Students with Children

For students that are parents, a great concern may be how to care for your child(ren) while abroad. International study is possible with a family and can be just as rewarding, but there are considerations that you should keep in mind. Careful planning can create an experience abroad that will benefit you and your family.

Benefits and drawbacks of a semester abroad with a family
Spending a semester abroad with your children or family members can be rewarding for everyone. You will be able to experience a new culture, explore new places, try new foods, and build memories you can share in the future. However, it will take careful planning to make this a possibility. Consider child-care, schooling options, housing, language barriers, and finances. Start planning early, and work with your program coordinator in Study Abroad & Global Engagement to determine feasibility. We are happy to support you as best as we can.

Benefits and drawbacks of short-term programs
Shorter programs, over winter break, spring break, and the summer, may be more feasible for students with families. The shorter length of time makes it easier to secure care for your loved ones locally while you are abroad, and may make it easier if you have family members in school, with health issues, or other commitments that may complicate a full semester abroad. Of course, you will be more limited in the coursework available to you abroad, and you will not be able to spend as much time abroad, but it may be more feasible and achievable to study abroad for a shorter amount of time.

Thinking about a semester abroad? Make sure you chat with your program coordinator!

Childcare and Extra Costs: Questions to Consider

  • Can you find a host university that will provide housing options to accommodate your family? What are the off-campus housing options?
  • Are you traveling abroad with a spouse or partner that will be able to care for your child while you are in class? If not, what childcare options are available at your host university or in your host city that will work for your budget?
  • Do you have family members in school? What educational options will exist for them to continue their educations while you are abroad?
  • Be aware of extra costs that are associated with traveling with children. These include international health insurance, visas, immunizations, and flight tickets for the entire family. Some items may be covered by your program for you, but not for your child(ren) or family.

Program Options

If you are unable to find a host institution that suits your desires and needs for childcare, consider a short-term study abroad program or a faculty-led program. These can take place over spring or fall break, and it may be more reasonable to ask family members to care for your child(ren) while you are gone.

Winter Break Programs
Spring Break Programs
Summer Faculty-Led Programs

Cultural Attitudes
Depending on where you go, cultural standards may impact the response to being abroad with children, especially as a single parent. Before you go, make sure you are prepared and knowledgeable of how you will be perceived in your host country.

These resources provide travel and safety tips for traveling with children, as well as personal stories from author Elisa Bernick.

Traveling With Children - The Why’s and How-To’s
Staying Safe While Traveling Abroad With Your Family


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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
Study Abroad & Global Engagement and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times