Study Abroad

Parents and family

Dear parents and family members,

Studying abroad has the potential to be the most transforming and inspiring experience that your student will undertake at the University of Washington. It is my tremendous privilege to lead a staff dedicated to broadening perspectives by inviting your student to engage in the diversity of the world.

The experience of studying abroad pushes boundaries and challenges world views. There are of course, many aspects of international education to consider, and UW Study Abroad uses all the resources we can to inform, guide and support students. We are especially committed to their safety and well-being.

We also understand that the decision to study abroad is often one involving the entire family. Below are some links to additional resources that you may find useful in making an informed decision regarding this incredible opportunity. We encourage you to communicate with your student traveler about their ideas, goals and expectations long before they set out on the journey. Your support and enthusiasm mean so much—at every step of their education.

Wolf Latsch
Director, UW Study Abroad


Student safety abroad is of utmost concern and we work to ensure that we are assessing the risks posed to our students in each and every program. The UW Global Travel Security Management Team  oversees the moderation of that risk and determines when we need to be involved in incidents that occur abroad. Additionally, each student is required to enroll in the UW Student Abroad Insurance Plan. This plan is a comprehensive, international medical and emergency evacuation insurance designed to meet the specific needs of study abroad students.  Find more information about student safety abroad.

Rome Vatican Museum - Lauren EasterlingFinances

Financing a study abroad program can occasionally be daunting, but sometimes surprising. Except in the case of exchange, students pay a program fee in lieu of their tuition when they study abroad. Regardless, costs for study abroad are largely driven by the cost of living in the part of the world where the program is located. Financial assistance is available in the form of scholarships as well as financial aid revision. Whatever the situation, it will likely require careful financial planning. With careful planning and a reasonable amount of flexibility, financial resources should not be a deterrent to study abroad. Find more information about financing study abroad.


Each and every credit that a student earns while abroad will apply to their UW transcript. The process for how that credit may apply will depend on the type of program the student participates in. Each program brochure has an “academics” section that helps to illuminate the kind of credit available and the process for acquiring it. You can find additional information about earning credit abroad on our website. 


FerpaStudent Privacy Considerations

While it can occasionally be frustrating to parents, UW Study Abroad must abide by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This can sometimes mean that we cannot divulge student academic, financial or enrollment information to parents. Whenever possible, we encourage you to shift responsibility for all aspects of study abroad participation to your son or daughter. It will be an opportunity for growth. Find out more information about student educational privacy rights.

Parent Guide to Study Abroad

For an in-depth resource on providing support to your child as they navigate the study abroad process, you can download the Institute for International Education’s Parent Guide to Study Abroad.

Download the guide