Information for Parents & Families

Study Abroad is a transformational experience for students personally, professionally, academically and spiritually. In fact, 84% of graduating seniors who participated in a study abroad or university-sponsored international experience stated that it enhanced their learning a great deal (taken from the 2019 Graduating Senior Survey).

While participating in such an experience is an exciting endeavor for 29% of Marquette students, we know as a parent you probably have many questions and concerns. Below is information that will help answer your questions and help you to support your student during this journey.

Why study abroad?

  • Employers and graduate schools seek candidates with international experience because of the transferable skills that students develop including but not limited to tolerance for ambiguity, adaptability, working across differences, cultural training and foreign language skills. According to the QS Global Employer Survey Report, 6 out of 10 employers around the world give extra credit for an international student experience, and more than 80% said they actively sought graduates who had studied abroad.
  • The Office of International Education (OIE) measures the following learning outcomes for students studying abroad: increase intercultural competence, develop global perspective, enhance personal growth and development, and acquire or improve in a second language.
  • Research studies have shown that study abroad may improve GPA and language learning, fosters intercultural understanding, and increases employability and career skills.

Study abroad process

  • Pre-departure there are four phases students will move through: getting started, program exploration, application process and preparing to depart. We have resources available for each phase:
  • While abroad OIE will continue to be in touch with students through an email series and materials in their study abroad account, MUGlobal Portal. Students will attend an orientation with the host program to help them acclimate to their new environment and have a contact on the ground. The host program is their first contact, but OIE remains available to assist students while abroad.
  • Returning from abroad and adapting to U.S. culture and returning to campus can be more challenging than adapting to living abroad. There are many resources available here, including post-program logistics, getting involved on campus, international opportunities post-graduation and more.
  • There will be a Parent Webinar available to you shortly after the in-person student orientation. Information is sent out via email to students to send to you directly. There is also a recorded webinar from the prior semester.
  • Policies related to the study abroad process are also available.


  • In the case of emergency, OIE carries a 24/7 emergency phone that is operated in conjunction with Marquette Public Safety. Students, partners and parents can call (414) 288-1911 in the case of an emergency abroad. If you are calling during business hours, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., you can also call our office directly at (414) 288-7289.
  • Health and safety abroad are of primary importance to the Office of International Education and Marquette University. While we cannot guarantee the safety of those traveling abroad, we will do our best to provide the tools for prevention and resources to use in the case of an incident abroad. Visit our health and safety page to learn more about the policies and resources we have in place.
  • Students are covered by required insurance while they are abroad for both medical and non-medical incidents. More information is provided on our insurance page.
    • Some programs require alternative insurance with similar coverage to our policy. For continuity of response in-country, OIE will waive the Marquette medical policy for some specific programs. Information is available on individual program brochure pages.
    • Some countries, such as Australia and Canada, require students to purchase medical insurance through the government as part of the visa and entry requirements. While there is some overlap in coverage, the government policies do not provide all the required coverage, so both policies are required.
  • Students are reminded to consider establishing a medical or legal Power of Attorney prior to participating in an education abroad program. The State of Wisconsin has basic power of attorney forms available online. The Office of International Education and Marquette University cannot provide students or parents with legal advice as to the appropriate Power of Attorney form. If students or parents have questions about the form appropriate for their needs, they should consult an attorney for guidance. 
    • Medical Power of Attorney 
      A medical power of attorney allows a student to assign an individual to speak on their behalf in the event the student is not able to make decisions for themselves. 
    • Legal Power of Attorney 
      A legal power of attorney allows a student to assign an individual to make decisions on their behalf while they are abroad, specifically with regards to their finances. 


  • Student must be full time if they are abroad for a semester or yearlong experience. Program credit equivalencies vary. Students should read their Deadlines and Pre-departure Guide to verify how credit values relate to Marquette credits. They need an equivalent of 12 Marquette credits — financial aid can be affected if they do not enroll in the correct number of credits.
  • Course approvals help students know how classes from abroad will count toward graduation requirements at Marquette. Read more about the approval process on the course approval page.
  • Grades from abroad transfer in one of two ways. Faculty-led programs and the Sibanye Cape Town program are transcripted by Marquette and grades count towards student GPAs. Grades from all other programs count as transfer credit when students earn a C equivalent or better. The C equivalent for programs varies and is available in the students' Deadlines and Pre-departure Guide material that is part of the application. Regardless of how the grade transfers, students can earn credit towards graduation through the course approval form discussed above.
  • Transcripts from abroad typically come to Marquette one to three months after the program. More information on how transcripts are processed is available on our re-entry page. Once processed, students can log into CheckMarq to see that the credits have posted. For faculty-led and the Sibanye Cape Town programs, the information will be directly applied to their transcripts. For all other programs, credits will be found in the transfer credit section of their account.


  • Budget sheets for each program are available. Visit MUGlobal Portal, search for a specific program, and click on the Finances tab to view the budget sheet to learn more about specific costs.
  • Financial aid can apply to study abroad programs. Visit our financial aid page for information about how financial aid works with study abroad programs.
  • Some scholarships are available specifically for study abroad opportunities. Visit our scholarships page to learn more. Deadlines vary, and some scholarships have early deadlines, so it is good to plan ahead!
  • Billing protocols vary by program, and the budget sheets will list what Marquette will bill for versus what will be owed to outside providers. Any Marquette-billed costs will be billed on the normal billing cycle and invoiced and paid through CheckMarq. Information on billing cycles is available on the bursar's website.
  • Purchasing local currency can be done through your bank before traveling. Some banks require one to two weeks to order currency. It may not be necessary to pre-purchase currency, as students can also access ATMs at the airport or upon arriving at their destination.
  • Students should take at least two debit or credit cards abroad in the case of a lost or stolen wallet. They should keep one secure at their housing and carrying the other for use. Students should call the number on the back of the card prior to travel to inform the bank of the dates and location of their travel so the bank does not think the charges are fraudulent.
  • Due to FERPA guidelines, our ability to speak with parents about student-specific finances is limited.  We encourage you to have your student reach out to us with any financial questions.


  • The Office of International Education is happy to answer your questions. You can reach us at or at (414) 288-7289. Individual staff information is also available on our contact page. Due to FERPA guidelines, our ability to speak with parents about student-specific questions is limited.  We encourage you to have your student reach out to us with questions.
  • Cell phones while abroad can be handled in different ways. Read our advice for keeping in touch with home and in-country on our pre-departure communication page.
  • One note: While staying in touch with home is important, we encourage students to balance communication home whether via phone, text, Facebook or social media with spending time engaged with the host culture. If students are homesick, communication home can perpetuate the feeling of missing home. We encourage students to go out and connect with the local culture and local students to feel more comfortable in their new environment.
  • Student blogs are available to learn more about the experiences students have while abroad. Read more on our Tumblr page.
  • Follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Parents & Families Education Abroad Webinar

There will be a live Parents & Families Education Abroad webinar on Monday, April 3, 2023 from 5:30 - 7:00pm Central Time. This session will provide information about health and safety and be an opportunity for parents and families to ask questions. Information on how to connect to the webinar will be sent to students for them to forward.  It is the student's responsibility to forward the email to their parents and families to attend the webinar.

We invite all parents and families to watch the recording below. It covers a wide range of information relevant to all study abroad students and programs. A copy of the presentation slides can be downloaded as well.

  • Learning outcomes and goals
  • Culture and culture shock
  • Academics
  • Health
  • Safety and security
  • Travel documents and program logistics

If you have additional questions, please contact your student's education abroad staff member at (414) 288-7289.

Parents & Families Webinar Recording

Fall 2023 Parents & Families Webinar (11.9.2023)