Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Parents and Family

Main content start
BOSP students riding in a van.

As parents, you may have some questions about how the Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP) at Stanford helps and prepares your student to study abroad. However, due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), BOSP staff is prohibited from discussing individual student issues directly with parents and family.  Please encourage your student to communicate directly with our staff regarding your questions or concerns. That said, we put together an overview of the study abroad process, included some helpful links, and a few resources such as tips for parents and family to give you a better idea how you can best support your student before, during, and after he or she studies abroad.

Exploring BOSP Programs

BOSP offers your student many study abroad opportunities including quarter length programs, overseas seminars, and internships. See our Study Abroad Overview to explore all of these opportunities. BOSP also provides study abroad advising for every BOSP program as well as other information such as CoursesFaculty-in-Residence,  Language Prerequisite FAQs, Internship Opportunities and Important Program Dates that students should consider before choosing a program.

  • All BOSP programs offer direct Stanford credit for courses.
  • Many BOSP courses fulfill General Education Requirements and frequently count toward one or more majors.
  • Stanford Faculty-in-Residence teach abroad in most BOSP quarter length program.
  • Many BOSP programs offer internship and service learning opportunities!

Take Action: Help your student consider all of the opportunities BOSP offers and research them; there might be a “best-fit” program that he or she hadn’t even considered before.

Financing Study Abroad

Stanford is committed to providing undergraduates the opportunity to study abroad with BOSP, regardless of financial circumstances. To view a breakdown of the cost comparisons of a quarter studying abroad vs. a quarter on campus, and other financial resources visit Financing Study Abroad.

  • Regular Stanford tuition applies.
  • Financial Aid continues and aid packages are automatically adjusted in accordance with differences in travel and personal expenses while abroad, taking into consideration a student’s inability to work while out of the country.

Take action: Have your student contact the Financial Aid Office (FAO) to find out what financial assistance may be available.

Application Process

Students need to submit an application two quarters in advance for all programs (except for the Overseas Summer Seminars, which have an application deadline during Autumn Quarter).

BOSP strongly encourages students to spend more than one quarter abroad, if possible. Students can apply to and participate in multiple quarter-length programs abroad. They can extend their quarter abroad to two or three quarters depending upon the program and quarter without reapplying.

  • Additional internship/research/course opportunities may be available
  • Higher level of language fluency and cultural understanding
  • Explore and immerse in a different culture and achieving language literacy
  • Gaining substantive understanding of other perspectives in the world that deepen a student's awareness of him/herself, his/her educational goals, and his/her own society.

Take Action: Help your student consider the benefits of studying abroad for two quarters.

BOSP Preparing Students and Setting Expectations

Stanford University believes that students are ultimately responsible for preparing themselves to study abroad and for making the most of their time overseas. This responsibility encompasses but is not limited to:

A wide range of mandatory participation requirements:

  • Complete and pass the minimum language or academic prerequisite prior to the first day of the quarter in an overseas program or the arrival date for an Overseas Seminar, Other Programs (this does not include non-Stanford study abroad programs), and/or our Consortium Programs.
  • Be in good academic standing prior to the first day of the start of the overseas program.
  • Submit all required materials by the deadline established by the Bing Overseas Studies Program.

Policies and Standards:

  • Upholding Stanford University policies, rules and regulations, and meeting academic requirements.
  • Completing all the necessary steps to obtain a visa (if required) in a timely manner and responsible for associated costs and for complying with the terms of the visa.
  • Obtaining and maintaining health insurance coverage equal to or greater than that offered by the Stanford Cardinal Care plan.  Said coverage shall, at a minimum, include coverage for medical care and treatment outside the United States and coverage for both medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.

Should the policies and standards not be upheld by the student, the student MUST provide timely notice OR at the sole discretion of the Bing Overseas Studies Program after providing timely notice,  they may be (involuntarily) withdrawn from the program and subject to late withdrawal penalties. This is to ensure fairness to all students on the program and program waitlist.

Take Action: Help support your student prepare for studying abroad by coming up with a communication plan together. See our Tips for Parents and Family page to get started.

Returning to Stanford

Returning to Stanford after studying abroad can be challenging for your student who might have trouble re-adjusting to campus life and re-assimilating into American culture. After studying abroad, your student might have different goals, academic or career plans. They might also want to consider taking advantage of other opportunities at Stanford or abroad and/or become an active part of BOSP's growing alumni network.

  • There are important steps your student will need to take before he or she returns to Stanford: enrollment in axess, housing and dining, university billing and financial aid. For more information, see our Before You Return page.
  • Re-entry shock and other difficulties re-adjusting to campus are challenges your student might face. Read about Re-entry and how a student might prepare him or herself to return and transition back to campus.
  • Returning students often apply for scholarship and fellowships and take advantage of many Future Opportunities abroad, including research, working, studying, teaching, and volunteering.
  • Your student can stay connected as an alum to his or her study abroad experience by reading about exciting program updates and changes in our Abroad Alumni Newsletter.

Take Action: You can play a very positive role in your student's transition back to campus by taking a personal interest in actively listening and learning about his or her abroad experience abroad.