Over 300,000 U.S. students study abroad each year and that number is growing. David Suomi, a Risk Management Consultant with Travel Document Systems (TDS), recently had the opportunity to speak with Scott Lockman, Sr. Vice President at Assurance, about what academic institutions – and families who are preparing to send a student overseas – should be thinking about for the best possible outcome.
TDS: Most academic institutions today who offer study abroad programs have a process in place for preparing students before they leave the United States, but what other things should they be thinking about?.
Lockman: You're right, most institutions will have some sort of process – whether it's a training or a one-on-one with a campus representative. After all, the student is traveling abroad and will be a representative for their school. Universities want to ensure their students are prepared for different scenarios. But I'd submit it's not only important for universities to have a documented process for outbound students, they should also have a re-entry plan when they finish their studies. There can often be an adjustment period for students as they return to what had previously been their typical school schedule. Presumably, they've been exposed to different cultures, languages, and people, and this should be celebrated and discussed upon their return.