We know you’ve got questions, and we hope this FAQ section will be a good start. That said, if you do not find your question answered here, please contact us so that we can answer your question and further improve our this section.
What is the one tip you would advise a parent whose child is studying abroad?
We have found that the most successful students abroad are those who take the initiative to work with CIS. We would advise that you encourage your child to work with CIS directly and not just let you, the parent, call and ask questions. Since it is your child going abroad, they will ultimately be the one responsible once they arrive overseas. Therefore, they should want to be fully involved in the process of going abroad, because once they get to their study abroad destination they will need to be independent.
Will my child be safe while they are studying abroad?
We recognize that safety is one of the most important concerns of parents with children studying abroad. We have carefully selected countries and universities that are considered safe and stable. As part of the pre-departure orientation your son/daughter will be given an overview of the safety issues that you should be concerned with in the country in which he or she will be living. In addition, once our students arrive in country, they will go through an extensive on-site orientation where safety concerns will again be addressed. We ask that as parents you consider talking with your son or daughter about your concerns for their safety. 99% of the time we find that common sense can keep students out of trouble while they are abroad.
Who is responsible for my child while they are abroad?
We do everything in our power to ensure your child is safe and healthy while abroad by providing comprehensive information to them before and during their experience. We also provide your student with an Emergency Information Card before they depart detailing a number of in-country personnel for them to contact should they run into any difficulties. Remember, all of the locations in which we have programs are considered as safe or safer than the U.S. Although we do everything we can to prepare students and keep them informed of health and safety information, it is ultimately your student's responsibility to follow suggestions and guidelines, just as it is their responsibility at home.
How are transcripts for the study abroad program processed?
Your child's transcript will be sent to the CIS office upon completion of their program. We will then send the official transcript to the study abroad office at their home university or department on their home campus which they indicated on their application. The university/department will review the results and send it to the appropriate credit authority on campus. We will also send a copy of the transcript to each student as well. Please remember that the transcript must first arrive from the universities abroad and this will take anywhere from 8-10 weeks after the completion of the program.
How can I get in touch with my child while s/he is abroad?
Students are encouraged to call home immediately upon arrival in their host country to let their family/friends know that they have arrived safely. Prior to leaving the US, CIS furnishes our students with their residential address so that you will have a place to send all of those "care packages"! One other important consideration is finding the best time to call your child. To find out what the time difference is in the country they are living compared to where you are located, please check the website www.worldtimeserver.com. Also, we’ve found that most of our students really like the ease and cost of using skype to “call home” … if you both have a skype account and a headset, you can chat for free!
What if my child's financial aid loans are going to be disbursed after he or she leaves?
It is not uncommon for universities to actually disperse a loan after your son or daughter has already left the US. When they are accepted into a CIS program, we will supply your son or daughter with a financial aid form that your university should complete and then send in to CIS. This form will tell us not only how much aid the student is receiving, but also when the aid will be disbursed and to whom. If the aid will be disbursed to the student after the he has left, you may be responsible for depositing the check and forwarding it to CIS. In order to have the authority to do so, we will include a “Power of Attorney” form in the acceptance packet.
What if the financial aid loans do not cover the whole cost of the program?
Upon receiving the financial aid forms from your university, as mentioned in the question above, CIS will review the forms, and then invoice your son and daughter for the difference in the cost of program and the loans he or she is receiving. Your child will be responsible for paying any difference in cost before she goes abroad.
While my child is abroad, what should they do if they have questions or a problem?
We are always a phone call or email away and will gladly assist students during the time they are abroad. However, due to time differences and distance we find that it is much easier for students to work with the international office at the university abroad. Often, we have found that a problem can be resolved within minutes by working with the international office. Prior to leaving, we will supply your student with local and university contacts and advise them on the best person to contact in a particular situation. All our partner universities are extremely helpful and accessible.
What is unique about the CIS programs?
A quality that sets us apart is our genuine individual attention, which is apparent in our personal service from the time your son/daughter start looking for information until he/she arrives home again.
Furthermore, one of our goals here at CIS is to keep study abroad affordable for as many students as possible, so we strive to keep our prices low. One way we do this is by limiting the excursions included in our program packages and fees so that students have control over where, when, with whom, and for what cost they make special trips.
Finally, we is dedicated to helping our community and lowering our negative impact on the planet. We carbon offset all of our flights, recycle, purchase recycled products, and volunteer in and donate to our community as much as possible. We hope that you choose to work with us because we can’t wait to get to know your child and have them share the amazing experience of seeing the world with you!
You might find it helpful to review the prospective student or other FAQs pages. Or, we also recommend that you that you consider ordering "The Parent's Guide to Study Abroad" as published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. It is a very useful and helpful guide and many parents who have read it comment positively about it. You may also be interested in reviewing the contents in our online store.