Information for Parents

Welcome Parents! We have compiled the information below to help answer some of the questions you may have about your son/daughter studying abroad. However, we also feel strongly that your son/daughter should do their own research about the study abroad experience they are about to have. Please advise them to meet with a Study Abroad Peer Mentor in our office for a comprehensive orientation to study abroad and to meet with a Study Abroad Advisor.

Benefits of Study Abroad

Upon their return to the U.S., students often say their study abroad experience changed their lives. And the reasons why are as many and as varied as the people that go. Some of the benefits of study abroad include:

  • Earning credit toward their Georgia State University degree while studying abroad.
  • Experiencing what they are studying first hand, whether it be the workings or a multinational corporation in China or the effects of apartheid on South Africa’s economy and social structure.
  • Building their resume to get an edge up in the competitive job market. Employers in our global economy seek the skills polished by overseas engagement – such as cultural awareness, teamwork, innovation, and flexibility.
  • Acquiring or improving foreign language skills. Complete language and cultural immersion is considered the best way to learn a language.
  • Gaining a better understanding of themselves and their own country. This is an adventure that will broaden their horizons and create more independence, confidence, and maturity.
  • Most students that go abroad return exhilarated by the experience. They bring fresh perspectives to the classroom and are more confident about living in today’s world.

Studying abroad is a wise investment and a lifetime gift that we hope every student at GSU will get to take advantage of. Below we’ve addressed some common parental concerns about studying abroad. However, should you have any concerns not addressed below, please feel free to reach out to our office at (404) 413-2529 or

Students can earn just as many credits during their term abroad as they can on campus, so studying abroad does not mean your son or daughter will fall behind academically or have to delay their graduation. In fact, a study by the University System of Georgia showed that students who studied abroad had a 17.8% higher 4-year graduation rate than their peers who did not study abroad. Students can earn credits to fulfill electives, major-related courses, and/or minor-related courses. GSU offers programs ranging in length from 1 week Spring Break programs all the way up to 10 month academic year exchanges, making it easier to find a program that works for students' schedules. Your son or daughter should meet with their Academic Advisor prior to choosing a study abroad program to help determine which classes are needed to graduate on time and when is the best time for them to go abroad.
Georgia State Study Abroad Programs are led by an on-site Program Director, who is also a professor at Georgia State. The programs have been created by academic departments at Georgia State, and we have programs representing all 6 colleges at Georgia State. Approximately 80 percent of Georgia State students who study abroad participate in a Georgia State Study Abroad Program. However, our students may choose to participate in a Non-GSU study abroad program, as long as their transcript is coming from an accredited institution. Meeting with a Study Abroad Peer Advisor and meeting with a Study Abroad Advisor will help your student choose a program that best meets their needs.
The safety of our students is top priority and university policies and procedures are in place for all of our Georgia State University Study Abroad Programs. As part of our policy, all students traveling on Georgia State University programs receive international health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), which is included in the cost of all faculty-led programs and is also required for students participating in exchange programs. Our University System of Georgia policy provides emergency evacuation & repatriation of remains coverage, as well as accident & injury coverage up to $500,000. Additionally, all students studying abroad on a GSU program are given the Director of Study Abroad's cell phone number and they are accessible 24/7. Georgia State University’s annual SafetyNet report, which includes crime statistics and other safety information, can be found on the GSU Safety & Security website.
Planning early is the key to making study abroad financially feasible. Financial aid, including HOPE, can be used towards the cost of study abroad. Additionally, the Study Abroad Programs Office awards study abroad scholarships each term, which you can find out more about here on our scholarship page. Our Study Abroad Advisors also advise on national scholarships like the Gilman, Boren, and Freeman-Asia Fellowship and host scholarship essay-writing workshops.

Additional Resources