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Parents & Families

The OEAA is thrilled that your student wants to study abroad or away! This is an excellent opportunity for your student to learn new skills, mature and demonstrate independence, and to learn about the world in tangible and meaningful ways. 

We hope this page provides you with useful information about study abroad payments, as well as important tips about how to support your student on their journey, whether that is during pre-departure, while they are abroad, and upon their return.  

Understanding Study Abroad Fees & Payments

Parents often have questions about how payments work for study abroad.  While the OEAA encourages parents and families to discuss payments with their student, we understand this can be a confusing topic.  If you have questions after reviewing this section, please contact us at


Davidson Programs

Under the home school tuition policy, payments for semester-length Davidson faculty-led programs are broken down as follows:

  • The student will pay a $500 non-refundable deposit to the College to hold their spot on the program and indicate their commitment to the program.  

  • Students will pay regular Davidson tuition to the College (minus the $500 deposit) according to normal semester timelines, including housing and meals.  

  Payment Deadlines
Program Deposit Due March 15
Program Final Payment Due Normal on-campus tuition deadline
Fees for Davidson programs are billed and paid through student accounts, as with normal tuition.

Partner Programs

Under the home school tuition policy, payments for semester or academic year-length partner programs are broken down as follows:

  • Students will pay regular Davidson tuition to the College according to normal semester timelines, minus housing and meals.

  • The College will pay the study abroad program tuition and academic fees directly to the partner organization on the student's behalf.

  • The student will pay all non-academic fees, including the program deposit and housing, directly to the partner organization (in most cases, the deposit is applied towards housing fees).



Davidson Programs

Fees for summer Davidson programs, including the total program cost and inclusions, are explained on the Money Matters tab of the individual program brochures.  All fees are billed and paid through Davidson student accounts during the spring semester.

  • Upon acceptance to the program in late February/early March, the student will pay a $1,500 program deposit to hold their spot and indicate commitment to the program.

  • The student will pay the remaining program fee by the final payment deadline.

  • If the student receives certain Davidson grants or scholarships (e.g. Dean Rusk grants) towards the program fee, Business Services will first apply the grant funds to the program fee.  The student will then pay the remainder.  In the event that the grant funding exceeds the program fee, the remaining funds will be refunded to the student to use towards any out-of-pocket expenses.

  Payment Deadlines
Program Deposit Due March 15
Program Final Payment Due April 15

Partner Programs

Students on partner programs for summer or winter break terms will pay all program fees directly to the partner organization.  There are no fees paid to or by Davidson during outside the regular academic year for partner programs.

If your student receives a Davidson grant or scholarship to be used towards the partner program fee, the funds will be disbursed to the bank account on file with the College.  The student must then use those funds to pay the partner organization.


Supporting Your Student

The idea of having your student travel thousands of miles away for study abroad may seem daunting, but you can be supportive in numerous ways that foster their independence and critical thinking, while still maintaining a strong relationship and clear lines of communication.

  • Empower your student to take ownership and responsibility for the process - guide, rather than manage

  • Establish your communication expectations for the process early on, and ask questions

  • Encourage your student to resolve their own issues and step in only when necessary

Read on for additional information for each phase of the education abroad and away journey.
A large group of people standing in front of a large tree in the Costa Rican jungle

Before Departure

The pre-departure period is a busy and exciting time.  Review these points for details about how to support your student as they prepare for their experience abroad or away.

  • Be excited together. Your student has already researched programs and decided on a destination. Celebrate the beginning of their study abroad journey by exploring his or her chosen location together: watch a foreign film, discuss a pertinent novel, or learn about its national holidays.

  • Discuss fears and apprehensions Reassure your student that they have your support, and discuss any concerns you or they may have.

  • Talk about differences. An important aspect of study abroad is about embracing something you are unfamiliar with. In other words, what is initially foreign will become familiar. Speak with your student to get him or her more comfortable about living in an environment where things they are use to at home may not exist or be as readily available. This realization will ensure a healthy adjustment overseas for your student.

  • Review travel documents. Of course, your student must have a passport valid for at least six months after the program's end date, but it is also important that parents or guardians have valid, up-to-date passports in the unlikely event that you have to go overseas for an emergency.

  • Plan ahead for visa applications. Let your student take control of the visa process, but acknowledge that it can be time consuming. Some consulates will also require individuals to visit them in person. Others have strict timelines that may prohibit them from going abroad before their semester begins. Keep this in mind if you intend to make travel plans, particularly during the summer.

  • Discuss financial matters. Communicate with your student regarding payment policies and deadlines. Talk about daily, miscellaneous costs, and possibly creating a budget for their time abroad.

  • Discuss health and safety. Study abroad will pose its own challenges, so talk ahead of time with your student about being responsible and making mature decisions. Some topics may include traveling with friends rather than alone, avoiding dangerous areas or situations, following the laws of the country, and being respectful of the culture and customs of the host nation.

  • Create a family communication plan. Exchange all contact information and discuss your plan of communication so you have the same expectations. Plan to communicate on arrival via email, phone, or Skype, but be realistic with regard to how quickly your student may be able to get in touch with you. Internet access may vary from country to country. Even with prime access, your student has to disembark, gather luggage, and go through customs first.

  • Copy, copy, copy. Please make copies of all important documents, including passports, insurance cards, credit cards, etc. in case they are lost or stolen. One copy should travel with your student and the other should be left at home.


While Abroad

Now that the program has started and your student is abroad, how can you support them?

  • Stay in touch, but not too much. Communicate with your student on a regular basis, but be careful not to do so frequently. Use this time to support and encourage him or her to immerse into a new culture rather than distracting them from it. Also, ask them to share highlights about their experiences inside and out of the classroom.

  • It's a learning experience, not a vacation. If you plan to visit your student, it is best to schedule your trip after their program ends. This is important because your student will need time to adjust and establish support systems on their own at the beginning of their study abroad experience Students need to stay immersed in the local culture and engaged in all official program activities.

  • Anticipate culture shock. Nearly everyone who studies abroad experiences culture shock, albeit at different times. This may have a significant impact on "what" and "how" your child communicates with you. Culture shock is oftentimes expressed in the form of something being wrong with the host country, its food, customs, the roommate, etc. It can be especially intense when a foreign language is involved. This part of the experience, depending on your student, will be enduring and may require additional patience and understanding from your end.

    • Support their learning process. Listen sympathetically, but let your student solve their own problems.

    • Remind your student of why they chose to go abroad in the first place

    • Encourage your student to work through culture shock in a healthy way. For example, embrace the immersion and make new friends, speak the local language as much as possible (whether required or not), and refrain from seeking too much refuge among other Americans.


Welcome Home

Once the program ends, your student is likely to experience a variety of emotions as they adjust to their return.  Review these tips to help them through this stage and build upon their experience abroad.

  • Expect change. While most of the changes will be positive, some may be surprising. American culture and customs which previously were considered “normal” may now be appalling or bizarre to your student. Give him or her time to adjust to this “new normal.” Let your student know you are aware that it may, initially, be difficult to readjust back to the U.S., home, and college life.

  • Listen and observe Show an interest in your student’s experience by listening to his or her stories, looking at pictures together, and giving them time and space to re-acclimate.

  • Encourage communication and involvement. Encourage your student to stay in touch with friends he or she made overseas and to get involved in internationally related activities at home, on campus, and in the community. There are numerous organizations such as Davidson International Association (DIA), the Timmy Foundation, Dean Rusk Global Corps, Davidson Micro finance Club, and the Ada Jenkins Center.

  • Remind them to complete their program evaluation(s). All students are asked to complete OEAA evaluations through their Davidson application at the end of their program. We rely on their input to continue making improvements to our processes and programming. Please remind your student to complete their evaluations shortly after their program ends.

  • Foster self-exploration. If your student shows an interest in study abroad for a second time, encourage him or her to search for opportunities that will fit into their academic plans. Study abroad shapes students in new ways and will influence their interests and professional aspirations. Davidson College has a vast network of alumni working abroad or on international issues. Making an appointment with the Center for Career Development may be a helpful next step.

  • Remind them of their resources. Remind your student that the Center for Student Health and Well-Being at Davidson College is also a valuable resource to help them facilitate the re-entry process. Students are provided with free counseling sessions. Appointments are confidential and can be made by calling 704-894-2451.