Frequently Asked Questions .. for parents!
My son/daughter wants to study abroad, what do we do?
Go to the basic steps web page to read about what your son or daughter will need to do for the study abroad process. This should give you a good idea about what you can do to help.
Who is responsible for my son/daughter while away?
Students are responsible for themselves. They are adults, but we are here in case they need anything. Also, most of our partners have staff whose main purpose is to help international students. If your son/daughter is participating in a third party program (such as ISA, CEA, API, CIEE, etc), there are almost always coordinators on site to assist.
Who will pick up my son/daughter up at the airport?
Some host institutions will send someone to pick up your son/daughter at the airport. Others provide detailed instructions on how to get where they need to go via train, taxi, or bus. It just depends on the partner and the time of travel. Be prepared, just in case something doesn't go as planned (have phone numbers and addresses on hand).
Where will my son/daughter be staying while abroad?
Depending on the university, some students stay in dorms, some stay with a host family, and others have a choice between the two. Students may even be staying in an apartment or hostel. Again, it just depends on the program. Once your son or daughter has chosen their program, you can find the housing and other information on the study abroad website, www.eiu.edu/~edabroad; students>program search>search by country, term, or program type. Next, find the name of the program your son/daughter has chosen and click on the link. A lot of the basic information for the program can be found here such as student life, housing, budget information, application materials, length of stay, visa requirements, etc.
Where will my son/daughter receive health care if necessary?
Should students need to seek medical attention, they are given an international insurance card through our office and HTH World Wide who has providers all over the world. Before students leave, they should look into where the closest provider will be in proximity to their host institution. A great resource to look at for information like this is the Department of State website, which has availability of hospitals, entry requirements, etc. listed specific to each country.
Is health care safe and/or similar to what we offer here?
Should a problem arise that your son/daughter needs serious medical attention that cannot be provided in their host city/country, HTH Worldwide will have them medically evacuated to an adequate facility.
Does my son/daughter need a visa? If so, how do we get one?
Students are responsible for acquiring their own visas. The Office of Study Abroad only provides general information, as visa regulations and procedures are constantly changing. More information about visas is in the basic steps.
How are grades processed? Is it going to affect their transcripts?
Grades are processed for independent programs after we receive the students' transcripts from their host institution. We then send the transcripts over to the International Admissions Office who processes them and sends them over to Records, where they are entered into the PAWS system. It can take up 2-3 months for grades to show up in PAWS and on a transcript. For this reason, we don’t normally recommend that students study abroad during their last semester before graduation. Grades received during study abroad are recorded on the transcript and calculate into the GPA, so encourage your son/daughter to actually "study" abroad. This will help assure that good grades are received, and study abroad helps your student's academic record.
Is this going to keep my son/daughter from graduating on time?
As we probably told your son/daughter during their advising session, planning is key to graduating on time. If your son/daughter has worked with their advisor and mapped out their course schedule for the rest of their time at Eastern and taken classes accordingly and will be taking classes that count towards what they need to graduate while abroad, there is no reason why they shouldn’t graduate on time.
What if our health insurance doesn’t cover my son/daughter abroad? What do we do?
No worries! All students that study abroad are automatically enrolled into our health and emergency insurance plan through HTH Worldwide. The cost is $1.10 a day for every day that they are gone plus $1. This is billed to your student's account. For a full list of benefits, your student can pick up a brochure in our office or email the Office of Study Abroad to ask for a copy.
What will happen if there is a governmental problem in my student’s host country?
In the pre-departure orientation your student is required to attend, students are told to register with the embassy. They are REALLY good about taking care of Americans, and it is their job to provide evacuation in unsafe political situations.
What if my son/daughter does not speak the native language of the host country?
Don’t worry! He/she can take overseas classes that are taught in English with the exception of the intense foreign language courses which are taught in the target language. In the first few weeks, he/she will learn enough of the language to get around and get help. People are very helpful to foreigners and are usually willing to go out of their way to assist.
When should my son/daughter apply?
Planning ahead is KEY to success in study abroad. We recommend that students meet with a study abroad advisor, and their own academic advisor at least one semester before they intend to travel. Many students are planning a year in advance and this is helpful for scholarships as well. Students generally will need to apply the semester prior to studying abroad. The deadline to study abroad in the fall semester typically falls at the end of February. To study in the spring, the deadline is typically in the beginning of October. To study in the summer the deadline is in the end of January for faculty-led programs and in the end of February for independent programs. Check in with our office for the exact dates.
Why is there such a huge difference in price between the different programs? What exactly are we paying for?
Just like when you are traveling, some locations are more expensive to travel to than others. And just like different universities, they all have different tuition costs. In studying abroad, there are some locations that cost more than others. This could be because airfare to get there is very expensive, it is a private university so tuition is higher, the exchange rate is poor, the location is more highly traveled, etc. Europe tends to be more expensive than Latin America. This could be for any number of reasons such as airfare, and exchange rate. The budget sheets that are provided for each country include tuition, room, board, airfare, spending money, passport, pictures, travel expenses, etc. If you have more questions about program prices and what is included check out the budget sheets, or for even further information, contact our office at 217-581-7267.
Can I call someone and talk to someone in your office about my concerns and/or questions?
Please do! We are more than happy to talk to anyone that is concerned about their student leaving the country or just has questions that they need answered. Please don’t hesitate to call us for any reason! Our number is 217-581-7267, we can be reached Monday-Friday 8-4:30.
If you have other questions that aren't listed here or answered in our Parents section, please email us and we'll add them to the list.