Parents & Family

Discussion Topics

Study abroad is a unique, transformative, and life-changing experience. International Programs recognizes the key role family members play in student success abroad. To assist you in supporting your student, we’ve compiled information for families – from topics to discuss before departure to details about finances and safety. We hope this information will help you encourage your student to take the lead during their study abroad journey!


  • What are some ideas of things you will need to spend money on versus things you will want to spend money on during the program?
  • How much money do you see as an appropriate amount to spend monthly for recreation? (includes food, shopping, entertainment, etc.)
  • How will exchange rates affect your budget (if applicable for your location)?
  • How will you access your money?
  • What are some of the safety resources available to you? (E.g. emergency contact card, STEP, etc.)
  • How do you plan to stay safe as you explore your host city?
  • What are some steps you can take to promote your safety while abroad?
  • What form of communication should we use to keep in touch? (e.g., FaceTime, Skype, instant message, phone calls)
  • How often will we communicate while you’re abroad?
  • Are you comfortable speaking with me or the staff at FSU if you’re in trouble or need help?
  • How will you be respectful of others’ decisions to drink or not drink?
  • Do you plan to consume alcohol while abroad? If so, what are some strategies you can use for safe alcohol consumption?
  • What are the local views surrounding alcohol consumption in your host country?
  • What are some risks and consequences associated with drinking?
  • What do you think about recreational drug use? Do you know the consequences if caught using recreational drugs?
  • How are the laws different in your host country? How will you research differences in laws?
  • How do you identify and handle peer pressure? How have you experienced peer pressure?
  • How will you avoid or say no to negative influences?
  • What do you hope to achieve from your time abroad?
  • How do you plan to stay motivated throughout your coursework?
  • How will you manage your time abroad between classes and excursions?
  • How will you adjust if you become unorganized or lose focus?
  • How do you appropriately and respectfully communicate with people who have values or beliefs different than your own?
  • What are your thoughts on consent?
  • Do you know how to clearly communicate your consent or lack of consent?
  • Do you understand the consequences of violating another person?
  • Do you know the resources available to you at FSU regarding personal health?
  • How do you plan to remain physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy while abroad?
  • What does sexual health and safety mean to you?
  • Who do you talk to when you’re feeling stressed?
  • How do you manage your stress?
  • What do you anticipate being the most stress inducing part of this experience? How can you prepare yourself for that?
  • What is your reason for choosing to study abroad?
  • What classes will you be taking and what about them interested you?
  • Do you understand the responsibility of being a student while having this international experience?
  • Which class(es) are you most excited about?
  • What are you most looking forward to during this experience?
  • Are you looking forward to meeting new people? How do you plan to engage with other students and locals while abroad?
  • What do you still need to feel prepared for this experience?