Parents, Guardians & Mentors
A Message from the Vice Provost of International Affairs
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Greetings from the Office of International Affairs! We are delighted that your student is thinking about study abroad or has already decided to participate. Research demonstrates that a study abroad experience can have a tremendous, transformative impact on a college student's academic, professional, and personal development. At Texas Tech, study abroad is an integral part of the Red Raider experience and better prepares students – whether they are from Texas, New York, Bangkok, or Cairo – to work, live, and compete in a global economy.
Study abroad programs allow students to earn academic credit and can include international experiences such as research, internships, and service. It is the mission of our office to break down barriers, financial and otherwise, to make study abroad accessible to as many students as possible. Texas Tech recognizes that parents, family, and guardians are critical partners in achieving these goals and supporting student success. To assist, we have developed the following website and resources for parents and guardians to explain the various aspects of the study abroad process and answer questions that you may have.
By studying abroad with Texas Tech, your student can make substantial progress toward their academic collegiate pursuits. Our staff is committed to connecting your student with opportunities that not only meet their unique goals and needs but also provide a significant and enriching cultural experience. TTU expects students to take responsibility for and ownership of their process because doing so can further develop the maturity, independence, self-confidence, and self-sufficiency that students learn while abroad. As such, our staff will communicate directly with your student, and we encourage you to help support their direct communication with us as well.
We strive to provide each student with the support, guidance, knowledge, and tools to safely and successfully participate in study abroad as part of their academic career. Please be assured that our overarching priority is the safety and security of our Study Abroad participants. Given the inherent threats in today's world – not just abroad, but everywhere – we continuously monitor global events and trends and will not hesitate to remove a site, or even an entire country, as a study abroad destination until such time as conditions improve.
During the decades that I have been with Texas Tech University, I have been happy to see thousands of our students pursue education abroad experiences all over the world. They have enjoyed the friendliness of international professors and the host communities that welcome their curiosity and desire for intercultural engagement.
It is my belief that our study abroad students bring something special back to Texas Tech, and I want to thank you whole-heartedly for playing a vital part in the study abroad process – from their decision to participate all the way through their return. We are very proud of our study abroad students, and Texas Tech is dedicated to making your student's study abroad one of the most meaningful and impactful experiences of their life.
Sukant Misra, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for International Affairs
Professor of Agricultural & Applied Economics
What we can promise you...
- We are complying with the FERPA laws that affect what information we can and cannot share with our student's family members and/or guardians. If a student would like for their information to be made available to others, then they must first complete a FERPA waiver, and indicate on their study abroad application that we can communicate certain information to you. Please visit FERPA/Academic Information Waiver for more information about FERPA.
- We are preparing your student to adapt, learn, and excel in their new environment.
- We are mitigating risks appropriately in all locations where we place students. Please visit the OIA's Global Safety and Security Resources for more information.
- We are communicating with your student's host institution or program provider appropriately with information pertinent to their experience before, during, and after their education abroad experience.
- We are listening to your student and responding promptly to their concerns regarding registration, billing, and other university matters.
How you can work with us...
- Your student understands the centrality of their role in co-creating a positive education abroad experience to include disclosing any needs they have that might affect their health, safety, or wellness. Students should feel comfortable sharing issues and concerns directly with program staff in their host country, and students are responsible for paying any bills, library fines, or balances owed to TTU in a timely manner.
- Your student has made the time to discuss with you the goals and expectations that they have for their international experience. Students must also be thinking ahead about housing and registering for classes for the semester following their education abroad experience.
- Your student discloses to you as well as the TTU Study Abroad staff any additional travel and activities they have planned which are independent of their study abroad program.
- You are aware that your student – rather than TTU staff or the study abroad program – may be the most appropriate source for some information.
- Your student develops a communication plan with you that addresses when and how often to be in contact while abroad. It is particularly important to discuss the importance of a first call home upon arrival in their host country.
Additional Information of Interest to Parents & Guardians
- TTU Study Abroad Data
- Cost & Billing Information
- Policies & Procedures
- Health, Safety, & Insurance Information
- The Application Process
- Helpful Tips for Non-U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens
- Additional Resources
- Suggested Readings
- Global Safety and Security Resources
- Study abroad webinar recorded in partnership with Texas Tech Parents' Association: Recorded February, 2018
- "Before They Go Abroad” by James McCommons from Better Homes and Gardens magazine, August 2006
- NAFSA's What Parents Need to Know! Before, During and After Education Abroad
- Communicating with Strangers: An Introduction to Intercultural Communication by William B. Gudykunst and Young Yun Kim
- American-Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective by Edward C. Stewart and Milton J. Bennett (especially chapters 4 and 5)
- Survival Kit for Overseas Living by Robert Kohls
- Surviving Re-entry: A Readjustment Manual for Parents
- Voting procedures while abroad
See also newspaper websites from around the world to gain other (non-U.S.) perspectives on particular issues or incidents.