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Information for Parents

We are pleased that your student 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.

What follows is 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.

Initial Preparation for Participants and Their Parents

 To begin the journey, review our overview of study abroad programs at Linfield and then visit the  Federal Students Abroad Website.

  • 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 or January Term costs (shown with course listings).  Questions about student accounts and payment procedures can be obtained by emailing or calling the Office of Student Accounts (cblatner@linfield.edu; 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: Wells Fargo's Student Insurance Site  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, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.  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.
  • 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 Program,” 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.

Returning Home

  • 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.