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Letter to Parents

Dear Future Aggies Abroad Parent:

Study abroad is often a life-altering experience for students: our students discover new passions, develop a broader perspective of the world, gain skills and experiences that can improve their employability and make friendships that last a lifetime.  

We understand that the decision to send your son or daughter on a study program overseas may be a difficult one: there are safety and financial issues to consider, and there are many programs and different types of experiences to choose from.

So, we have created this section of the website for parents like you; your student is excited about participating in a study abroad program and cannot wait to enroll—and you would like to know a little more about your student’s future experiences and options.

Parent Webinar for Study Abroad

Health and Safety:  No one can guarantee the safety of any endeavor, but UC Davis Study Abroad does much to promote a safe experience for your student and to prepare for emergencies. Pre-departure and onsite orientations inform students of local customs, help with questions and concerns, and provide them with each program’s emergency protocol. Students on UC Davis’ own programs are covered by medical insurance designed specifically for study abroad and supported by a worldwide network of English-speaking physicians. Students with pre-existing conditions can pre-schedule appointments with specialists in the host country. All instructors and onsite coordinators on faculty-led programs are required to maintain First-Aid and CPR certification. Additionally, UC Davis and system-wide UCEAP work closely with risk assessment experts and emergency evacuation services both on the home campus and abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships:  Many families do not realize that financial aid can be applied to study abroad, and, depending on individual circumstances, aid may even be increased to cover travel costs and additional living expenses. UC Davis Study Abroad gives out over $100,000 in study abroad awards each year, and UCEAP offers substantial financial aid and many scholarships. In certain cases, such as summer programs, students should not expect state or federal grants to be available at the usual levels, but other resources may be available, such as student loans. Remember that individual situations vary, so please encourage your student to work closely with financial aid advisors at the university when planning study abroad.

Study Abroad Options:  Students have a wide variety of options to choose from, of varying lengths, locations, and topics. They can select from programs provided by UC Davis, UCEAP, other universities and third-party “Independent” vendors. They can study abroad for a year, a quarter, 4 weeks, or even 2 weeks in virtually every corner of the world, on subjects ranging from sustainable energy technologies to fantasy literature to community development. From UC Davis courses offered overseas, courses at foreign universities, internships, service-learning, seminars, language immersion, or hybrid programs, students have a lot of options. Additionally, they may choose a single-location program or participate in a multiple-country or other traveling program.

Faculty-led Programs:  UC Davis Quarter Abroad and Summer Abroad programs are led by UC Davis faculty and consist of regular UC Davis courses. Many faculty are natives of the host country, and many have won teaching awards at the University. These are solid academic programs enhanced by on-site experiential learning. The credits earned will count toward your student's degree, and many classes can be applied to major and General Education requirements. Language requirements that would take three quarters to complete on campus can be completed in one quarter abroad. Students can also gain valuable internship and research experience in many professional fields or be active in community engagement projects.

UCEAP Immersion and Independent Programs:  System-wide UCEAP provides opportunities for UC students to enroll in highly-ranked universities all over the world; they can participate for a year, a quarter, or a summer in a full range of majors, all the while receiving UC credit. This includes language immersion options and internship opportunities. UC Davis Study Abroad can also advise your student on how to study abroad in the wide array of programs offered by independent providers; in particular, our advisors can guide your student on how to request pre-approval of transferability for courses taken with independent providers. 

We hope you'll find the links on our website section useful; there's information about specific courses, travel preparation, scholarships, financial aid, and our health insurance plans. Please encourage your student to stop by our Study Abroad offices and visit with staff and student peer advisors to explore their options.

If you have questions for us, please feel free to contact us at the email addresses below. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Best wishes,

Aliki Dragona

Faculty Director, Faculty-led Programs

Fadi Fathallah

Faculty Director, UCEAP and Independent Programs

Zachary Frieders

Director, Study Abroad