A Note to Family and Parents
Congratulations to your student for deciding to learn abroad!
The distinction of having studied in a foreign country for a summer, semester, quarter, or year can be invaluable to your student’s future career in a competitive job market. In today's global economy, education abroad has become one of the most integral, enriching, and transformative components in a student’s college career. As we become increasingly global, many companies and graduate schools seek candidates who have lived in a foreign country and who have the ability to work with people from many cultural backgrounds. Education abroad can provide the structure for students to acquire these skills and give them an edge over the competition.
There are many steps necessary to participate in an education abroad program. We believe our students need to take charge of planning and implementing their education in a foreign country. However, the staff and peer mentors at UCR are here to advise and guide them through the entire process.
Your support is extremely important as well. The information provided on this page is designed to help you understand the step-by-step process of learning abroad at UCR. If you have additional questions, we encourage you to consult our website or to contact UCR Education Abroad.
UCR Education Abroad Team
Why should my student go abroad?
- Learning and working internationally are a tremendous professional, personal, and academic opportunity for a student to complement their education at UC Riverside.
- In today’s global economy, having international experiences or proficiency in another language makes job seekers more marketable and valuable to the organizations that hire them.
- When students live and learn in another country, it raises their self-confidence and helps them become more mature and independent. They come to see the world from a different lens and recognize a sense of duty as a global citizen.
- Your student can make friends in a new country, form bonds with others in a profound way and develop a sense of teamwork through a tight-knit connection with other students in their program.
- Your student can continue to earn credits toward their degree, take a class not offered at UCR—one that is unique to that country—and improve their proficiency in another language.
What types of programs do you offer?
Students can choose from three program tracks for academic courses and internships:
- Faculty Led Education Abroad Program (FLEAP): UCR faculty teach UCR classes in other countries during the summer term.
- UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP): University of California sister campuses team up to offer an exchange network of international courses available to all UC students. Not all UC programs abroad are part of the UCEAP network.
- Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP): Students are welcome to work with us to find, propose, and receive academic credit for any other international academic or internship program.
How much will it cost?
How much a program will cost depends on a variety of factors—the type of a program, the length of the program and stay, the location and the sponsoring school. In some instances, the cost can be comparable to or less than the cost of staying on the UCR campus. Learn more about education abroad finances.
Will all grades and credits be accepted by UCR?
While abroad, your student may be able to earn UC credit directly or receive transfer credit. When talking to their academic advisor, the student can plan coursework that fits into their major or minor. Your student can also find out about how these grades will affect their overall GPA.
- UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) and Faculty Led Education Abroad Program (FLEAP) participants receive UCR credit.
- Other UC and non-UC program participants (OAP) can receive transfer credit.
We especially encourage students who participate in other UC and non- UC programs to keep all records from their classes, including emails, letters, notes, syllabi and tests.
What about health & safety?
Your student’s safety is our top priority. We make sure they meet travel health requirements, including vaccinations before departure. We do our research and tap our extensive international network before and during your student’s trip to monitor situations abroad.
We mobilize as many resources as possible to make sure your student stays safe and healthy. We also strongly encourage students to be aware of their actions and to make the right choices to ensure their own wellbeing. Read our travel and safety resources.
To access health resources, including emergency resources, visit our main Health and Safety page.
While UCR encourages students to participate in educational opportunities throughout the world, we do not endorse participation in areas with recognized regional dangers or instabilities as determined by the U.S. Department of State.
Checklist and Advice
You know best how involved you should be in supporting your student through the process of going abroad, although we recommend you let the student take the lead to help them grow as a responsible adult. To help you understand the process, here is an education abroad outline with resources:
- Complete a Student Profile Survey and sign up for an Information Session on MyUCR Abroad.
- Attend an Information Session.
- Decide on which program your student wants to attend.
- Check the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories list to see if a country is listed.
- Sign up for an Application Workshop.
- Mark calendars with important deadlines, which the student will learn about at the Application Workshop.
- Apply for the program before the deadline.
Student Pre-Departure Preparation
- Check MyUCR Abroad for information about their program and complete all forms.
- Check R’Mail often for correspondence from the Education Abroad office and other organizations that will send official information about a program.
- Student works with their academic advisors to develop their course plan.
- Apply for a passport and visa.
- Take care of health care tasks, such as health clearance, vaccinations, and medical insurance.
- Keep their grades up and conduct in good standing.
- Make an appointment with financial aid representative and apply for scholarships.
- Attend mandatory meetings and orientation.
- Research the food, culture, laws, and news of the host country.
- Make travel and living arrangements. Students will learn more about these in meetings prior to travel.
Figuring out a communication plan is not always as straightforward as it may seem. Unexpected events will crop up, and you may not always be able to get in touch with your student. Don't panic! With preparation, you should be able to iron out a plan to keep in touch. Postal mail, telephone, Skype, social media and email are all available means by which to communicate with students abroad. While rates may be higher to connect overseas, the services work similarly to those here in the United States. A popular option by many students is to obtain a phone card/calling card from your current long-distance carrier. Be sure to find out the appropriate access numbers for the United States as they vary from country to country.
- Arrival: It is especially important to establish how your student will let you know they have arrived safely.
- Schedule check-in times: Throughout their time abroad, try to set up a regular weekly or bi-weekly check-in time. Establishing a set time to communicate by phone, email, Skype, or text will help keep communication regular and help put your mind at ease. Agree what time and how you will contact each other. If you are unable to make it, tell each other you will send an email. End each conversation with the date and time of the next one. There may be a slight gap in communication as they get settled in the beginning.
- Remember the time difference: Please remember that you are in different time zones. Ask them to do the same for you. There is nothing fun about receiving a call or a text in the middle of the night. If it helps, think about designating a clock in your home and setting it to the time zone in your student's education abroad location.
- Give them space: Avoid suffocating your student. Yes, you miss them. Yes, you worry about them. But sending 14 texts in an hour or peppering them with constant emails will not do either of you any good. Recognize that your explorer is discovering a whole new world and needs the space to do so. Remember to put yourself in their shoes and try to be patient.
- Consider their schedule: You have been trying to schedule a call for a week and your student keeps cancelling on you. What's going on? Keep calm and be patient. Between school, social activities, and navigating a new environment, your student has plenty on their plate. They are busy, and you are working within a reduced window of compatible time zones. If you miss a call date, arrange a new one.
Health Care and Wellness
All students must have a minimum amount of international coverage through insurance before they leave the U.S. We help students get access to emergency or more routine healthcare if they need it abroad. In the event of an emergency, see the section below.
The Education Abroad office monitors information relevant to the health and safety of all UCR students abroad. We look to official sources as well as domestic and international partners and colleagues. We routinely review Travel Advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State. To find your closest U.S. embassy, visit: usembassy.gov
We also regularly consult with the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) Systemwide Office and various education abroad organizations in which our students participate.
UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)
Emergency Contact Number: +1-805-893-4762
- If seriously injured or sick, students should get medical treatment at the closest medical facility and contact the local UCEAP representative.
- If medical service is not available, call Europ Assistance collect +1-202-828-5896 or call the UCEAP 24-hour emergency contact number +1-805-893-4762.
UCR Faculty Led Education Abroad Program (FLEAP)
Summer education abroad faculty and teaching assistants are the first line of emergency support for students. For medical referrals, evacuation, or other services, students should report to them immediately, then call the UnitedHealthcare Global Travel Assistance Program:
- USA and Canada 1-800-527-0218.
- Outside the USA, Call Collect +1-410-453-6330.
For complete information on emergency procedures, please check out our Emergency handbook.
Other UC and Non-UC Programs (OAP)
Depending on the circumstances, do one of the following:
- Contact local emergency services.
- Contact your local abroad program in-country support staff immediately.
- Notify the UCR Education Abroad office: +1-951-827-4113.
- Find your closest U.S. embassy: usembassy.gov.
- Readjust to life back at UCR.
- Check in with Education Abroad advisors and academic advisors.
- Make sure they get academic credit for their experience abroad.
- Work with us to market their experience on resumes, LinkedIn, and our website.
- Impress future employers and graduate programs with their initiative by working or volunteering in our office.
Welcome to the Family!
Whether you are the parent of an international student or a domestic student, there are plenty of ways to get involved with our office. You are part of our community! Get to know our staff here.