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Parent Resources

Our Philosophy: Independence is critical for a successful study abroad experience, thus we believe that students should always contact the Study Abroad Office first and directly with questions or concerns. We ask that parents encourage their son/daughters to take initiative in seeking our assistance.

Where can I find information about the study abroad program of interest to my son/daughter?

To learn more about Drexel sponsored program options, eligibility requirements, and other details, visit the Programs section. Some programs are restricted to specific majors or colleges, while other programs are open to all majors.

What is entailed in the study abroad application process?

All applications require items such as: essay, recommendations, transcript, academic pre-approval form, and application fee. Visit Application Process for more details.

Can I login to see my son/daughter’s application page?

No. An individual student's application and status page is password protected. Each Drexel student uses his or her Drexel identification number and private password to login. Online application and acceptance materials are to be completed by the student ONLY.

Will my son/daughter receive academic credit while abroad? Can my son/daughter study abroad and still graduate on time?

While studying abroad, students are required to maintain full time status at both the host institution and at Drexel. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that the courses they are taking abroad will count towards their graduation requirements.

As part of the application process, students must obtain pre-approval from the appropriate departments at Drexel to ensure that the courses taken abroad are equivalent to Drexel courses. Thus the Sociology department approves sociology courses taken abroad, the Mechanical Engineering department that approves Mechanical Engineering courses, etc. Students will receive Drexel credit for courses taken while abroad, which, depending on the program, may or may not be factored into their overall GPA.

If your son/daughter passes their courses while abroad and has made sure that they are taking courses that will fulfill requirements that they need to graduate, yes they should be able to graduate on time.

How much will it cost for my son/daughter to study abroad? Will financial aid still apply overseas?

When a student participates on a Drexel sponsored program, their tuition is equivalent to Drexel's on-campus tuition charges. The cost of meals, housing, study materials, insurance, travel and personal expenses is additional (not included in tuition), just as it is on campus.

Program fees vary widely from one program to another. Each program page lists costs, such as the study abroad fee, estimated costs for transportation, housing, food and personal expenses.

Financial aid remains the same during students' abroad term(s). For information on study abroad scholarships, please visit Financing Study Abroad.

When will my son/daughter receive their study abroad program fee bill?

For some programs, such as Prague, Crete, and Montpellier, the program fee is paid in full (in installments) prior to the start of the program. However, for most programs, the full study abroad fee is posted to the students' Drexel accounts several weeks prior to the beginning of their study abroad term. Please contact Drexel Central for more information about Drexel accounts and billing. Otherwise, the study abroad program fee is normally due within 30 days of the posting date.

How should I ensure that my son/daughter has money overseas?

Generally speaking, your son/daughter will not need to open up a bank account overseas, as most international banks accept US ATM cards. You should check with your local bank to determine what the withdrawal and finance fees will be for international purchases and ATM withdrawals. It is also generally not advisable to bring cash or travelers checks overseas lest they are lost and because they return the lowest currency exchange rates. We do advise that your son/daughter bring a credit card in case of emergencies, but please make sure to keep a copy of it at home in case it is lost or stolen. In some countries less traveled by US residents, travelers checks may be advisable; if you think this may apply to your son/daughter, check with the appropriate embassy or consulate.

Also, discuss with your son/daughter how you will transfer funds, in case of emergency, and how the funds you send overseas should be spent. For example, it should be clear how much money is budgeted for emergencies, travel, sightseeing, food and entertainment. Occasionally, our office encounters instances in which students choose to spend money on less essential items and fail to budget effectively for living expenses.

What is Drexel's Study Abroad refund policy?

When students withdraw from programs, refunds are determined by the specific program. Please refer to our Study Abroad Refund Policy for further detail. Please note that tuition refunds are different than study abroad refunds. Tuition refunds are outlined by the Bursar's office.

How safe is it for my son/daughter to study abroad?

There are risks associated with any form of travel, but Drexel Study Abroad is committed to doing everything within reason to provide program participants with a healthy and safe study abroad experience. Your son/daughter has been or will be invited to participate in a pre-departure orientation session provided by the Study Abroad Office. During this orientation, students receive information regarding safety and health risks, as well as suggestions on how to avoid these risks. Students are also given pre-departure handbooks with health and safety information. In addition, students are encouraged to research their destination country and any particular concerns they have should be brought to the attention of the Study Abroad Office.

How does Study Abroad respond to a major international emergency?

A: In the event of a major international emergency, the Director of Study Abroad will work with the Drexel International Response team to contact all of our students that may be affected by the incident and provide guidance to next appropriate steps. Members of the International Response team asses the safety and security of the situation, using several resources including government and private reports, networks with other universities and information from our emergency assistance provider, On Call International, to inform decision making. Often, the safest initial response to an incident is to Shelter in Place until more information is known. During a critical incident abroad, parents can obtain information from our Emergency Updates website. Staff members are focused on attending to the needs of our students abroad.

If the international emergency is of a personal nature, specific to only one or two students, the Director of Study Abroad will work directly with the student/s, with support from the Director of International Health, Safety and Security as well as other appropriate contacts at the university such as academic advisors or counselors to provide guidance and support as needed. Depending upon the nature of the situation, a case may be opened for the student with On Call International, our emergency assistance provider.   

Will my son/daughter have health insurance while abroad?

Drexel requires that all students maintain some form of primary insurance coverage valid in both the US and host country which meets the standards set forth by Drexel's Student Health Office. Students should consult the Student Health Office to determine insurance requirements.

Drexel University has contracted with On Call International to provide emergency medical, political and natural disaster assistance, evacuation and repatriation coverage for Drexel students participating on a university-affiliated international activity. Drexel students are automatically enrolled in this coverage through their registration in the Drexel Study Abroad/International Co-op online systems.

How often should I communicate with my son/daughter while they are abroad?

This is a personal decision, but we recommend that you arrange to telephone your son or daughter at least once a month at a regularly set time. Make sure that you get your child's addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and best times to call, taking into account the time difference. It is recommended to use "Skype" online calling software which is usually the most cost effective way to call and operates through your computer. Check with your long distance carrier regarding discounted international calling rates. Also consider instant messaging if your child has internet access. Many instant messaging options include free audio, and even video chat, if your computer supports it.

Bear in mind that your son/daughter may initially report to you that they are unhappy with some aspect of the program or that they are depressed. We suggest that you exercise a degree of patience, as many of these issues sort themselves out in the first few weeks. Often, students call home in distress because of one issue or another, such as housing, the quality of the courses, or location of the program, which can lead to a discussion about changing housing, sending more money, or even dropping out of the program and returning home. While there are, of course, real emergencies, most of the issues are the result of what we often call Culture Shock which is normal and will be overcome in a relatively short time.

Can I visit my son/daughter while they are abroad?

Absolutely, but it is important to remember that study abroad students are not on vacation. Attending class with him or her — or taking your student out of class in order to sightsee — will interrupt the educational process and immersion experience. If you want to visit, it's best to do so when the program has finished, so you can travel together.

Students are expected to attend all classes and turn in all assignments on time. In some locations the exam period can last several weeks — students should anticipate staying at their host institution until the end of the exam period.

How do I contact someone in the Study Abroad Office?

The Study Abroad Office is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Each program has a specific program advisor whose contact details can be found in the program brochure.

Phone: 215.571.3558
Fax: 215.895.6184
General Email: studyabroad@drexel.edu

What things should I keep in mind when my son/daughter returns home?

After living abroad, virtually all students return home having been changed by the experience. These changes can take many forms, from new ways of dressing to cravings for different kinds of food to new political perspectives. Don't worry too much: negative feelings usually last for a very short time, while a realistic view of America and its place in the world remains with most students for life. Be prepared for him or her to experience some degree of reverse culture shock — most do — and need some time to readjust fully to life back home again. In some cases, he or she may even experience a period of depression or longing to return abroad. Your support, interest, and understanding will help your son/daughter during this readjustment process. Observing and discussing these changes is an excellent way to share in your son/daughter's international experience, and you will probably want to hear more than most other people, which will be satisfying to your son/daughter.

What else can I do to prepare for my son/daughter's time overseas?

Here are a few ideas:

  • As soon as your son/daughter plans to study abroad, verify his or her passport. The passport must be valid for at least six months after the planned return date to the US.
  • Make sure you or someone in the family has a valid passport the entire time your son/daughter is studying overseas in the event of an emergency.
  • Many programs require students to obtain student visas. The visa can only be acquired once an official acceptance letter has been given by the host university/outside program. It is important for your son/daughter to learn through the host country's embassy web site how this visa will be obtained, and its cost. We recommend students begin looking online for the information as soon as a student knows he or she will study abroad. Then, once the official acceptance letter is received, your son/daughter may begin the process of obtaining a student visa.
  • Begin discussing with your child what they want to accomplish while they are abroad. What are their personal, professional and academic goals?
  • It is never too soon to begin talking about financial matters. We have found that many students do not have a realistic picture of their spending habits in Philadelphia and therefore cannot make a realistic budget. We also suggest that students begin saving as soon as possible perhaps by forgoing that Starbucks coffee once a week or reducing their cell phone usage.