Congratulations on your student’s acceptance into the education abroad program and into a community of globally minded OSU students. In the Office of Global Opportunities, our primary goal is to provide students with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Education abroad programs offer our students chances to acquire new knowledge and skills that will prove valuable throughout the rest of their lives. To accomplish those goals, we carefully prepare students to make sound decisions that protect themselves while also increasing self-sufficiency, resourcefulness, and cross-cultural competence. While adjustment to a new culture and context is often challenging and stretching, it is a natural process that each student inevitably goes through. We hope that you will trust your student as they go through the initial adjustment process, knowing they have been given tried and true coping mechanisms and have on-site support for that process. We’ve found it valuable to remember that working through these challenges is part of the adventure and part of growing up.
In our desire to create a culture of independence, we purposely communicate directly with the students during their time abroad. Indeed, part of the applicant screening process includes an assessment of each student’s readiness to take on the personal responsibility of traveling, studying, and living abroad. While we are pleased to respond to inquiries from parents and family members, in most cases, we cannot share student specific information due to FERPA student privacy regulations. Therefore, we encourage you to discuss any questions and concerns first with your student and allow him/her to find the answers to those questions.
After traveling and living abroad, adjusting to a new culture and new foods, and making friends with people who see the world differently, students often return home with new perspectives, increased levels of confidence, and an excitement about new possibilities the world has to offer. Among the skills and attitudes students acquire, you may find your student has become more adaptable and flexible, independent, and open-minded. We are excited about the place your student may take as a future business, government, or academic leader in the increasingly global economy.