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Information for Parents

Dear family We understand that sending your student abroad is a significant decision, one that comes with understandable concerns about their health and safety. At Southern Miss, we assure you that your student's well-being is our top priority throughout their study abroad journey.

Studying abroad offers unparalleled opportunities for personal growth, cultural immersion, and academic enrichment. It provides a unique chance for your student to broaden their perspectives, develop independence, and gain valuable skills that will benefit them both academically and professionally.

Rest assured, we have stringent processes and procedures in place to ensure the safety and security of our students at all times. From thorough pre-departure orientations to ongoing support from our dedicated staff, we closely monitor global events and maintain open lines of communication with our students to promptly address any concerns that may arise.

We understand that entrusting your student to study abroad is a significant decision, and we are here to support your student every step of the way. Below we have included some tips and resources on how you can support them on this journey too.  

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to call the USM Office of Study Abroad.
601.266.4344, Email:

How to support

  1. Research together: Take the time to research their program options and destination together. Learn about the local culture, customs, and traditions and any safety and health considerations. By understanding the context of their experience, you can help them better prepare and make informed decisions while abroad.
    1. See here for Southern Miss’ Program Options
    2. See here for Frequently Asked Questions
    3. USA Study Abroad’s Travel Health & Safety Info
  2. Encourage open communication: Create a safe space for your student to express their concerns, fears, and excitement about studying abroad. Listen attentively and offer guidance and reassurance as they navigate the challenges and uncertainties that come with living in a foreign country.
    1. FBI- Safety and Security for U.S. Students Traveling Abroad
  3. Assist with logistics: Help your student with practical matters such as finances and preparing for departure. Work together to create a budget and ensure they have access to necessary documents, such as passports and visas, well before their departure.
    1. See here for Financial Resources
    2. U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Know Before You Go
  4. Support their independence: Encourage your student to take ownership of their study abroad experience by allowing them to make their own decisions and solve problems independently. Empower them to embrace the challenges and opportunities that come their way and remind them that you are always there to offer guidance and support.
  5. Stay connected: While your student is abroad, stay connected through regular communication via phone, email, or video calls. Let them know you are thinking of them and cheering them on from afar.