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Parents of Non-Columbia Students

The process of pursuing a study abroad program is an exciting experience for students and their families, and the Office of Global Programs wishes to thank the parents of study abroad students for providing support in making the opportunity to study overseas a reality. The Office of Global Programs is available to assist students and their families throughout the study abroad experience, and is happy to answer any questions and address any concerns pertaining to student experiences. We encourage parents to explore this Web site and learn more about coordinating a studying abroad program.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out if my son or daughter needs any vaccinations or medications?

Students should always check with their doctors or the Centers for Disease Control for the health steps  they are required to take before going abroad. Students who need to take medication must either bring sufficient medication for the duration of their trip abroad, or bring a doctor's prescription which identifies the medication by its generic name in order to have the prescription filled while abroad. 

Does my son or daughter need special health insurance?

Yes. Your student must not travel uninsured. Please be sure to consult with your families' insurance carrier to inquire about coverage overseas, or if your student is covered through their home school, with their office of Insurance for details. Columbia provides Emergency Medical Services to all students through ISOS International.

How do I know if where my son or daughter will be staying is safe?

The Office of Global Programs places the highest level of priority on the safety and security of its students who are pursuing study abroad programs. The staff of the OGP conducts pre-departure meetings which includes information on: health, safety, and security concerns; advice on minimizing exposure to risk; and instructions on dealing with crises.

Each of Columbia's programs have staff on-site who are available to deal with emergencies and as follow the protocol in communicating with the home institutions of students. The Office of Global receives up-to-date information in the form of travel warnings and travel safety information updates from the U.S. Department of State, and provides a link to the State Department as part of Resources- Health & Safety section of this website.

What should my son or daughter need to do in order to obtain a visa?

Every student must have an up-to-date passport and should apply for a visa as early as possible. International students should contact their International Student office to make sure they have appropriate visa forms, as well as the forms needed in order to re-enter the United States. The OGP will provide instructions and the necessary letters to each student in their acceptance packet. Then, your student must apply for a visa on their own. We are happy to advise and help with the process.

What bills are we responsible for paying?

All of the tuition and fees for your student's program is published on the program tuition sheet, accessible online. If your student's home school is sponsoring your student and will thus be paying their tuition, please be sure to touch base with their home school' study abroad office should you have any questions.

What happens if there is an emergency?

As soon as students are settled abroad, students should make sure that their families have the correct phone numbers and contact information, as well as phone numbers for the on-site staff and directors of the study abroad program. In the case of a family emergency, parents should contact the Office of Global Programs at Columbia, which is available to assist students and their families in making any of the arrangements needed in order to address emergency situations.