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Study Abroad: Information for Parents

Parent Testimonials
"The world is more connected than ever. For college students to succeed in today's world, they need to have a global perspective. Every college student should experience a travel-abroad program. Our son's experience has been invaluable." -Steve Knight

"It was a life-changing experience for Alexander. It helped to define his career focus. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us as well, since we visited him in Hong Kong. What an awesome opportunity for him!" -Linda Archuleta

"[My daughter] had a great time in Hawaii. Such a wonderful trip: well organized, well executed, and much learned. And that's not touching the friendships made! A great experience. So appreciative that she could go." -Joy Day

"I loved watching my son thrive and mature abroad, as long as he maintained contact via Skype or phone. Yes, I missed him, but the amazing person that he has become is due to all of these experiences." -Dianne Knight

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that outlines the privacy of student records and the obligations educational institutions have regarding the release of educational records and access to those records. Though the off-campus programs staff is happy to speak with parents and to answer general program questions, we are not permitted to discuss individual student information with parents. For additional information about FERPA, please visit this site.

A calendar of our current and future programs may be found here. Information on each program, including payment plans, due dates, and academic information, can be found here.

Financial Aid
We encourage each student to contact a financial aid advisor regarding his or her individual financial situation and the availability of outside funding. The financial aid office facilitates the Whitworth travel scholarship opportunities listed on our scholarships page.

Health Preparation
Students will attend a pre-departure travel clinic conducted by the Whitworth University Health Center. At the clinic, students receive country-specific health information and information about immunizations; they are then able to create a personal healthcare plan based on their individual needs.

Whitworth University is committed to providing its students access to education. If you have a documented physical or psychological impairment that impacts your ability to learn and perform to your potential, contact the Whitworth Educational Support Services Office (Katie McCray, 509.777.3380) to identify accommodations that can help mitigate barriers to your success. Be sure to plan ahead so that your off-campus experience meets your needs.

More information is available:

Safety and Security
Prior to departure, off-campus programs will register each student with the U.S. Embassy in the country or countries in which s/he will be studying. Whitworth University does not facilitate programs in countries under a U.S. State Department travel warning.

More information is available:

Behavioral Expectations
Whitworth students are held to a high standard both on campus and when representing the Whitworth community abroad. While cultural norms vary from country to country, our expectations remain high for Whitworth students. Students studying off campus are representatives of Whitworth, and their behavior reflects on the university. Behavioral expectations outlined in the annual student handbook are relevant to off-campus study programs. All students will read and sign a standardized Behavioral Consent Form prior to departure. Additionally, program leaders will consider the cultural norms of the destination and will outline their personal expectations to the students. In the event of behavioral misconduct, program leaders have the authority to terminate students' participation in their programs immediately and to return an offending student to Whitworth at the student's expense.

Emergency Policies and Procedures
Faculty members are trained in safety and security procedures prior to departure. To streamline communications and reduce the risk of misinformation in the event of an emergency, off-campus programs staff and the program leader will use the "single point of contact" concept when communicating during an emergency. The program leader will communicate only with off-campus programs staff in the U.S. Whitworth Off-Campus Programs will relay information and will coordinate the efforts of the appropriate people stateside. Charles Tappa is the point of contactfor faculty-led programs; Sue Jackson is the point of contact for ISEP students.

ISEP emergency procedures are outlined in the ISEP student handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions

*Please note that each program is different in terms of its location, activities, academics, and experiences. For program-specific questions, we encourage you to contact individual program leaders. Information on each program and program leader can be found on the Calendar page.

What is included in the program fee? What are our payment options?
Each program has a payment plan described on their information sheet. Students are expected to meet each payment deadline. Tuition is NOT included in the program fee. The program fee is used directly for airfare, lodging, ground transportation, group meals, entrance fees, honorariums, and other expenses directly related to the program.

How do we make payments?
Payments can be made in any of the ways listed here. Note that payments must be received by each payment deadline. If you are mailing a payment, please plan accordingly.

Do we need to acquire a visa?
It depends on your destination, and also on how long you will be studying in that country. If you do need a visa, you will be so informed, and you will also be told how to apply for one.

Can you tell me how much my student has paid? Can you tell me if s/he met all the deadlines? Can you tell me where I can turn in his or her paperwork?
We are happy to give you information concerning deadlines, payment plans, and general travel information, but we communicate directly with students regarding individual student concerns. You may find more information about this policy on the FERPA page.

How much personal spending money should my student bring?
Your student should contact his or her program leader, as the answer to this question varies from program to program.

What should my student pack?
Because our programs take place around the globe, in two hemispheres, and on six continents, we advise students to check with their individual program leaders regarding packing advice and cultural dress expectations. The student can research the climate and time of year of his or her study-abroad location and can confer with the program leader regarding the activities in which students will be expected to participate.

What about insurance?
Whitworth's insurance company, EIIA, provides broad coverage and assistance for participants in university-sponsored international travel through the EIIA International Travel Program. You can learn more about this coverage at