The process of pursuing a study abroad program is an exciting experience for students and their families, and the SUNY Cortland International Programs Office wishes to thank the parents of study abroad students for providing support in making the opportunity to study overseas a reality. International Programs is available to assist students and their families throughout the study abroad experience, and is happy to answer any questions and address any concerns pertaining to student experiences. We encourage parents to explore this Web site and learn more about navigating a studying abroad program.
Questions Frequently Asked by Families:
1. When can my son or daughter go abroad?
Cortland College students are eligible to go abroad as early as sophomore year; however, many students choose to wait until their junior or senior year to study abroad because they prefer to spend their first two years on Cortland's campus, acclimating to student life, solidifying friendships, and taking the necessary introduction courses for their major and minor.
Education students who are required to complete Blocks 1 and 2, usually go abroad for the spring semester of sophomore year because they often must spend all of their junior and senior years on Cortland's campus completing crucial courses for their major and accruing their student teaching hours in the local community. Education students who prefer to study abroad later in their college career can apply to participate in Cortland's Student Teaching program in Australia the summer following senior year (June - September) and conduct the low-needs portion of their student teaching requirement abroad.
2. Where can my son or daughter go abroad?
Students may attend SUNY-sponsored programs or Cortland-approved programs. The Cortland programs which are listed on the International Programs and the SUNY System Abroad Web sites have been reviewed and approved by members of the SUNY system.
3. How can I find out if my son or daughter needs any vaccinations or medications?
Students should always check with their doctors and the Centers for Disease Control for the health steps they are required to take before going abroad. Students who need to take regular medication must either bring sufficient medication for the duration of their trip abroad with a doctor's note briefly stating why the medicine is prescribed to the student or bring a doctor's prescription which identifies the medication by its chemical name in order to have the prescription filled while abroad.
4. Students must have health insurance in order to study abroad. Students who do not have health insurance are not permitted study abroad. Two options exist for students who are seeking coverage: 1) students may elect to purchase the SUNY-approved Blanket Student Accident and Sickness insurance provided by Highway to Health (HTH) www.hthstudents.com or 2) students may elect to waive HTH Health insurance for study abroad IF they have comparable international health insurance coverage. It is highly recommended that students and their parents communicate with their health insurance provider to ensure that they have comparable coverage
If your student opts for HTH health insurance while abroad, the cost of the international health insurance will be included in the student's study abroad program bill. If the insurance waiver form included in the student's acceptance packet is not returned by published deadlines, the student will be automatically enrolled in the insurance and billed accordingly. The student will not be able to opt out after they have been enrolled.
5. How do I know if where my son or daughter will be staying is safe?
The International Programs Office places the highest level of priority on the safety and security of our students who are participating in study abroad programs. Our office staff conduct pre-departure meetings for all Cortland-sponsored study abroad programs which include information on health, safety, and security concerns as well as offers advice on how to prepare for the cultural differences they will encounter during their time abroad.
Each of Cortland's international programs has a relationship with on-site staff available to deal with emergencies and appropriately communicate with SUNY Cortland. In addition, International Programs receives up-to-date information in the form of travel warnings and travel safety information updates from the U.S. Department of State, and provides a link to the State Department as part of the Pre-departure Step-by-Step section on the study abroad Web site.
6. What happens if there is an emergency?
As soon as students are settled abroad, their parents must make sure that they have the correct phone numbers and contact information, as well as phone numbers for the on-site staff and directors of the study abroad program. In the case of a family emergency, parents should contact International Programs at Cortland as well as the student's international insurance provider, which are both available to assist students and their families in making any of the arrangements needed in order to address emergency situations.
In case of emergency, please contact International Programs at (607) 753-2209 during business hours (M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), or on our emergency cell phone at (607) 543-0774 outside of business hours. Should your son or daughter contact you first during an emergency, we please ask for your assistance in notifying International Programs so that we are aware of the situation. We will then take steps to notify our partner institution abroad and/or health service personnel.
7. What should my son or daughter need to do in order to obtain a visa?
Every student must have an up-to-date passport and should apply for a visa (if required) as early as possible. International students should contact their International Student Advisor in the International Programs Office to make sure they have appropriate visa forms, as well as the forms needed in order to re-enter the United States.
If your son or daughter would like to work while abroad, he/she needs to apply for a work visa but he/she is only qualified to do this with the written sponsorship of the overseas employer provided at the time of the work visa application. Please note that not all countries permit students to work while studying in the country as a visiting student.
8. What bills are we responsible for paying?
SUNY students who participate in SUNY study abroad programs remain enrolled at their home college and pay tuition for the duration of their program at the appropriate SUNY tuition rate, depending on the student's status as a New York resident or as an out-of-state student. All students will be billed by Cortland for program fees and the bill will be sent to the student via e-mail. Exceptions to this are SUNY Cortland students who study abroad through a non-SUNY institution or third-party provider. In this case, the SUNY student will need to take a leave of absence and pay tuition fees and all other program costs to the program provider and would not be eligible for financial aid or be able to able to apply for Cortland study abroad scholarships
A detailed budget and breakdown of program costs can be found on each of Cortland's study abroad program web pages. If your child is not studying abroad through Cortland's International Programs Office, please contact the international program office at the school through which your child is studying abroad for program costs.
Numerous scholarships are available to help off-set the cost of studying abroad. Students are encouraged to research their eligibility and apply for both scholarships available to Cortland students only as well as national scholarships available to all United States citizens enrolled in an institution of higher education. Cortland scholarships are available to all Cortland students studying abroad through any SUNY institution.
9. Will my son or daughter still receive financial aid while abroad?
Students who are eligible for financial aid will continue to receive aid while they are abroad as long as the student is enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits for a summer program or a minimum of 12 credits for a semester program. Students must make appointments to see their financial aid advisors prior to registering for study abroad programs to discuss the disbursement and amount of financial aid awarded. Students on scholarships funded by a non-SUNY school or organization should contact the scholarship provider directly to determine if the scholarship can be applied to overseas study.
10. How can I be sure that my son or daughter has taken care of all necessary preparation to go abroad?
International Programs has compiled a checklist of items for students and their families to consider prior to travelling overseas. This checklist should be used as a guideline to ensure that students are fully prepared for their study abroad experiences.