How can I support my student?
There are several things you can do to help support your student while they are abroad:
Leading up to departure, your student may have certain tasks that need to be completed: applying for a visa, registering for courses abroad, applying for housing, etc. Instead of offering to do these tasks for them, empower them to do the research they need to complete the tasks themselves and monitor their progress from afar. Once on their program, they will need to take responsibility for all aspects of their life, so this is good practice!
Let us Help
If your student contacts you from abroad and is upset or unhappy, you may worry and feel helpless. Please don’t hesitate to contact staff at the Global Engagement Office. We can contact your student’s program and help your student overcome the issue.
Keep in Touch
We encourage students to spend less time on social media while abroad, and to call home once a week at most. This is to help your student engage more in his or her new culture and lead a full life there. If your student spends too much time checking social media or calling home, he or she will suffer from more homesickness and transition shock.
Share Their Experience
When you do talk to your student, try to focus the conversation on what your student is experiencing, inside and outside of the classroom. Don’t focus on what they are missing out on at home.
Visit (with Their Permission)
Some families take the opportunity to visit their student during the study abroad program. If you choose to do this, make sure you clear it with your student, and go at a time when you will not interrupt their studies.
Give Them Space
When your student returns home you may find they have different values, new interests, new goals, or even new career plans. They also may face another transition shock – that of readjusting to life in the US or at Wooster. This is natural! Give them space to reflect and be open to listening to their experiences.