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Parents & Family

Thank you for supporting your student in their study abroad endeavors.  We realize it can be hard for anyone to send their loved ones away for several months or more at a time to a new country that may be unknown. Although it can be difficult to be separated for that amount of time, the experience your student will gain while abroad will be something they will be able to benefit from for the rest of their lives.  
 
It is also natural to have financial, health, safety, or other concerns about sending your student to live in a foreign country. All of Webster’s study abroad programs include an on-site staff member whose goal is the well-being of students in that location. To assist families in supporting their students, the Office of Study Abroad provides several resources, including a Study Abroad Family Guide and the FAQ section below. Overall, studying abroad will be an enriching experience and an adventure of a lifetime. We work full-time to ensure each student has the opportunity for such a journey. Family members and other supporters are welcome to contact their student’s Webster study abroad coordinator with any questions or concerns. You can find a list of contacts on the Staff page. However, we do recommend that you check in with your student first, to see what information they can convey to you as this is their experience and it is important for them to take ownership. 

FAQs

WHY STUDY ABROAD?  
The world is becoming more globalized every day.  Nearly every industry imaginable is impacted by global networks of some sort.  Employers see study abroad experience as an advantage when reviewing resumes of potential employees. Students benefit from study abroad in many ways, including personal development, intercultural competence, teamwork, independence as well as a range of other professional and cross-cultural skills. Study abroad alums are also found to graduate on time, with higher GPAs, and higher starting salaries once they enter the workforce. Here are a few articles on the benefits and advantages of study abroad: 
"Why is Study Abroad so Important?" by Go Overseas  
"Why Study Abroad Matters..." by NAFSA  
"How Study Abroad Contributes to Career Readiness: 8 Studies" by IIE 
“Gaining an Employment Edge: The Impact of Study Abroad on 21st Century Skills and Career Prospects (Farugia & Sanger, 2017)” 
 
WHAT ARE THE COSTS? 
Please visit the individual program pages for more information about costs. Each page has a Cost tab, that has location specific information. Generally, though, students are billed for Webster tuition, program housing, and the study abroad fee (ranges from $175-$525). Additionally, Webster has a range of study abroad scholarships available. One award that most Webster students are eligible for is the Webster Worldwide Traveler Program (WWTP), which covers the costs of roundtrip airfare for students going abroad for a least one 8-week term. For more information on awards, both Webster and external, visit the Study Abroad Scholarships page.  

HOW CAN I SEND MONEY TO MY STUDENT? 
We suggest that your student maintain the same bank account abroad that they use currently.  Debit cards will still work in ATMs abroad and can be used to obtain the local currency that way.  It might be easier to deposit money into your student’s bank account, so that the funds will be available immediately.  Please check with your bank and your student’s bank on the specific details.  If using a debit card, check with your bank before departure as some debit cards must be activated for international use.  Your bank will also be able to tell you what international transaction fees would be.  It is a good idea for your student to carry a credit card with a higher limit for emergency purposes. We do not advise sending paper bills or checks through mail.   

CAN MY STUDENT MEET OTHERS GOING ON THE SAME PROGRAM? 
Yes, there are several opportunities for your student to meet others going to the same campus. We conduct pre-acceptance meetings, held in a group format, after students apply to study abroad.  We hold a mandatory, pre-departure orientation before students depart and break into smaller group sessions that are campus specific. We share a list of students who will be on the same flight to the study abroad destination so students can connect beforehand.  

WHAT TYPE OF HEALTH INSURANCE IS PROVIDED WHILE ABROAD? 
International health insurance through GeoBlue Insurance Services  is automatically provided to each student participating in a study abroad program outside of the United States. The cost is included in the Study Abroad Fee. GeoBlue provides comprehensive accident and sickness coverage. Students will receive brochures and information at the pre-departure orientation. If you would like to get a quick glimpse now, please see our GeoBlue Member Guide. Students have the option to research local health care providers, set up appointments and learn about health issues in different parts of the world once they register their card and set up their app/online GeoBlue account.  
 
For students coming to study abroad in St. Louis, if you are a non-US citizen, you will be enrolled in the university’s health care plan through United Health Care Student Resources (UHCSR). You can contact the Student Health Insurance Coordinator in St. Louis for plan details and benefits through stuhealthins@webster.edu. The cost of the plan will be billed to the student’s St. Louis account. US citizens need to show proof of insurance that will be accepted in the United States.  

WHY IS THERE A CHARGE FOR THE WEBSTER WORLD TRAVELER PROGRAM (WWTP) AWARD ON MY STUDENT’S ACCOUNT? 
The WWTP (Webster World Traveler Program) is the free airfare program for Webster students and is considered a financial aid award.  At first, there will be a charge on your student's account for the cost of the airfare.  Before that bill is issued, the charge will be deducted by the financial aid office, resulting in a zero balance.  Students attending short-term programs (less than 8 weeks) are not eligible for the award. WINS students are eligible for the WINS Travel Award, which provides a $1,000 airfare voucher.  

WILL MY STUDENT NEED A VISA TO STUDY ABROAD? 
Study Abroad will provide students with basic information on how to acquire a student visa; however, it is the student's responsibility to secure their own visa before going overseas. Visa regulations and procedures change quite often and vary upon consulate jurisdiction.  Students should contact the consulate themselves regarding any visa questions. More information, including a visa guide, will be provided to students upon acceptance to their program.  

WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY AND WHEN DO I NEED IT? 
A power of attorney will allow you to legally act on financial matters on behalf of your student in their absence. If you set this up, it will allow you to act on any paperwork that needs to be signed, such as financial aid or scholarships awards. You can obtain a power of attorney application at most office supply stores.  Once the application is filled out, you must have it notarized. Webster University's Registrar's Office has a notary on staff, or you can have your local bank notarize the application.   

DOES WEBSTER MONITOR WORLD EVENTS IN THE LOCATIONS WHERE IT HAS PROGRAMS? 
Yes, the Office of Study Abroad reviews health and safety news from around the world on a regular basis. We monitor updates from range of sources including the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), GeoBlue Health Insurance, the US. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control, and various media sources. We also have Webster staff and partners on the ground in all the locations where we have programs, who can provide insight on any evolving situations from the local perspective.  
 
WILL MY STUDENT BE SAFE WHILE ABROAD? 
Yes, your students will be safe while abroad. However, it is important that they follow safety guidelines such as registering their trip with the US Department of State through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and be vigilant about their new surroundings. The Office of Study Abroad will provide various resources to help them prepare for being safe abroad. These will be available in the study abroad acceptance guide and reviewed at pre-departure orientation.  

CAN I VISIT MY STUDENT WHEN THEY ARE ABROAD? 
You are welcome to visit your student when they are abroad. That is a nice benefit of the study abroad experience! The optimal time to visit is at the end of the study abroad program. This way, your student has had time to adjust to the local culture and language and will have a good understanding of how to navigate around their host city. You will have a much better experience if you arrange your visit in this way. If you have any questions as you consider arranging your travel abroad, please feel free to contact our office. To prepare, you should apply for a passport or make sure your passport is up-to-date.