Staying in contact with your son or daughter while they are abroad is important and with a little bit of creative planning can be very affordable. The fastest and least expensive way to communicate is via email. Most sites where the students will be studying have internet access or internet cafÃ©s nearby. Prepaid phone cards can be purchased by students once they arrive at their destination. Check with your wireless provider to see if you can use your cell phone overseas and what it will cost. I-Phones may work but the charges can be steep. Just remember that when communicating by telephone that there may be a considerable time difference, so plan accordingly. Your student would most likely enjoy getting cards, letters, and packages through the mail. Check with the Post Office, FedEx, or other carriers for rates and approximate times of delivery to the country where your student with be studying.
The cost of an Off-Campus term depends on each specific program. In general the cost is similar to a semester at Geneva. There may be extra expenses, however, to be covered by the student (i.e. Travel expense, Travel Documents, etc.).
It is important that any student who wishes to take advantage of off-campus study opportunities meet with financial aid personnel at least one semester prior to the beginning of the program to discuss his or her particular situation. Geneva College has adopted the following policy concerning financial aid for students studying off-campus:
For all of the programs listed on this web site, students will remain eligible for 100% of all qualifying state and federal aid as well as 100% of any outside scholarships. For students receiving Geneva financial aid they will retain 60% for Fall Semester programs and 40% for Spring Semester programs. However, 100% of Geneva aid is applied to Geneva's own programs, Semester in Rome and Semester in Scotland.
The minimum cost of Geneva′s off-campus programs is the same as Geneva College′s regular semester tuition/room & board plus a non-refundable $300.00 fee. If the cost of the chosen off-campus program is higher than Geneva′s tuition/room & board rate the student will be charged the full cost of the program chosen, plus the non-refundable $300.00 fee. In most cases transportation costs are extra.
Travel Safety/Online Security Advisories
The safety and security of your son or daughter during their time abroad is of the utmost importance. And while complete safety is not a guarantee, the Crossroads office in cooperation with each specific program will do all within our means to provide the best possible experience for your son or daughter. We provide safety information at our pre-departure orientation and each program also provides specific on-site orientation. Click on Travel Information for helpful resources about safety and other tips while living abroad.
Passports are required for all programs outside of the United States. If your student does not yet have his or her passport they should obtain one IMMEDIATELY, as the process may take several weeks. Information and applications for a U.S. passport can be found at www.travel.state.gov and click on Passports.
We advise that one or both parents or guardians obtain a passport as well in the event of an emergency or to plan a trip to visit your son or daughter.
Remind your son or daughter that when packing for their semester abroad that what they pack they must carry. Pack only what is necessary. Check to see what the climate will be like at the site for the length of the term in order to pack the appropriate clothing. Laundry facilities will be available, so pack less than you think you need. Power outlets may be different in other countries than in the U.S., so check to see about converters or possibly purchasing small electrical appliances in country. Check out www.studyabroad.com/parents-guide/ and click on packing tips. Refer to any handbook information provided to you by your individual program for more specific packing instructions.
Although most countries have pharmacies to fill specific prescriptions, it may be a good idea to obtain enough prescription medication to last the entirety of the term abroad. Students should bring with the copies of all prescription medications. Please ask your doctor for further information.
The health and safety of your son or daughter is of the utmost importance. A portion of students′ off-campus study administrative fee goes to purchase health and accident insurance through HTH Insurance. This company provides international health coverage with no deductible or restrictions for pre-existing conditions. In addition it offers coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.
Note: Your student will receive supplemental insurance through their International Student Identification Card (ISIC) and if your student is enrolled in Geneva′s Insurance plan.
We advise students to plan a budget for how much spending money will be needed for the semester abroad. Take into consideration expenditures for excursions, entertainment, transportation, etc. While traveling they should keep all forms of money on their person and not in their checked luggage. However, it is a good idea to carry their money in different locations on their person. ATM or debit/check cards are known to give the most current and best exchange rates and can be used at most national banks or ATM machines, but know that there may be fee charged for use of the ATM. Also the use of online banking can help your student track exactly what they are spending. Travelers Checks and Major Credit cards can also be used. It is recommended that the students travel with at least the equivalent of $100 USD in the currency of the host country to get started. Notify your student′s bank before travel so that they do not become suspicious of bank activity in a foreign country.
Keep copies of your son or daughter′s flight plans, itineraries, and schedules so that you can know when your student is traveling and where they can be contacted.
Send along some photographs of family and friends to help with any homesickness. As your student is abroad life back home continues on. It may be fun to keep a journal of family celebrations and events to share with your student when they return.