Guidance for Parents
The Global Learning Office sees many students realise their dreams by studying overseas every year. We know that these students leave just as many proud, but perhaps nervous, parents in their wake!
Photo by Minli Xie, China
However, we understand that it's useful for parents to have some understanding of how things work, so that they can support their students in their adventures. We hope this information will assist you.
The Global Learning Office
We help facilitate your student's overseas experience. In the case of exchange programs, we select students for nomination to our partner institutions. All final decisions regarding admission, enrolment and the like at the host institution rest with that institution and not with the Global Learning Office. We will nominate and advocate for our students, but cannot force any decisions by our partner institutions.
The Global Learning Office is the only party that should liaise with the partner institution, up until the student has been accepted by that institution as one of their students. If a student (or parent) has any questions regarding a partner institution, they should first be addressed to the Global Learning Office (from the student). This does not apply where a student is applying for an independent program, external to the Global Learning Office's programs.
Studying overseas is excellent for fostering a sense of self-reliance and independence in your student. The need to research, read, and work through processes is normal in order for an application to be successful. It should be your student's expectation that some independent work will be required in order to participate in an overseas experience.
Students are responsible for ensuring that they are applying to appropriate programs and institutions, meeting deadlines, supplying information in an accurate and timely fashion and monitoring their emails to ensure they are receiving all instructions and updates.
Your student's home faculty makes all decisions regarding credit eligibility and transfer, and anything else to do with their academic program. Some faculty advisors meet with students before assessing credit; some do not. Students often complete all correspondence with their faculty office via the Global Learning Application System (online). Students are advised to allow 3-4 weeks for credit approval before following up with their faculty adviser for a result. It is the student's responsibility to allow adequate time.
If your student is travelling on a Study Tour - usually a group of students travelling together on a University of Adelaide program for a number of weeks overseas - then their Faculty or School will also be responsible for the selection process for that program as well as any logistics and other program details.
When students are accepted to a host university, they become a student of that university subject to the same rules and requirements as local students. Agreements and contracts signed by your student to that university are binding, and the University of Adelaide does not act on behalf of students to negate them except in circumstances where a student's safety or wellbeing may be in question.
Visas, Flights, Insurance, Immigration
Our Preparing to Go page contains comprehensive information regarding these matters.
The Global Learning Office is not legally able to advise students on visa matters. Students can find out how to obtain a visa from their acceptance documents for their overseas programs, or by checking with the relevant Embassy or Consulate. We have no involvement in the logistics for students' programs. The majority are independent (students need to obtain visas, book flights, arrange transfers and so on). Some Study Tours may make these arrangements for the student, and in that case the relevant Course Coordinator or School should be contacted.
It is never recommended that students book flights until they have a firm acceptance into their program from the host organisation and have qualified for a visa. This may mean booking within a couple of months of departure. Some students may choose to book flights in advance to obtain cheaper airfares, but should be aware that the Global Learning Office will not pressure host institutions to expedite acceptances or other paperwork to accommodate their plans. Students who plan to leave Australia earlier than necessary to travel in advance of their program may run into similar issues. The Global Learning Office does not recommend students travel in advance of their program.
The University's travel insurance policy covers all students travelling on University business and students may speak to the University's Legal and Risk Branch if they have any questions. In some cases, students will need to purchase local insurance at their destination. Students should read our Insurance page carefully.
What if something goes wrong?
The University of Adelaide has partnered with International SOS to provide your student with medical and security advice and assistance whilst abroad. In an emergency, students should contact International SOS directly using their membership card (ISOS Sydney Assistance Centre +61 2 9372 2468). For international trips, students will have 24/7 access to medical and security specialists, online information and advice destination specific email alerts and a one touch global Assistance App to help with any emergencies or routine medical needs.
If the student is having issues overseas with their studies, accommodation, host institution and so on, they should contact the Global Learning Office directly. We understand that parents wish to assist their students and contact us on their behalf, however it is far more effective for students to contact us in writing (via email) with an outline of their issues so that we can take action on their behalf if needed. Global Learning cannot take action on a student's behalf without the express consent of that student.
Once a student has contacted Global Learning with their concerns, we will act on their behalf and liaise with any relevant parties.
How can my student stay safe?
Photo by Madeline Walkington, Canada
Health and safety is of paramount importance to us and to our partner institutions. Before students travel overseas on one of our programs, they are given detailed briefings regarding what to expect and what they can do if they need support.
Students will receive pre-trip advisories from International SOS prior to their travel which include:
- vaccination requirements
- passport and visa requirements
- quality of health care
- advice on prevalent diseases
- personal and driving safety information
- hygiene: quality of food and water
- culture and customs
- weather and what clothes to take
- compatibility of electrical items
- personal safety advice
Also, a Global Learning Pre-Departure Guide is made available to exchange students before they depart.
Students are always encouraged to become familiar with their host institution's health, safety and wellbeing services as soon as possible after they arrive.
In addition, students can always reach out to the University of Adelaide for support while they are away - whether from the Global Learning Office, or other ancillary services such as the Counselling Service and Disability Service.