Letter to Parents

Dear Parents:

Your child has expressed interest in one of our exciting opportunities to study overseas. We would like to tell you how study abroad works at VSU and why it is such a great deal!

Study abroad is a special kind of academic experience offering unique challenges to students. It is full of fun, excitement and learning. Some of the most memorable times of a student's life will be from an experience overseas. Students learn about another country, not by reading a book or magazine, but through real-life experience. In the process, the student does a lot of growing up, becoming more independent and adaptable. If students choose to study in a country where English is not the native language, they gain fluency in a second language. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, getting a good job may be easier with study abroad experience on a resume. The job market is very competitive, and students must do things that will set them apart from the rest of the pack.

Now, why study abroad through VSU? First, it is relatively inexpensive. Through our exchange agreements, our students pay VSU tuition, dorm fee, and meal plan charge, which covers tuition, room, and board at the foreign institution. In addition, students may apply any financial aid they receive to overseas study. Aside from airfare, and in some programs a $275 participation fee, the student's costs are roughly the same as studying here in Valdosta! Second, students studying overseas have few problems over credits and usually are able to graduate on time. While abroad, our students will take courses for VSU credit. There is no need to take a leave of absence, as students are registered at VSU while away.

With regards to the health and well-being of your child, rest assured that we do all that is possible to make sure our students are safe and satisfied with their experience. We have a staff of three full-time professionals with a total of over 30 years of experience in the field of international education. Our overseas partners have similar offices, staffed by professionals who take care of our students.

Before students leave the U.S., we host informative orientation sessions to prepare them for their journey. During this time, we are available to help parents plan their child's experience. The Center for International Programs maintains contact with VSU students abroad, and after they return, we will help them cope with readjusting to life in Georgia. We do our best to make sure that the entire process runs smoothly.

I hope this information will be useful to you. If you have any comments or questions, please call us at (229) 333-7410 or e-mail me at ibmcclel@valdosta.edu. Be sure to check out our website.

Sincerely,

Irina B. McClellan 

Assistant Director