The Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) at Purchase College, SUNY is pleased to be able to send your student abroad.  Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to experience another culture and obtain global perspective.

Studying abroad in college is perhaps the most important adventure your student will experience.  As parents and guardians, 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.

Bills and Financial Aid

There is 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.  For additional information about the expense of study abroad, please look at the Funding Study Abroad page of this website.

If your student receives any financial aid (loans, wavers, scholarships), they must speak with someone from Student Financial Services to learn how their aid can be used to study abroad.  Once any required paperwork is handed in to the Financial Aid Office and a student’s aid package is determined, financial aid can be used to pay for studying abroad. Most financial aid received by your student may be applied to this bill, but not all awards will travel on all programs.

Once a student has made a deposit and thus, has financially committed to the program, some or all of the cost associated with that program may be assessed even if the student withdraws (please refer to the program refund policies for further information; for Purchase programs, please visit our section on Withdrawing & OIPS Refund Policy under Funding Study Abroad.  Because of this, students are highly encouraged to purchase on their own individual trip insurance to cover unforeseen events that would prevent a student from participating fully in the program (for things like student/immediate family members sudden health issues or change in financial situations; please consult with the insurer you have chosen regarding coverage).

Safety & Emergencies Abroad
SUNY and approved study abroad programs are very proactive in making sure your student will be safe while studying abroad.  For more information, see the Health and Safety section under the Accepted Students page of this website.  In the unlikely event of an emergency where a student has contacted you directly and not the site location personnel or SUNY Purchase, please contact Purchase College’s Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) immediately at  (914) 251-6032.  After business hours or on weekends, please call the Purchase College University Police at (914) 251-6900; they will get you in touch with a member of our OIPS office or the administration.  For emergencies that occur abroad, OIPS will contact the person identified as their ‘emergency contact.’  If you have any question about who this is, please verify this information with your student before they begin a program abroad. 
SUNY requires that all students maintain a high level of medical insurance coverage requirement, that insures it is valid in both the U.S. and host country before, during, and after the education abroad period.  Because of this, waivers are rarely given for most U.S. bases insurance providers.  SUNY Purchase partners with GeoBlue, a member of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Insurance Family.  For students on Purchase programs, after they have fully paid the program fee, they will be enrolled in GeoBlue and will receive login information for the site linked above.  For more detailed information on health insurance, please see the Health and Safety section under the Accepted Students page of this website.
Pre-Departure Orientation
Your student will participate in a pre-departure orientation session at Purchase College before his or her departure, which is conducted by the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) staff.  OIPS 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.  In light of current world conditions, we will emphasize the need for careful consideration when making travel plans, the importance of clear and regular communication with family and sensible tips on safety - all of which have long been a regular part of our pre-departure orientations.  While these sessions are only open to student participants, 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.
Culture Shock
Nearly every participant in a study abroad program undergoes some form of culture shock, with vastly different manifestations.  Whether your student is a letter-writer or uses email or the phone, you will undoubtedly notice traces of it in their 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.  While communicating home is important, it is equally important for students to speak with their site supervisor when experiencing intense culture shock.  Often times parents and guardians feel helpless assisting their student; be sure to advise your student on utilizing their local resources. 

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 they away.  If at any time you feel that they are in a genuinely bad situation, please notify OIPS as soon as possible so that we can take steps that may be available to us to alleviate the situation.