to your child or family.
- In each instance, the student's particular case will need to be reviewed for final approval with the appropriate program sponsor.
- While studying abroad, students often form close bonds with fellow participants as well as host country nationals. Many student parents have experienced these rich connections. At the same time some student parents have found that responsibilities to their family have taken precedence over connecting with fellow participants and host country nationals.
- Many study abroad programs have overnight excursions included in the program. It may not be feasible to bring your child or family on these excursions.
Depending on the culture, as well as your own personal circumstance, there will be a variety of responses to you traveling with a family or child. Being a single parent will be perceived differently in other cultures and may vary if you are a man or woman. This is something for you to reflect on, and perhaps seek input about, before your experience abroad.
Many programs should be able to help you find appropriate housing. Alternatively you may have to find housing on your own before the program begins.
You will need to purchase tickets for your child or family. It is likely that your family will not be able to participate in the group flight because it may already be factored into the program fee.
Passports, Visas, & Immunizations
Each family member will need a passport and a visa for entry into the country. Depending on the country, immunizations may also be needed. Program providers usually assist in obtaining a student visa for the program participant. Also, some countries have other requirements for entry when minors are involved and not traveling with both parents. Be sure to thoroughly check on requirements.
Schooling & Child Care
You will need to provide schooling or child care for your child while in classes if you do not have another family member with you on the program. This will incur extra costs. Also, the level to which the program provider can assist in finding child care or entering your child into school will vary depending on location.