Information for Parents
Greetings from the Office of
International Programs at Linfield College!
We are pleased that your daughter/son is planning to take advantage of
Linfield’s study abroad opportunities. The College offers three types of study
abroad: January Term faculty-led
courses, semester-long study in one of 30 locations around the world and
year-long study for language majors.
In preparing our students for what will
be a life-transforming experience, we value the partnership with parents to
ensure a smooth transition from Linfield to their respective destinations. And, we feel parents need preparation as
well, to ease the anxiety with this undertaking, and to know that Linfield
takes great pride in providing a rigorous program abroad while insuring the
health and safety of our students during their time away. We hope this letter
will be helpful in providing you with some basic information about what we do,
from the time students get accepted to one of our programs until they return
home from a successful study abroad experience. We seek your partnership in
this endeavor. Here are some things to
Initial preparation for participants
and their parents:
To begin the journey: peruse
the information on: http://www.linfield.edu/ipo/study-abroad-info.html,
and then go to: http://studentsabroad.state.gov.
- Many of the inquiries we
receive from parents involve questions and issues about money. To learn more about semester/January term
costs and what they cover, please go to the International Programs website
shown above and click on Semester Abroad cost sheet (http://www.linfield.edu/ipo/study-abroad-info/semester.html) or January Term costs (shown with course listings: http://www.linfield.edu/ipo/study-abroad-info/janterm.html). Questions about student accounts and payment
procedures can be obtained from the Office of Student Accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org; 503-883-2241). We tell students to obtain a credit card for
purchases and a debit card for accessing funds from their accounts in the US.
In addition, a small amount of cash (around $300) in the currency of their
country of their destination would be helpful (there is a foreign exchange
kiosk at the Portland International Airport. Major banks here can also help
facilitate this procurement).
- Health and Wellness: as part of
their program fees, all participants are covered by a Linfield-approved health
insurance plan which includes emergency evacuation and repatriation. For more
detailed information about this coverage, please visit: https://wfis.wellsfargo.com/ProductServices/A%20to%20Z/StudentInsurance/ Participants are asked to consult with their
family physician regarding any immunization that may be necessary for their
respective destination. For more information about what specific immunizations
are recommended for a particular destination, go to www.cdc.gov. In
addition, for semester/year-long study participants, we strongly
recommend a complete physical and
dental examination two months prior to departure.
- It is recommended that parents obtain a passport in case an emergency abroad
warrants your presence there. To learn more about passport application and
renewal, please go to: http://travel.state.gov/passport.
- All semester/year participants
undergo a mandatory orientation session with staff and faculty months prior to
departure and upon arrival at their respective sites. Faculty leading January
term courses conduct individual sessions with participants. Please ask your
son/daughter to share with you all the handouts and information given at these
sessions and discuss the course of their
pre-departure preparation. In addition,
they are all issued “emergency contact cards” bearing the home and cell phone
numbers of the International Programs Office staff. Semester/year long students
will also have the phone contact of the US Consulate at their respective sites.
- Please make sure all their
prescribed medications are filled prior to departure. Studies have shown that
some students stop taking (or skip) medications when they are abroad. Please
have a discussion about this with your son/daughter and with your family
physician to ensure no interruption in treatment.
- Itineraries and E-tickets are
issued to each participant weeks before the start of the program. Please have your
son/daughter leave a copy with you.
- Please make sure your daughter/son takes multiple copies of their passport with them.
While your student is abroad:
Aside from a quick phone or
email check-in to let you know they have arrived safely, it is best to limit
communication for the first few weeks. This will help ease homesickness and
enhance cultural acclimation.
- We have reminded all students
to register with the US State Department through the “Smart Traveler Enrollment
so the US Consulates at their respective locations can be of assistance in cases of crises and emergencies.
- We believe it is best to allow
your daughter/son to have this incredible experience without parental presence
or undue oversight. Therefore, the College highly discourages parents from
visiting students while on the program. If you are indeed planning a brief
visit, please be sure that it occurs when classes are not in session (all
students have the semester’s calendar). It is not appropriate to expect their
homestay families to accommodate you.
- Please also encourage your
son/daughter to communicate with our office from time to time, particularly
when there is an impending crisis and/or emergency.
- Preparing to return home can be
as difficult as preparing to begin the journey abroad. Students often feel
apprehensive about leaving friends they have made while studying abroad, their
homestay families and the memories they cherish. Re-entry can be a lonely experience. Show
interest and be patient.
- Returnees have much to share
with their friends and their families when they come home. You may find
yourself confronted with hundreds of slides, their criticism of their home
country and comparing it with their recent “home” away from home. They may
indicate/tell you (over and over again) that they just loved everything they
have experienced abroad and loathe the idea of experiencing the same old stuff
back home. Don’t be offended….this too shall pass.
- Parents can assist the re-entry
process by reviewing some of the ideas written by experts in the field. Two
such articles come to mind: