The Host University will provide arrival information in the acceptance materials sent to your student. However, one of the things you might want to do as the departure date nears is to review with your student what to do on arrival.
The first day at the host country is very important and we would like the student to get off to a good start. Specifically, we’ve asked study abroad students to make sure they have the following information:
- What to expect at the airport (i.e., layout, immigration and customs procedure, location of ATMs, ground transportation, etc.); is airport pickup provided?
- Directions to their apartment, residence hall, program office, or the university’s Study Abroad Office
- What form of transportation to take and where to get it
- Who to contact or where to go in case of emergency
- How to say a few key expressions and questions in the host country’s language
- Contingency plans in case Plan A goes awry
Family members and friends often ask students to call home immediately after arrival. Of course! We understand your concern, but please be aware that it may not be always possible. On some programs, students may need to catch an airport shuttle immediately after retrieving their luggage and going through Customs and Immigration. Some may arrive late at night or after having traveled for a day to reach their destination and are too exhausted to even think about calling home. Alternately, some find out their carefully planning international phone plan does not work. And some programs don’t provide immediate access to internet or phones as we are used to in the U.S. We advise students to call/text home within the first 24 hours.
Some families find it useful to gather all of the information and documents you and your student might need while he or she is away, including:
- Contact information for:
- Your student (street address and cell phone number)
- OSA advisors and host university Study Abroad Office
- U.S. State Department Office of Overseas Citizen Services
- Citizen assistance section of the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest your student’s program site
- Insurance policy number and how to submit claims Emergency and communication plan
- Student’s bank account, and credit card numbers and contact info in case of loss
- Student’s passport number
- Duplicate lost passport kit containing:
- Two passport photos
- Official copy of his or her birth certificate
- Copy of student’s passport information and visa pages
- Academic calendar
- Name of local physician—if your student requires medical supervision