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Parent Information

Important Message on Study Abroad Safety 

November 20, 2015

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions regarding Study Abroad Safety. (pdf)

Study Abroad Information for Parents

Dear Saint Mary's Parent,

Welcome to the Global Education Office of CWIL. We hope you have had the opportunity to review some of the exciting study abroad programs that Saint Mary’s provides. Study abroad is a distinguished tradition that Saint Mary’s has been building for over 30 years. Our first programs were established in Rome, Italy, and Maynooth, Ireland, in the 1970s. Since the ‘70s, we have expanded international education by offering a greater range of locations, formats, and program lengths. In addition, the college supports intercultural learning across the curriculum through travel grants designed for our students, faculty, and staff. We are pleased that your daughter is interested in becoming part of this tradition. We also understand that her participation may raise concerns for you regarding health, safety, academic progress, financial aid packaging, and personal development.

With regard to your daughter’s health and safety abroad, we have taken many steps to evaluate the safety and well-being of our students. Concern for student safety is now—and has always been—a primary part of our standard procedures and practices. As members of NAFSA: The Association of International Educators, we support NAFSA’s health and safety criteria. Please give your attention to the following points in assisting our efforts to maintain safe and healthy programs:

  1. Health insurance: Saint Mary's provides HTH Worldwide Health Insurance Plan for every study abroad student in Saint Mary's programs.
  2. Contact Information: Please keep the Program Faculty Coordinator and the Global Education Office apprised of any change in your contact information while your daughter is abroad. Being able to reach parents and guardians quickly is important.
  3. Communication: We are in regular contact with our overseas staff and partners, and we monitor students’ well-being, program status, and international conditions to the best of our abilities. Parents will be contacted in the event of an emergency. In addition, we ask for your cooperation in communicating with our office if your daughter expresses an incident which affects her health, safety, academic progress, or general well-being while she is abroad.

We are aware that finances play a large role in the decision to study abroad. Please see our Financing Study Abroad website for financial aid information and policies.

Parent involvement continues to be a part of educational and social development in study abroad. Students attend pre-departure meetings before leaving campus that address many of the questions and concerns that arise in the months prior to departing. The general contents of these meetings are on our website under Before You Leave. Click here for details of Saint Mary's Study Abroad Emergency Response Plan for study abroad students. In addition, we have provided a resource list of articles for parents that describes culture shock and the re-entry process, in order for both students and their families to be cognizant of the phases of adjustment both While Abroad and Returning to the USA.

Once again I invite you to contact us with any questions or concerns. In case of an after-hours emergency please contact the Saint Mary’s Security Department at (574) 284-5000. If you would like printed copies of any materials, please contact us.

Kind regards,
Dr. Alice Yang
Associate Director, International Education
Global Education Office
Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership
syang@saintmarys.edu



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