Introduction to Study Abroad
You are supporting what may be one of your son or daughter’s most life-altering experiences. Your child will return from their experience a more well-rounded, worldly, educated, understanding person. We know how hard this may be for you. You are sending your son or daughter to live in a culture you may not have experienced yourself. Your reservations are quite normal and to be expected. Your child’s upcoming adventure is something new and different from what he or she has ever experienced before.
The orientation and information packet have been designed to help parents understand the step-by-step process of study abroad at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. It also includes useful information about the stages of adjustment students encounter while abroad and answers frequently asked questions.
UW-Whitewater believes each student is ultimately responsible for his or her experience abroad. This encompasses a wide range of responsibilities from personal safety and paperwork to being a responsible representative of UW-Whitewater and the United States. The Office Center for Global Education is here to guide your son or daughter through the process. Your support throughout the entire process is extremely important as well. Your son or daughter is embarking on an incredible journey rich in personal, professional and academic rewards that will last a lifetime. UW-Whitewater has people and offices that are here to help you and your student. The following people can answer most questions or concerns. Please feel free to contact us if we can be of more assistance.
Why study abroad?
We live in a global society and students need intercultural skills to be fully prepared to live and work in today’s world. While UW-Whitewater has a number of international students and faculty, most students don’t spend much time with people from other cultures. So the best way to gain these important intercultural skills is to have an experience in another country. Going abroad during the undergraduate years is a perfect time, since once students begin working they most likely won’t have time to go abroad for an extended period of time.
What happens when students study abroad?
Studies show that a cultural experience overseas is life-changing. Returned students tell us that they feel more confident and independent, that they are more mature and they have a clearer idea of who they are and what they want to do with their lives. They learn important interpersonal skills, languages, problem-solving skills, and travel skills. Students who learn to understand another culture can see things from different perspectives. They also learn more about their own culture!