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Family Responsibilities and Study Abroad

The Office of Overseas Study encourages all students to consider making study abroad part of their degree program at Indiana University. We recognize that students must continue to meet various responsibilities and obligations, even while they're abroad, which oftentimes includes caring for a family member (i.e., a child, a parent, etc.). While some study abroad locations allow for the inclusion of family members, not all of them have that flexibility. And where a family member may be included, there will be extra expenses involved.

Programs will require your full attendance and participation at all mandatory class meetings, excursions and events. Family members need to be prepared to spend time away from you, the student, during the program, unless the program has specially-scheduled opportunities that can include visitors.

If you would like to take children abroad who would need daycare, you should explore the availability and cost of daycare with the program organizer in advance of submitting an application. Should you plan to take school-age children with you during the academic year, consider the ramifications of enrolling them in a local school (expenses, language challenges, etc.).

A number of Indiana University students have been successful abroad while having family members accompany them. However, each situation has to be treated individually. The shorter the program, the easier it will be to make arrangements.

The best course of action is to start planning early if you plan to take a family member abroad with you so that you understand the options and the full implications prior to making a financial commitment to the program.


Study abroad is like spring training for this century. It helps you develop the fundamentals, the teamwork, and the determination to succeed."

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State