Student and Parent Resources
Many of the resources provided below are not affiliated with George Fox University; they are merely offered as further aids for semester off-campus study students and parents. For internal university information specific to George Fox semester off-campus programs, please see the following pages: Policies and Procedures, Frequently Asked Questions.
- US Department of State "Students Abroad" website - this comprehensive website offers links to assist students studying abroad both in-country and out of country. Resources include travel document information, embassy information, health & safety information, smart travel tips, printable guides and tools, and overseas voting information.
- The Center for Global Education's "studentsabroad.com" website - a vast wealth of information for planning, returning home, safety tips, country-specific handbooks, communication tips, and other practical information.
- "Let's Go" travel guides - general country and culture information
- Lonely Planet travel website - general country and culture information. Also check out the Thorn Tree Forum posts by actual travelers to places all around the world.
- International Student Identification Card (ISIC) - The ISIC card is the only internationally-recognised student ID. Every year more than 4.5 million students from 120 countries use their student card to take advantage of offers on travel, shopping, museums and more, worldwide. These can be purchased and issued at the GFU Center for Study Abroad office.
- Disibility and Study Abroad - Provides resources for students with disabilities who are considering study abroad.
- "Glimpse Abroad", online magazine - First person, cultural-experience pieces written by study abroad students, volunteers, international students, and others living abroad.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) traveler's health website - Country-specific health related information, includes recommended and required immunizations list.
- George Fox Health and Counseling Center - During the school year, the GFU health & counseling center provides immunizations and other health resources to students.
Communication & Contact
- Email - can be used to send group messages to your friends and family. Continue to monitor your George Fox Email as campus offices will still send communications to your George Fox account.
- Cell Phones - can be purchased in the country in which you will reside, several programs provide students with a cell phone for the semester. If you decide to buy a cell phone, we strongly suggest that you research a pre-paid system in which you buy a certain amount of time, or a non-contract plan. Generally, local calls and international calls are charged at two different rates per minute. You may also want to consider whether your US cell phone can be activated for international use. We do not recommend any specific provider.
- Calling Cards - Calling cards can be purchased in-country and used to call back to the US. If you purchase calling cards in the US, make sure it can be used while abroad. US 1-800 numbers are NOT toll-free abroad.
- Computer - VoIP (voice over IP) can be used to make telephone calls from a computer to a computer, landline, or cell phone. Past study abroad students have recommended using programs such as Skype and Google Voice and Video Chat.
- Blogs - Blogs are a great way to stay in touch with all of your friends and family all at once without spending a lot of time composing individual emails. Popular blog sites that allow you to set up your own page are Tumblr, WordPress and Blogger/BlogSpot (note: this link may redirect you to log in via your Gmail account if you are currently logged into one). For more blogging sites and tools, check out Mashable's Top Free Blog Hosts. If you decide to keep a blog and would like to be featured on the Center for Global Studies webpage, please forward your blog link to our office.
- Social Media - websites like Twitter or Facebook have been recommended for quickly updating a status or postings pictures for friends and family to see. While we don't recommend updating your status constantly, social media sites like these will notify your friends and family on your behalf as new materials are posted. *Be conservative with the information you release on blogs and social media sites, especially regarding location and personal information such as your address, phone number, date of birth, and any financial information. Review and customize your privacy settings for your social media sites, understanding the inherent risks of publicizing information online. Check out these location-based social media safety tips for more information and instructions on how to adjust your privacy settings.
- Mailing and Packages - Receiving packages abroad can be complicated by customs and varying postal services from country to country, not to mention expensive. Many students have reported that receiving packages abroad is not worth the effort it might take to collect them. We strongly discourage sending or receiving packages while abroad.
Make sure you balance your time abroad and communication with friends and family back home. Don't miss out on opportunities that exist only while you are studying abroad!
- CIEE (Council for International Educational Exchange) "Knowledge Series" - enhances pre-departure preparation for both students and their parents and to provide additional resources to assist in the study-abroad planning and preparation process on a variety of topics.
- "What's up with Culture?", online cultural training - developed to support and enhance a student’s ability to make successful cultural adjustments both before going overseas and upon returning home from studying abroad. This material offers an opportunity to explore various aspects of intercultural communication and adjustment models that are known to impact upon all study abroad experiences.
- Global Scholar free online courses - The intention of the Global Scholar Online Courses, developed by The Center for Global Education, is to introduce students to the opportunities and challenges inherent in participating in study abroad programs. Students will benefit from the courses by finding out tips and techniques to prepare for their program, how to cope with challenges that may arise while they're abroad, how to make the most of their study abroad experience while they’re there, tips for dealing with issues that may arise after their return home, and advice on where they can go from here personally and in their career preparation.
- Adjustments and Culture Shock handbook - learn what culture shock means and how you can overcome its effects. Experiencing new cultures, and obtaining a better understanding of your own culture, can result in some of the most positive, life–altering experiences students have while spending a semester off-campus/abroad.
- Reverse Culture Shock handbook - learn how to cope with reverse culture shock you may experience upon return to the United States. One of the biggest challenges for students who participate in a semester off-campus can be the difficulty in re–adapting to the realities back home and at GFU (otherwise known as "re–entry"). Many students who studied off-campus went through many changes, re–examining their priorities, their values, and what they think of themselves and their home country. The "reverse culture shock" may be more difficult than the "culture shock" you felt when adapting to you semester home. If return culture shock is severe, it is important that students are able to seek help/counseling to help them through this.
- Parent Re-Entry Handbook - Once students return home after spending a semester off-campus, their experience doesn’t end. They return with new stories to tell and experiences to share, managing reverse culture shock, and often with many hopes and plans for continuing to work on issues they were introduced to while on their off-campus program. Parents often wonder what options may be out there, or what might be happening inside their student during this return phase. Many of these key issues are addressed in this handbook.