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Parents & Supporters

Parents and Supporters
Dear Parents, Family, and Significant Others, 

We congratulate your student for making the decision to study abroad and to embark on what will likely be a life-changing, transformative experience! This may be one of the most significant decisions your student has had to make in the course of their life so far and it has likely meant encouragement from you. For that, we thank you.  

You play a key role in providing ongoing emotional, moral and likely financial support for your student as he or she negotiates the processes of applying and preparing for a study abroad experience. We appreciate your role as a “cheerleader” as your student works through the paperwork and meets all deadlines. We ask that you empower your student to make arrangements for their abroad experience on their own. This includes ownership of processes like getting a passport, securing a visa, pre-departure health examination, ticket purchasing, thorough research on the program and host-country, etc.  

The staff in the Cal Poly International Center are available to assist your student in navigating through the myriad of options available. Students who plan ahead and meet with study abroad and academic advisors to find the best program fit are well suited to continue to make timely academic progress toward their degrees. Please refer to the 'Guide for Students and Supporters (find links to English and Spanish versions below). 

We know that finances are important. The International Center maintains budget information for each of the programs sponsored by Cal Poly. We encourage you and your student to review the budget and to strategize on negotiating the program costs. Please urge your student to take advantage of any study abroad scholarships for which they may be eligible. Note that scholarship deadlines can be well in advance of program application deadlines, so it pays to be organized! Study abroad is an investment in the future of your student, who will come away with a more enhanced “toolkit” to meet the demands of our global society. Study abroad returnees inform us of the many professional and personal benefits and say that the abroad experience was well worth the funds invested.  

While your student is abroad, we hope that you will continue to provide support through email or “skyping,” or even the lost art of snail-mail. Students often experience unanticipated difficulties and the cheerleader role will be important throughout. (Should serious issues occur, onsite staff and/or our office are available to assist.) Likewise, upon return, students have amazing stories to tell and hopefully will find a willing audience in you!     

As a parent myself, I recognize that sending your student to study abroad may come with mixed emotions. I applaud you for encouraging your loved one to embark on this rewarding and transformative experience.   


Dr. Caroline I. Moore 
Director, Cal Poly International Center 

Additional Resources