A Note to Parents:

Now is the time to make this critical investment in your son or daughter's future. More and more students are realizing the short and long term benefits of studying abroad during their college career.

Deciding to send your child on an overseas program is a big decision.

For many students, this will be the first time they spend a significant length of time away from their parents, let alone travel overseas. However, for those parents and students who are willing to take up the challenge of a study-abroad program, the rewards are immense.

Study abroad offers the ideal vehicle for parents to support their children in the growing up process. It offers the student a unique opportunity to learn in another culture, within the security of a host family and a host institution carefully chosen to allow the transfer of credit to an NIU degree. Students studying a foreign language will perfect the accent and greatly expand their vocabulary--a skill retained for life. Making new friends, and travel and decision making, are also key parts of the study abroad experience.

NIU's Passport to the World 

  • NIU encourages its students to study abroad as part of their educational objectives.
  • NIU is formally affiliated with, or directly sponsors, many study abroad programs and exchanges.
  • All NIU-approved programs through the Study Abroad Office may allow transfer of credit.
  • NIU will accept financial aid for all programs from students who are eligible for financial aid. Tuition waivers do not apply, but other aid, such as grants and loans, may.

Your son or daughter has expressed an interest in Northern Illinois University's study abroad programs.  The Study Abroad staff congratulates them on this decision and is here to help in dealing with any of the administrative issues that may arise while your son or daughter is off campus. Parents play an important role in helping their children decide about study abroad; however, you will need accurate information. You may want to purchase a guide to help you through this process. Study Abroad: A Parent's Guide is a resource published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. You can order it through their web page:

In this interdependent world, the value of spending some portion of an academic career in another country is widely recognized. The competence, sensitivity, and personal growth students acquire through study abroad are crucial in their preparation for a career. Most of the students who have had an experience overseas say that this living and learning time has been the most enriching and beneficial part of their lives.

Study abroad can help your son or daughter bring focus to a career search and even give him or her an edge when looking for a job after graduation.

Parent Resources