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Study Abroad

Parents & Family

Dear Families,

It is a pleasure to work with your student in preparation for their academic experience abroad. Regardless if this is your student's first or fiftieth time abroad, you may have mixed feelings; please know you are not alone. We invite you to read the Letting Go letter written by a DU parent, outlining the DU philosophy of student growth and resilience abroad, and we hope for your support in that mission. Recall the adjustment your student made when they first arrived at DU, and now think of them today and their growth points. Study abroad is similar but on a greater scale. There may be moments that will feel uncomfortable for your student. (In fact, this is an expected outcome of studying abroad). We are proud to report that 98% of students reported higher levels of self-confidence and independence post-study abroad compared with 61% before going.

Your student has entered into a selective admissions process for study abroad. Students must demonstrate that they have pro-actively thought through the academic components and other challenges of living in a unique foreign environment.

The OIE has also developed comprehensive pre-departure materials to set your student up for success abroad. For example, all students:

  • Receive information through their DU Passport account, plus the Study Abroad Handbook.
  • Participate in mandatory Know Before You Go: Logistics & Wellbeing Abroad orientation
  • Contact International SOS for a mandatory call to discuss with a travel nurse and/or security expert re: vaccines, medications and healthcare and security abroad.

Students are also encouraged to:

  • Reach out to our Recent Returnees and OIE alumni
  • Attend the specialized Regional Orientation, per program or region
  • Contact our office with any questions that may arise throughout this pre-departure process

Though you may have many questions, your first point of contact should always be your student. We believe study abroad starts well before setting foot on foreign soil. The OIE has set the expectation that students invest in their study abroad preparations from adhering to deadlines, navigating the visa process, attending orientations, talking to past participants, and staying abreast of current events in the region.

Except in the case of emergency situations, per the OIE's Parental Notification Policy, DU's Office of International Education communicates directly with students, rather than parents, in order to empower them and fully engage them in this important process. The best way for you to be involved is to encourage your student to invest in and shape their own experience.

Thank you for encouraging and supporting your student. We enthusiastically welcome them into this process. It is our sincere hope that their term abroad has a lasting impact beyond the time spent out of the country.

The Office of International Education Resources

Academic and Financial Policies

For complete information, see the DU Study Abroad Policies.

Study Abroad Program Types and Options

For questions about what study abroad options are available to your student, click here.

Health and Safety

For information about health and safety abroad, read the Health and Safety pages of the Study Abroad Handbook.

Country Guides:





Lund, Sweden

New Zealand


Returnee Resources for Families

The Return Home: Readjusting to Life in the U.S.

Twelve tips for Welcoming Returnees Home