Spring Break Abroad Can Be a Rewarding Experience
Mar. 3, 2011
Spring break is synonymous with travel abroad for many college students, thousands of whom escape the stress of classes to find temporary respite in a fun, faraway place.
But foreign travel can offer more than just a great chance to buy beer with funny names. If they choose the right destinations, young travelers will have rich learning experiences on their adventures abroad.
Dr. Rodolfo Hernandez Guerrero, director of the Office of International Education at The University of Texas at Dallas, has the following suggestions for parents helping their children plan safe and enjoyable trips abroad:
- Consider travel advisories posted by the U.S. Department of State. Steer clear of locations that are deemed unsafe by the people who know.
- Take the time to design the trip plan with your young travelers, identifying safe, culturally significant and enjoyable destinations. This is a prime opportunity to enhance the spirit of adventure, while encouraging your student to accept, appreciate and respect differences.
- If this is your child’s first time abroad, select a destination that is receptive to U.S. values and culture. This minimizes culture shock and potentially unpleasant interactions with locals.
- Make sure your travelers keep emergency contact information with them wherever they go. They also should carry the phone number of the U.S. Consulate for that region. Parents need to make copies of relevant documents, including international insurance cards, credit cards and passports, before departure.