See what parents of Study Abroad students have to say about the study abroad experience and working with the Office of Study Abroad.
When my daughter Brandy decided that she wanted to study abroad in Europe I was scared to death. The thought of her being halfway around the world scared me. Letting her go live on campus was one thing, but to send her to another country was way out of my comfort zone. But the Office of Study Abroad was very helpful in answering all my questions and concerns. With their help, along with information that my daughter had been gathering for some time, I knew it would be alright. This was a chance of a lifetime and no schooling could prepare or teach her for what she would learn just by living there. The people she would meet and the cultures she would experience would be priceless. There is nothing like traveling to other countries and seeing how other people live to make you appreciate what you have. Keeping in contact helped tremendously, which we did through Skype. What a wonderful invention, not only to speak with them but to actually see them and know they are alright. I know she had a few rough times but overall she enjoyed the experience and if she had the opportunity, she would love to live there. It was a great experience for us all and I would highly recommend it.
Mother of Brandy - Class of 2011
As parents that had seldom set foot out of the United States, our first reaction to our oldest child’s desire to study abroad was probably one of apprehension. However, being a child of persistence, he would not easily be dissuaded. He warmed us up to the idea with a study abroad that was “just a couple of weeks” over winter break in Costa Rica. After he returned full of wonderful stories and experiences which we could only dream of, a spring break participating in the London Review was followed by an entire semester in Spain. Before we knew it, we were veteran parents of three study abroad experiences and great proponents of the program. The rich experiences of culture, travel, friendships, and education made his college experience at the University of Kansas complete. Now, he has passed his passion for the study abroad program on to his brother who just finished the British Summer Institute and is already planning another period of study abroad. What a way to broaden one’s horizons.
Parents of Mason – class of 2011
My daughter, Abby, spent the fall of her junior year studying in Spain. When she left on the plane, I had a fair amount of trepidation and the tears to match, but I knew she was setting off on the most incredible of adventures. Soon she was comfortably settled in with her host family and her new friends and classmates. She was starting classes and taking weekend trips around Spain and beyond, and I suddenly had a reason to join the world of Facebook. The pictures posted were priceless. I was able to see for myself the room in which she was sleeping, the school she was attending, the friends she was making, and the places to which she was traveling. It was wonderful to see her smiling face and know that she was finding her place in her adopted land. She always had wonderful stories to tell, and between her cell phone, the internet, and Skype dates, we were able to readily keep in touch. I believe I talked to her more when she was in Spain than when she was in Kansas! It was a challenge to have my daughter so far from home, but one that was well worth it. I am so proud of all that she accomplished, and she gained an incredible amount of confidence, independence and maturity along the way. In one semester she saw more of the world than most people get to see in a lifetime, and the memories will stay with her forever.
Mother of Abby – Class of 2012
I felt that studying abroad would help my daughter broaden her understanding of how other countries conduct their day to day lives, what others think of the United States and how the world works in general. Plus her experience with working in a business abroad would help her tremendously in understanding how a different country conducts its business. With globalization, it would give her a leg up on international business. Also learning another language would give her insight to that culture and help her realize that other countries are more like us than they are dissimilar regarding family, work and play. Of course like every parent I feared for her - knowing that some countries she was in might have bad people and bad things going on. I could only trust that everything we taught her about being wary would be put into action, but not to the point of paranoia. She has a very free spirit and I struggled with that a bit, but with Skye we were able to see and talk to her, which eased our fears a lot. Skype or any other sort of communication on a regular basis is a must. Students may need to teach their parents how to work Skype or Facebook, but it is worth it. She also set up a blog so that we could see and read about what was happening without asking her 100 questions, which was great for the both of us!
Father of Brandy – Class of 2011
My son participated in the junior year abroad at the University of Bonn in Germany. He had been to Germany before for short exchange programs, but not for a whole year. Communication was one of my biggest concerns, but Skype helped it be a wonderful experience for both of us. He had a tremendous experience and has used what he learned to continue on with a possible PhD in German and has thrived on his experiences. I wholeheartedly recommend that if a student has the time, they should participate in Study Abroad.
Mother of Shane - Class of 2012