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Studying away is a decision that will impact the rest of students’ lives, and plays an essential part of their college experience. Reaching far beyond academics and careers, study away can open minds and create global friendships. While study away rewards are immense, it can rattle the nerves of the most relaxed parents. 
Parent Guide Book
The Institute of International Education publishes a helpful book for parents. Please feel free to download a copy from the following
links (also in Spanish):
A Parent Guide to Study Abroad
A Parent Guide to Study Abroad Spanish

Health and Safety Measures
The safety of our students is our top priority, both here and abroad. We take the following measures to ensure safety and proper emergency response while abroad:
  1. Registration of travel through StudioAbroad -  Elmhurst University tracks international travelers through an online database and software system. This allows the University to collect emergency contact information, issue insurance coverage and facilitate emergency response.
  2. Insurance enrollment - All faculty, staff and students traveling abroad under the auspices of Elmhurst University are covered under a comprehensive medical insurance plan, provided by Zurich Insurance Company via Gallagher.
  3. Security evacuation coverage - Coverage for evacuation is included with comprehensive medical insurance provided by Zurich.
  4. Emergency contact details - Emergency contact details are gathered for all travelers registered in StudioAbroad
  5. Monitoring of security conditions - Security conditions around the world are monitored daily through US State Department reports, news updates and security assistance provider.
  6. Partnerships with local providers - Elmhurst University maintains relationships with strong in-country contacts to provide a network of response and assistance in emergencies.
  7. Pre-departure orientation and training - All students traveling abroad are required to participate in a pre-departure orientation session. The extent of this session varies with duration and type of travel. Minimally, a health and safety briefing is delivered by a Global Engagement staff member. For short-term programs, faculty leaders are provided with an emergency response plan and training. 
  8. 24-hour response availability - Campus Security is available to receive emergency calls at all times. These calls can then be routed to the personal cell phones of the Global Engagement Team, who remain on-call for these instances.
  9. International Emergency Response Team - In case of emergency, there is a designated team of responders representing various interests, departments and expertise from around campus. A written emergency response plan is reviewed by the team on an annual basis.
  10. Registration through Smart Traveler Enrollment Plan (STEP) - All group travelers are enrolled in the US State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Plan by Global Engagement staff. Any individual travelers are given instructions and recommended to enroll in this plan.

Other Tips:

Contact Your Bank and/or Credit Card Company
Notify your bank and/or credit card company that your student will be abroad. If your bank has not been notified and they notice international charges, they may freeze the account for your safety. You should also ask your bank about fees that your student will incur for withdrawing money abroad and/or using his/her credit card. These fees vary from bank to bank. Some banks may have sister banks abroad that you can use without a fee.
Communication / Keeping in Touch
Ask your current cell phone provider what options are available. Some cell phone providers may offer international plans, however in many cases students choose to turn off their data and use their smart phones in locations where Wi-Fi is available. 
Become familiar with WhatsApp, FaceTime and other communication apps. Many families rely on video calling to communicate with their student abroad.
Facebook and similar social media sites allow families to follow their students' adventures abroad, seeing the places they are visiting, their photos and in some cases even chatting with them. With the increasing availability of Wi-Fi in many locations, social media has allowed families a way to maintain contact.
Have Your Student Register for STEP
picThe Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Obtain a Passport
In case of an emergency it is recommended that a parent/ guardian have a passport. Visit the U.S. Department of State website for details.