Education Abroad Info for Parents & Advocates

Peace of Mind

The thought of your child traveling abroad or living overseas for a semester might seem daunting at first, but we’re here to help both you – and Kent State students – at each step of the way.

Learn About Study Abroad


Support For You and Your Traveler

Preparing for International Travel

Our team in the Education Abroad office has extensive international travel experience and is uniquely trained to help students prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime study abroad experience.

If your child is still deciding on a program or location, you can both seek inspiration from our Instagram or Student Stories, as well as discover all the benefits of studying abroad.

If they’ve already chosen a program, then we encourage you to get familiar with all its details. Use our Program Search tool to find the course and learn about the academics, itinerary, housing, city, and country your child is visiting. You can also make note of critical deadlines, insurance and immunization requirements, and important dates for traveling, classes, or payments.

See more resources for before studying abroad 

Financial Planning for Study Abroad

While the value of a global experience can’t be measured in dollars and cents, it’s still important for parents and students to have a clear understanding of costs and budgets.

  • Your child should meet with the Financial Aid Counselor for Education Abroad to discuss what can be covered by federal aid, grants or loans. You can also encourage them to explore the numerous scholarship opportunities available to students studying abroad.
  • If you are listed on the FAFSA, then you may apply for a Parent PLUS loan to assist in covering educational costs for your child.
  • When considering budgets, be open and honest with your child regarding which expenses you're willing and unwilling to cover.
  • You might also want to explore having a joint checking or debit account so that you can easily provide funds to your child while abroad, if need be.

Learn more about financial resources 

Parent Access to Student Records

Kent State has several options to facilitate transparency between a student and their family.

Creating a KSUview Account

You can work with your child to have your parent and family member KSUview account created, so that as a designee, you can help them stay on track with registration, financial aid and other important deadlines.

Kent State’s Financial, Billing and Enrollment Center also has step-by-step instructions on how students can grant account access to parents and advocates.

Understanding FERPA and Parent Release Forms

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ education records, both financial and academic.

For the student's protection, FERPA limits release of student record information without the student's explicit written consent; however, it also gives the student's parent(s)/guardian(s) the right to review those records if they claim the student as a dependent on their Federal Income Tax Return. For specific information on FERPA, you can access the U.S. Department of Education.

Students need to complete a specific FERPA release for their parents to be permitted to access their education records. They can access these forms in the Requests and Authorizations Section in FlashLine, or on the FBE Center Forms database.

Pre-Departure Orientation for Students and Parents

Kent State runs several different types of orientation programs – both online and in-person – which provide critical information for students going abroad. Parents and family members are highly encouraged to join our orientations to stay involved as their child prepares to embark on this exciting next chapter in their education!

Keep a lookout for announcements regarding upcoming sessions, and ask your child to send you links to the recordings in case you were unable to join live. If you have questions about a specific destination’s orientation, feel free to email the Education Abroad Team at

Health, Wellness and Safety Abroad

Helpful info and tips:

  • The Office of Global Education (OGE) provides many health and safety resources. Each program page within our website also includes a section on health and safety resources with important information and guides. In addition, pre-departure orientation for students and parents covers health and safety topics.
  • Sixty days before their departure date, students will have access to the Alert Traveler app, which contains multiple resources related to safety.
  • If your child has allergies or requires medications when abroad, please encourage your child to speak to their education abroad advisor on the proper steps to take.
  • We suggest that you keep a copy of your child's passport and other important documents with you, along with their in-country contact information.

See our while studying abroad page for more resources regarding emergency information, insurance, health, and safety. We also share guidance on academics abroad and tips for adjusting to life overseas.

Our Education Abroad FAQs also have dedicated sections for managing health and safety abroad. 

Communication While Abroad

For added peace of mind, we suggest you set clear expectations for communicating with your child while they are abroad.

  • Keep in mind your child is in an exciting new place, and they may want to focus more on their time abroad, so keeping in contact with home may be a lower priority.
  • Remember, traveling can be a lengthy and exhausting process, and your child may not be able to contact you as soon as the flight lands. They may need to wait until reaching the final destination of a hotel or dorm room, which may be several hours later.
  • Encourage your child to blog about their experience! It is a great way for you to stay updated on their education abroad experience, and gives them a chance to reflect on their time abroad. Plus, they can enter our photo and video contest to share their experiences with the wider Kent State community.
  • Consider using Facetime, GoogleMeet, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, and other apps or social media sites as a low-cost way to keep in touch.

What do I do if my child is homesick or if things don’t seem to be going well while they are abroad?

As with any new experience, it’s natural for students to go through culture shock or feel unsure about their new surroundings. Our pre-departure orientation covers this topic so that students can prepare in advance and know where to turn in case they need some extra support abroad.

While it can be tempting to jump in and try to fix any problem your child might have, it’s also important to keep in mind that studying abroad is a self-development opportunity for students. Being in a foreign country gives them a chance to take ownership over their experiences and embrace the unknown. By fully experiencing a new destination and culture, they can test their resilience and resourcefulness when independently solving new challenges.

An international experience is also a great opportunity for you to find that balance between helping your child and stepping back so they can find solutions themselves, or even letting your child fail (within a safe, supportive educational environment) so that they can learn how to recover and improve in the future.

See more resources on adjusting to an education abroad experience 

What To Do Upon Return

Making the most of your child's study abroad experience.

In addition to countless stories and images, your child will also return home with a whole new set of skills including cultural sensitivity, empathy, resilience, problem-solving, and independence.

As they return to the classroom, they’ll be able to further maximize their global learning experience thanks to the exposure they received to new ways of learning, new methods of putting study skills into practice and communicating in a foreign language.

Students who have studied abroad will also be able to use their newfound knowledge to guide their decision-making when choosing a career path, thanks to the network they now have access to and the hands-on experience they’ve had. Additionally, their international experience will help distinguish them from other job seekers and graduate school applicants as they head into their next life phase after graduating from Kent State.

See more resources to maximize an education abroad experience 

Dive Deeper

Learn about tips for students before, during and after their study abroad experience.