UMass Boston

Parents & Family

The Office of Global Programs and the staff from the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange Programs is thrilled to be able to send your son or daughter abroad. Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to experience another culture and obtain global perspective while developing skills that will broaden their academic and career options, in the future.

Studying abroad in college is perhaps the most enlightening opportunity your son/ daughter will experience. As parents, your support is important throughout the entire process. Ultimately, the responsibility of studying abroad rests on the student, and we expect students to manage the entire process on their own to get the most out of the experience. We  communicate with and send all correspondence to students. After all, they are the individuals who will be abroad and are responsible for themselves in a foreign country.

Bills and Financial Aid

It is a common misconception that all study abroad opportunities are beyond many students' budgets. The truth is, there are study abroad options that cost the same as or even less than studying on campus. With proper planning, we can help a student find a program that fits into any budget.

Reciprocal exchange programs allow for UMass Boston to students pay their tuition and curriculum fee to UMass Boston not to the host university, abroad. Mandatory and other student fees are paid to the host institution. In most cases, the host institution will assist the student in locating housing and the cost for housing, airfare, ground transportation, books and materials, meals, and other incidentals are the student’s responsibility.

There is usually a deposit due once your student has been accepted by a study abroad program. Your student will receive a bill for the program fee. The deposit amount, when paid will lower the total due on the date indicated for final payment. For many programs the program fee to covers the cost of the program, housing, board and sometime excursions. Bills from the program provider ought to delineate what the costs cover.

If your student is receiving any type of financial aid, you must check with the financial aid office before you leave and inform them of your intention to study abroad. After you receive an acceptance letter from a study abroad program, take it to the financial aid office. They will make the necessary adjustments and supply you with the proper forms to transfer your aid to your study abroad program.

The federal government allows students to apply federal financial aid dollars—a Pell grant or Stafford loan—to study abroad programs. With other types of financial aid, you must check with the financial aid office to determine transferability.

You can also apply for financial aid and scholarships specifically for study abroad. Also check with the program office of your study abroad program for additional suggestions about financial aid.


UMass Boston and approved study abroad programs make sure your student will be safe while studying abroad. For more information, see the Health & Safety pages of this website. In the unlikely event of an emergency, please contact the Office of Global Programs main line at 617.287.5586.


UMass Boston requires that all students maintain some form of primary medical insurance coverage valid in both the U.S. and host country before, during and after the education abroad period.

The university treasurer's office provides international insurance coverage and services to the university's students when participating in university sponsored and approved international study abroad programs. International travel coverage is intended to provide the first line of service and protection to the university's travelers.

Prior to departure, students, and families should still contact their personal health insurance company to make certain they understand what additional coverage they may have in place, or may want to put in place, while traveling abroad. Any additional coverage purchased would be at the traveler's own expense.


Your student will participate in an orientation session at UMass Boston before his or her departure, which is conducted by our staff. We will discuss many aspects of practical planning and adjustment and will go over the procedures and information they have been receiving from program providers and institutions abroad. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Length of Stay and Examination Policy

Students must take all examinations as scheduled by their host university/college. Special assessment arrangements for visiting students are not acceptable on a routine basis. Semester students are expected to stay through the maximum period possible (i.e. to the end of exam period in May, June, or July) and take all exams offered to less than full year students.

Cultural Adjustment (i.e. Culture Shock)

Nearly every participant in a study abroad program undergoes a period of cultural adjustment. Whether your son or daughter is a letter-writer or uses email or the phone, you will likely notice it in his/her communications. Everything is rosy and wonderful, or everything is just awful for the first several months. It is only after real adjustments have been made that the student becomes able to assess things in perspective, seeing both the good and the bad aspects of life in a foreign country.

Read about Expectations for Parent/Guardian Involvement and Collaboration from our affiliate provider API

Some students use their parents as sounding boards for new ideas during the year, and actually feel that the semester away brings them closer. In any case, contact with you is apt to be very important to your child while s/he is away. For more information about what your student may experience while he or she is overseas please read some of the following articles:

There are many articles online addressing the subject of homesickness:

If at any time you feel that s/he is in a genuinely bad situation, please notify us as soon as possible so that we can take steps that may be available to us to alleviate the situation.      

Read Report by The Forum on Education Abroad on Insurance Claims Data and Mortality Rate for College Students Studying Abroad (2016) about general level of risk faced by U.S. university students abroad, and how the risk compares to the level of risk that students face when they remain on campus in the U.S.  “The chief conclusion of this report provides a measure of comfort in concluding that, at the very least, study abroad does not carry a greater risk of death than does domestic education in the U.S.”