Your student is about to embark on one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of college life: studying away. As a parent or guardian, you can share the excitement and learn from your child’s experiences, and we’re here to help you and your student in any way we can.
Our student-centered philosophy
Every aspect of the Temple University School of Media and Communication (SMC) Study Away program, including preparation for it, is a learning experience. Therefore, we encourage students to take personal responsibility in handling as many matters as possible independently.
We respectfully request that you share your questions and concerns with your student, who can relay those questions and concerns to the Study Away staff. Additionally, in many cases, federal privacy laws (FERPA) prevent us from sharing information about students with their families.
Here you’ll find more information addressing issues of particular concern to parents, including practical matters like cultural adjustment, safety, financial, health and insurance information. If you or your student have additional questions, feel free to contact our office.
Communicating with our office
Upon their arrival, students are often excited by the idea of life in a new location and might neglect to communicate with their families at home. Study Away students are encouraged to communicate with their families within 48 hours of their arrival, once their internet or phone connections are established in their new location. The onsite program staff or the SMC Study Away office will notify you immediately if there is a serious problem.
Adjusting to a new home
After the excitement and adrenaline of the first few weeks wear off, many students experience a temporary period of adjustment. You should not be overly concerned by an initial wave of negativity or unhappiness, as almost all students experience some form of transitional adjustment during (and sometimes even after) a Study Away experience. Fortunately most students adapt quite successfully, become more independent, learn a great deal about themselves and their location, and thrive like never before. If your student’s adjustment period is concerning or prolonged, contact onsite program staff or the SMC Study Away office.
With the widespread usage of cell phones, connecting with home is easier than ever. Students traveling internationally must obtain a local number once they are in-country.
Regardless of your student’s destination, we recommend establishing a weekly phone or email plan. This will encourage your student to embrace their Study Away adventures without a reminder of what they are “missing out on” at home.
Should your student encounter problems while studying away, we recommend they consult with onsite staff, who are usually in the best position to help them resolve issues. Typically, students’ first inclination is to contact family, who in turn contact the SMC Study Away office.
Though it’s helpful for SMC Study Away to be aware of the situation, a lag in informing the onsite program director can result in a delayed resolution to a problem. If you’re contacted about an issue first, encourage your student to speak with the onsite program director.
Health and Safety
Temple University and SMC consider the health and safety of our students to be one of our top priorities. Our advisors at the host and home institutions, parents, program staff and students all work together to ensure healthy, safe and successful learning experiences. Students accepted to Study Away will receive detailed guidelines on how to prepare with regard to health and safety. We encourage students to review this information thoroughly and share it with their parents and families.
The physical and mental well-being of students are fundamental components of successful and happy Study Away ventures. Students should schedule checkups with their care providers before they depart, as even mild physical or psychological disorders can become serious under the stresses of life while being separated from their regular support systems.
If students have pre-existing physical or mental health conditions, we urge them to alert the SMC Study Away director, as well as the program director or someone on the program staff immediately. If health-related issues arises during the program, onsite staff are knowledgeable about local resources and are usually in the best position to help them resolve things quickly.
All students participating in international SMC Study Away programs are required to purchase GeoBlue or provide proof of health insurance with international coverage that includes accident and sickness expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains. Further details about insurance requirements and procedures are provided to students after they begin the application process.
Though it’s not required that students have health insurance for domestic locations, SMC Study Away recommends that students obtain and review their current plans to ensure they are covered while interning in another U.S. city.
For students traveling internationally, SMC Study Away recommends they review the U.S. Department of State Travel website, which provides information about crime and security, health and medical conditions, and locations of U.S. embassies and any consular offices through country-specific information sheets about every country in the world. We encourage you and your student to review that information for any countries to which they might be traveling.
Students participating in domestic-based programs should become familiar with their local police and fire precincts, and become aware of specific local concerns by keeping up with regional news.
If your student encounters a problem while studying away, they should first contact onsite staff or an emergency responder. If those options aren’t available, contact us.
- During regular business hours (Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. EST), call SMC at 215-204-5273.
- Outside business hours, call Temple University’s Campus Safety Services office at 215-204-1234. Be sure to leave your name, the name of the student and the Study Away program, and a number where you can be reached. Campus Safety will contact a Study Away staff member, who will return the call as soon as possible.