General Information for Parents
While NDI will not initiate communication with parents outside of emergency situations, we strongly encourage parents and students to discuss in detail plans that involve international travel on Notre Dame-sponsored programs. If you believe there is a risk to the health or safety of your student, please call +1 574-339-6154 (texts and iMessages accepted), which is monitored continually.
Notre Dame students have an array of international academic, research, and service opportunities available to them, including year- and semester-long Study Abroad program opportunities, as well as programs during summer, spring, fall, and winter break.
We encourage students to start planning and researching opportunities early in his or her Notre Dame career. Parents can be a great resource to a student’s selection and preparation for international education. Notre Dame has at least 30 campus units that provide funding for students to travel internationally outside of the semester-long or academic year models. Other Opportunities Abroad offers students some of that information.
See Also: FAQs for Parents
Before Your Student Applies to Education Abroad Programs
- Students should take advantage of departmental deans and advisors to ensure education abroad will continue (and not delay) degree progression.
- Students generally remain eligible for their full financial aid for semester or academic year study abroad programs. Students are advised to discuss specific questions with financial aid.
- Explore NAFSA’s resources for financing study abroad.
Approximately 2-5 Weeks Before Your Student’s Travel
- Review the Parent / Guardian Checklist
- Ask your student for a copy of their completed Student Emergency Card
- Packing and Shipping: your student should inquire about a packing list and practical concerns (housing, food, what to bring, etc.) with their sponsoring program as soon as they confirm their trip. Make sure your student takes all necessities with them. Packages can be detained or delayed by custom’s authorities and often are very expensive to ship and require custom fees. If you must ship, some parents recommend Luggage Forward. Customs in foreign countries often delay delivery, especially of prescription medications, foods, and alcohol.
While Your Student is Abroad
- Prepare your student to face cultural adjustments both coming and going
- Be aware that students, even those who are normally very independent, may want to contact you more as they adjust to life abroad. Be prepared for ups and downs while your child is abroad. Parents should discuss with their children these expectations and plan accordingly how to deal with transient matters as well as more serious issues such as depression or extreme anxiety.
- All students are required to attend an orientation before departure on ND-sponsored travel.
- While Notre Dame International and other campus units attempt to prepare students as much as possible for their time abroad, personal illness, natural disasters, and disruptive geo-political events are unpredictable and can occur anywhere and at any time. To assist students abroad in such situations, NDI has an in-house Risk Management team that reviews world events from several sources on a daily basis. They inform the program management staff throughout the University.
- In each of its five Global Gateways, ND has on-the-ground staff for student support and campus consultation.
- NDI coordinates with campus resources to coordinate ND student services around the world as much as possible.
- Each student is required to register travel sponsored by Notre Dame. As part of that registration, they receive enrollment information the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP).
- All undergraduate students must have policy coverage through GeoBlue international health insurance, the University-preferred provider, for the duration of their travel. Enrollment details are provided to registered students. The GeoBlue website offers travel and health resources such as help for homesickness and drug equivalents by country.
- Download the full GeoBlue Member Guide 2018-19.
Please note: there are exclusions to this policy, including:
- Riding in any aircraft except as a passenger on a commercial or charter flight
- Incidents that result from illegal activity or participation in a riot or civil demonstration
- Scuba/skin diving, sky diving, hang gliding, or bungee jumping
- Further policy exclusions can be found in the GeoBlue Member Guide above
- Family members often take the opportunity to visit their student while he or she is abroad. Please review this general travel information to start your own journey. Trips to visit students on long-term international programs must be timed appropriately, such as term breaks or after the program concludes.
Encourage a Continued International Discussion
Internationalism is alive and well before, during, and after your student’s actual international travel. Talk to your student about sharing his/her passions for international experiences both on and off campus. International Ambassadors, internationally focused student activities clubs, and the For Returning Students page provide ways to cultivate internationalism at Notre Dame.
- Notre Dame Parents website
- Information for parents on education abroad opportunities
- SIT Study Abroad Readjustment Manual for Parents: This is a good resource on handling reverse cultural adjustment.