Parent FAQs

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Health & Safety

My son/daughter notified me that they’re not feeling well. What do I tell them?

The most efficient way for your student to get help is to approach local staff. Staff can provide information on where students can obtain local medical care, if not an urgent situation. If it is a true medical emergency, students should call the local emergency number (the equivalent of 9-1-1 in the States) to get immediate help. Students can also call the 24/7 on-site emergency number if the emergency occurs during nights or weekends. This procedure is covered at the mandatory on-site health & safety orientation, where these phone numbers will be provided.

Can you please provide the local emergency phone number at the center? My daughter is having an emergency and I need to talk to someone.

We understand that parents in the States may need to get in touch with a staff member to provide information about their student abroad. For that reason, a 24/7 emergency team in Syracuse is available for you to call any time of day or night. Call 1.800.235.3472, and listen to the entire message if it is during night or weekend hours. The person you call will connect with the emergency team abroad.

Your student should follow the emergency protocols provided at their health and safety on-site orientation.

How does insurance work?

See our Insurance page for detailed information.

Do your staff members talk to the students about safety and traveling independently? What measures are in place should something happen?

Upon arrival abroad, all students must attend a mandatory health and safety orientation meeting, which goes over program safety and traveling on weekends. All students are required to complete an Independent Traveler form whenever they are away from their program housing so that abroad staff are aware of their location in the event they need to be reached. All students are required to travel with a charged cell phone and to check their syr.edu email as they are able, for messages from the center requiring the student to check in with local staff.

Syracuse Abroad staff members, in addition to University Risk Management officials in Syracuse and abroad constantly monitor world events via up-to-the-minute bulletins from various sources, including the U.S. State Department, our international safety partner International SOS, and various media outlets. On-site staff are in regular communication with Syracuse Abroad main campus staff, in addition to local police, the local U.S. consulate or embassy, other study abroad program directors in the host city, International SOS, and other sources.

This experienced task force is equipped with an emergency procedure manual complete with action plans for crisis situations (including evacuation). On-site staff have action plans as well. For security purposes these plans must be kept confidential.

My student is taking prescription medication – what do you recommend they do when they are abroad?

See our Medical Care Abroad page for detailed information.

My student has a learning accommodation approved through the Disability Service office. Will that be applied abroad too?

Syracuse Abroad has a close working relationship with the Syracuse University Office of Disability Services. We make every effort to provide the same accommodations, (both mobility- and academically-related) on our programs abroad. Keep in mind that this is not guaranteed and your student should discuss their plans to go abroad with their disability services counselor as soon as possible. Additionally, your student has the opportunity to disclose this information by completing their Accommodations for Students with Disabilities post-decision form. Syracuse Abroad student support staff works with colleagues abroad to transfer such accommodations and will be in touch with your student if there are any questions.

My student regularly sees a therapist at the main campus counseling center, free of charge. Is there a counseling center abroad with a therapist that my student could regularly meet with while they’re abroad?

Encourage your student to have a conversation about their plans to study abroad with their therapist before they depart. Resources are available abroad, however students should be prepared to pay for any private, English-speaking therapeutic services. The Assistant Director, Student Services is happy to meet with your student to discuss such plans before they depart. See our Counseling Services page for detailed information.


Housing

Will students be living with other students from the Syracuse program?

For Syracuse Center and summer programs: Yes. The exceptions are in Strasbourg and Santiago, where one student from the program is placed with each host family. In Florence, a student may choose to be the only student living with their host family.

Can my student request a roommate?

For Syracuse programs, yes. They will fill out a housing form as part of their post-acceptance tasks, which is where they can let us know about roommate requests. As long as the request is mutual, we will do our best to accommodate it.

For World Partner programs, each program is a little different, and students will need to read the information provided by the program.

My student has an allergy/dietary restriction. How will their host family know?

The housing form also includes a space to list allergies, food restrictions, and dietary preferences. This information is shared with host families.

Does housing begin the day the program starts or can students receive housing the night before?

Housing begins the day the program starts. If your student arrives early, he or she will be responsible for finding accommodations until the official start date of the program.

When will they find out where they are living?

For most center programs, housing assignments are distributed once the students arrive abroad. Students on Signature Seminars will receive their housing and roommate information at the conclusion of their Seminar.

Students on faculty-led summer programs will receive their housing information in their Preparing to Go guides, which are distributed at their pre-departure orientation meetings.

For World Partner Programs, your student should contact the partner program to determine when housing information will be distributed.

Does my student have to live in the housing provided by the program?

Yes. For safety and risk management reasons, students must live in the housing provided.

How far is the student housing from the center?

In the majority of housing placements, students live within 35 minutes of the center – on foot or through public transportation.

That might seem long – especially if your student is used to Syracuse University’s compact campus. But it’s important to see distances through local eyes and local norms – average commutes in London, for example, are over one hour each way.


Living and Traveling Abroad

When can I book my student’s flight? Is there a group flight? Can my student travel independently to their destination?

Before booking a flight, you should wait until you receive specific information from the program. There are optional group flights available to most Syracuse centers. Some short-term and summer programs also have group flights. World Partner programs usually do not have group flights. For programs that do not have a group flight and for independent travelers, specific arrival instructions will be provided.

What do you recommend for cell phones while my student is abroad?

With the wide variety of plans and types of cell phones available today, you will have to do some research on what is the best option for you and your student. Here are some general options to consider:

  • Add an international plan to your student’s current phone. This may be too expensive for a full semester program, but may be appropriate for a shorter program. Check cost and availability with your service provider.

Syracuse Abroad encourages the following two options for semester programs:

  • Students can purchase an inexpensive phone with a pay-as-you-go plan when they arrive. They will have a local number and can add more minutes and data as they need it.
  • Students can add a local SIM card to their current phone. To do this, check with your service provider to see if they can unlock your student’s phone before they depart the U.S. Unlocking the phone will allow your student to buy a local SIM card when they arrive at their destination and insert it into their phone, adding minutes and data as needed.

No matter which option you choose, students should bring their U.S. cell phone to use while they are traveling to and from their program location from the U.S.

What should my student pack?

Our Post-Acceptance Checklist for parents, Preparing to Go: Center Programs, and Preparing to Go: World Partner Programs have some general advice and packing guidelines. If you would like more details, please ask your student to share with you the information they have received from their program, faculty leader, and/or admissions counselor.

I plan to visit my student during the semester. When is the best time to visit?

Each program is different, but our general recommendation is to wait to make plans until after your student arrives and completes their orientation program. The Syracuse center program dates on each program’s homepage will give you a general idea of the semester holidays and breaks, but students will receive a more specific program calendar during their orientation.

Please keep in mind that students should not make ANY personal travel plans until they are aware of all of their academic commitments (required field study and all-program trips, make-up classes due to holidays, supplemental sessions for signature seminars, exam dates, internship interviews, etc.). Academic requirements cannot be waived or changed to accommodate personal travel or activities. Failure to attend a required class or activity due to personal travel, even if made prior to departure, will be treated as an unexcused absence, which may affect the student’s final grade.


Billing and Finances

How can I pay the deposit?

Visiting students need to send in a check to secure their place in a program. Send checks with the Advance Payment by Check form. Advance deposits are deferred for eligible semester students enrolled at certain direct-bill schools.

Syracuse University summer & short-term students can pay by check, credit/debit card, EFT or wire.

How much does the program cost?

For both semester & summer programs, you will pay the same tuition charged on Main Campus plus a program fee. Some courses in Florence, London, Madrid, and Strasbourg also carry course fees billed through the Bursar account after registration. Semester center students enrolled at a foreign university may require additional housing days, billed mid-semester.

World Partner students pay Syracuse University tuition and program fee; they may also pay some charges directly to the partner. See the Financial Planning Budget for your program for details.

Short-term students enrolled at Syracuse University will not pay additional tuition for the assigned semester if they are within the 19-credit limit; they will pay a program fee for anything included with the program, i.e. any housing, flights, etc. that are listed on the program page.

How does the billing process work?

Visiting students should email Syracuse Abroad to find out how billing will work. Syracuse students are billed the same way they always are, through their Bursar account.

What happens with financial aid?

Syracuse students should reach out to Financial Aid with questions; usually all your semester aid applies and you may be eligible for need-based aid up to $4,500. Syracuse Abroad awards Named Scholarships for undergraduates. Plane Ticket Loans are offered for fully-funded Syracuse University students.

Syracuse Abroad awards need-based grants up to $4,000 to eligible undergraduate summer students, depending on financial need and credit amount, and you may be able to take out loans to help defray the cost.

Visiting students need to talk to the financial aid office at their own colleges to determine what aid can be used on a Syracuse program. Depending on the billing arrangement, Syracuse Abroad may be able to offer a discount, merit scholarship, and need-based aid.

How much spending money do students need?

The amount of spending money needed will vary based on the student’s spending habits, the currency exchange rate, and what is/is not included in the program fee (does the student need to leave a homestay for a 10-day break? Are meals included in the program fee?). The Personal Expenses Estimate on each program’s Financial Planning Budget is a good starting point for your planning. Summer students should see their budget sheet, and Short-Term students should speak with their Study Abroad Counselor.

How does banking work? Recommendations?

Students will not be opening a bank account while abroad; in fact, most countries prohibit non-residents from opening a bank account. Students are expected to maintain a U.S. bank account that they can access overseas.

For detailed information and advice on how to access money while abroad, Center students should refer to the Finances Abroad section of Preparing To Go: Center Programs.

World Partner students should refer to the Finances Abroad section of Preparing To Go: World Partner Programs.

Summer students should see their Preparing to Go document, provided by their Study Abroad Counselor in the months before their departure. Short-term students should check with their Study Abroad Counselor.