Parents and Family

Program Options

There are many ways to gain international experience while in college including for-credit academic study abroad, internships abroad, and service-learning opportunities. Learn about the different study abroad program options available to your Penn State student so you can help support them as they choose a program that fits their academic, personal, and professional goals.

Supporting Your Student Through the Education Abroad Process

College is a time when students transition from childhood to adulthood, and traveling abroad is an important step in gaining independence, developing a global perspective, and learning about themselves and their place in the world. Families play a vital role in supporting their student through the program preparation process and there are several ways that you can assist your student through this process.

Benefits of Studying Abroad

The importance of international education cannot be understated. Students who participate in study abroad programs gain exposure to foreign cultures in a way that cannot be accomplished in a classroom or on vacation. These acquired skills and new perspectives make students more competitive in future career searches. Students can improve foreign language skills, gain intercultural competency skills, and develop confidence and independence. Choosing a study abroad program that allows students to complete courses relevant to the student's major allows them to not only experience personal growth but professional growth as well. 

Parent and Family Guide

This guide is designed to answer the questions we receive most frequently from parents and family members.

Parent Spotlights

The Education Abroad Parent Spotlight is an exciting way for parents whose children have studied abroad to share their experiences. It provides a different perspective on the education abroad process and benefits.

Health and Safety Abroad

The well-being of our faculty, staff, and students abroad is our top priority. Learn about the resources available to support you while abroad and what you can do to prepare yourself to stay safe overseas.

Costs and Funding

Affordability is an important factor when selecting an education abroad program. The programs offered through Education Abroad vary in cost, depending on the features of the program, geographic location, length, inclusions in the program such as excursions and cultural activities, and the level of on-site support. The Education Abroad office provides tentative budget sheets for all programs in order to help students and their families choose a program that fits their budget, and plan their finances accordingly. 

Parent Resources

Penn State Education Abroad offers periodic parent webinars for parents/guardians of students on an approved education abroad program. If your student has been accepted into a Penn State Education Abroad program, they will receive information on the parent webinar via email to pass along to you.  In addition, please review information from some of our partners and colleagues:

Parent and Family FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions from parents and families of study abroad students.