Parent FAQs

Q: Will courses taken abroad count toward my student’s UC Davis degree? 
A: Yes! All coursework taken on UC programs is guaranteed for UC credit towards graduation. Study abroad programs can help students fulfill major, minor, general education and graduation requirements and/or achieve proficiency in another language. Depending on the student’s interests, courses can be taken in English and/or foreign languages. 

Non-Davis students participating in a UC Davis Summer Abroad program must request a transcript of their course work through the Registrar’s Office. The transcript must be evaluated by your student’s home campus.

UC Davis students who choose independent study abroad programs must apply for Independent Leave.

Q: Does it cost significantly more to study abroad? 
A: Program costs vary widely, but with adequate planning, a program that meets your student’s financial budget can be achieved. Most study abroad programs are comparable to the cost of living and studying at a UC campus.

Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Because students remain enrolled at UC Davis while studying abroad, they retain their eligibility for financial aid. Upon enrollment in a study abroad program, the Financial Aid Office gets notified of estimated program costs (including airfare and health insurance fees, tuition, housing, etc) and will typically adjust your student’s financial package to meet the costs of the program. Depending on the program, some scholarship support is available for those who apply and qualify. Refer to the Finances resource page.

Q: Where will my student live while abroad?
A: Housing for students varies by program and may include dorms, home-stays or apartments. Once the student identifies a program, housing details are available.

Q: Why should my student study abroad?
A: Studying abroad may benefit your son or daughter in numerous ways. Studying abroad can help students gain a new perspective on the way they see themselves and the world. Research has suggested that intercultural experiences help in personal development and can give students an edge for medical, law, and graduate school admissions. Many study abroad programs cost less than comparable time at UC Davis. An education abroad experience also affords students the opportunity to increase cross-cultural awareness through meeting new friends from all over the world. Research has shown that students who are studying abroad are learning skills and qualities - such as resilience, creativity, independence, self-organization, and social competence – that are not as easily learned on their home campus. The level of maturity coupled with a seasoned international outlook that our students display after they return are assets that they surely profit from in almost all circumstances that lie ahead. Last, the time is right: students seldom get a better opportunity to study abroad than right now!

Q: Can my loved one still graduate in 4 years if she/he studies abroad?
A: Yes. If a student chooses the program and courses carefully with an academic advisor, he/she should be able to study abroad and finish his/her curriculum in four years. UC Davis Study Abroad offers summer, quarter, semester and year-long programs. Many majors can study abroad for an entire year and still graduate on time. Course selection is done prior to departure so students can plan for academic progress. All units taken on UC programs and some independent study abroad programs will count towards graduation, and possibly major/minor or general education requirements.

Q: Why pick a UC or UC Davis study abroad program? 
A: UC and UC Davis study abroad programs are high quality academic programs at leading universities and institutions. Students receive UC credit for courses completed, and financial aid can be applied to all UC Davis Study Abroad programs.

Q: Is it expensive? 
A: Most students do not realize that using financial aid and scholarships can make study abroad more affordable. Loans, federal aid, grants, and scholarships may be applied to fully fund a study abroad program. The cost of some study abroad programs is very comparable or less than the cost of attending UC Davis. Additionally, there are many scholarships and grants available for study abroad. For more information on funding resources, please visit the Finances resource page.

Q: Is it safe for my loved one to study abroad?
A: Student safety is paramount. While no one can guarantee safety, UC Davis Study Abroad has several health and safety measures in place. UC Davis Study Abroad staff monitors current international political, social, and economic conditions and events in program locations. When planning programs and activities, our staff takes precautions in light of this information so that participants have the safest possible experience abroad. In addition, faculty and staff at the program site are available to oversee student safety and to support students who need medical assistance while abroad.

We encourage students and their families to familiarize themselves with—and maintain an awareness of—the political, social, and economic climate of their host country before departure and during participation. The UC Davis Study Abroad website provides students and parents with important links related to health and safety while studying abroad, such as the Traveler's Health information available from the Center for Disease Control and U.S. Department of State's Travel Safety Information for Students.

Prior to departure, students receive health and safety information about their program site. In addition, all students receive travel/accident insurance, which is included in the program cost. Our staff also provides students with the information needed to register with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their host country. UC Davis Study Abroad also works with the UC Davis Police Department to ensure a 24 hour, seven days a week emergency response to any incident.

Q: Should I get a passport?
A: We do encourage parents to apply for a passport if they do not already have one or renew one they already have that will expire within six months of the students return date. Should an emergency arise while your student is abroad it may be helpful or necessary for you to travel abroad to be with them. Visit the State Department for more information.

Q: When can my son/daughter study abroad?

A: Students do not need to wait until their junior year to study abroad. Many UC Davis Study Abroad programs are open to freshmen, sophomores, and graduating seniors.

Q: How can I better understand and support my son/daughter’s return or re-entry?
A: There are many resources for loved ones concerned about their student’s re-entry adjustment. The School for International Training has a good Re-entry Handbook for parents.

Q: What is FERPA? 
A: FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Under FERPA guidelines students who are over 18 have a legal right to privacy in regards to their educational records. This means UC Davis Study Abroad staff is prohibited from providing any student information to anyone other than the student. In emergencies, UC Davis Study Abroad staff will communicate with any individuals the student has listed as their emergency contacts in the application materials. However, be aware that FERPA guidelines apply to all non-emergency matters.