Greetings from UTSA Education Abroad,
Studying abroad is potentially one of the most transformative experiences a student can have in college. By initiating their global engagement through studying abroad, students take their first steps to become global citizens, expanding their comfort zones, and experiencing new world views. There are many aspects of global education to consider, and we strive to provide resources to guide and support our students. The health and safety of our students are always our top priority.
We also understand that studying abroad is a huge endeavor, not just for the student but also for the entire family. As much as we strive to provide resources for our students, we also work to provide information and peace of mind for parents and guardians. We encourage you to communicate with your student traveler about their ideas, goals, and expectations before they set out on their life-changing experience. Your support for their undertaking will make a world of difference.
Below you can find resources and information which may be useful when considering this incredible opportunity for your student traveler.
Safety and Travel
Student safety abroad is a top priority and we work tirelessly to ensure that we are assessing the risks posed to our students in every program. UTSA's International Oversight Committee (IOC) oversees student safety regarding travel, moderating risks, and determining whether students are truly prepared for their program. Of course, it is important to discuss with your student traveler their travel goals and as well as any steps they should take to address any concerns you may have.
Additionally, the UT System mandates students participating in approved study abroad programs have appropriate student international travel accident and sickness insurance coverage for their program dates and are registered with International SOS. This plan is a comprehensive, international medical and emergency evacuation insurance designed to meet the specific needs of study abroad students. Find more information about the Student International Travel Accident and Sickness Policy.
Finances and Funding
Financing a study abroad program may seem overwhelming but there are many opportunities for students to receive additional funding. Financial assistance is available in the form of scholarships as well as financial aid. Study abroad strives to continually become more accessible to everyone, in fact, 1/3 of UTSA students who study abroad receive some form of financial assistance! Studying abroad will likely require careful financial planning and honest dialogue with your student traveler, but with careful planning and a reasonable amount of flexibility, financial resources should not be a deterrent to study abroad. Find more information about financing study abroad.
One of our biggest goals is to ensure the study abroad experience advances students towards their degree completion. The number of academic credit hours a student earns and how those credits apply toward the degree completion depends on many factors, including the program type, course content, course level, and the number of contact hours. All students must meet with their academic advisor during this process to ensure the courses they choose are eligible to transfer. This process is a bit lengthy and students should start it at least 3-4 months departing. It may be a good idea to confirm with your student traveler if they have already met, or plan to meet, with their academic advisor. You can find additional information about earning credit abroad on our website.
UTSA Education Abroad must abide by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This law prohibits Financial Aid, Registrar, Fiscal Services, and many other UTSA departments from releasing any specific student education information without the student’s written permission. Parents, guardians, spouses, etc., cannot have access to the student’s education records, including account information unless the student has granted authorization through a FERPA/Proxy account in ASAP. This can mean we cannot divulge student academic, financial, or enrollment information to parents. Find out more information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act here.
- Here you can find and download A Parent Guide to Study Abroad, by the Institute for International Education (IIE), an in-depth resource on providing support to your child as they navigate the study abroad
- Go Overseas is a popular community study abroad program review site. Read their article, A Practical Parent's Guide to Study Abroad, to learn more about being involved with your traveler's plans and preparation