For Parents

Frequently Asked Questions 

Study abroad is one of the most academically and personally enriching endeavors your daughter or son will undertake during college, but you might have some anxiety and plenty of questions. If your student is considering studying abroad (or is already accepted) we hope you find this page helpful. Please be sure to read the Why Study Abroad section of the web site too.

Health and Safety

Parents often have question about Health and Safety. These are always our primary concerns and we do our utmost to ensure our students are safe and healthy abroad. If you would like to read more about Health and Safety preparations, please read the Pre-Departure Checklist. We encourage parents help pre-departure and this document covers the topic thoroughly.


After health and safety, many parents, understandably are concerned about costs. The program is designed to be cost neutral, meaning, that you will pay Holy Cross Tuition, Room, and in some cases, Board or partial Board. 

Courses Grades and Credits

Parents and students alike worry about whether credits earned abroad will count toward graduation, their major, minor and concentrations. This is the primary academic goal of Study Abroad. This page details the course selection, approval and transfer process.

How You Can Help

You have been encouraged from the first day your student boarded the bus for kindergarten to take an active role in his or her education; study abroad should be no exception. Along with many of the happier and exhilarating moments, there may be tougher ones. Your engagement as a parent is critical. Meanwhile, study abroad is a superb opportunity for your son or daughter to grow more independent. It is difficult to strike the right balance between being engaged and also allowing your student space to grow and develop. There are books and websites that can help you, starting with Some Guidance for Parents of Study Abroad Students.

Getting Started

For complete details about the process of choosing program, see Getting Started. Please encourage your student to reflect on the Questions to Consider When Choosing a Program.

Accepted Students

Once accepted, students have a long list of preparations that they must undertake ranging from the complex, such as the visa process, to the mundane, such as how many photocopies of their passport they need to pack. Students can get overwhelmed easily during this process. Please read the section for Accepted Students carefully. It details the process of Orientation and Pre-Departure.  See the Study Abroad Manual for more information.

Emotional Preparation and Support

It is quite normal for your daughter or son (and for you as a parent) to have mixed feelings, and even anxiety, as the departure date approaches and again a few weeks to a month into the program. Encourage your student to read more about his or her location, to continue to prepare, to get in contact with other students going abroad, to keep a journal, and to talk to you. Read the What to Expect section of our website and refer to the resources mentioned above. (Some Guidance for Parents of Study Abroad Students)