We are thrilled your student is planning to study abroad with IAU College!
This is an exciting time for students and their families. Students applying to IAU College will be treated as adults, and we expect them to take on the full responsibility of completing the IAU application, arranging travel logistics and completing pre-departure requirements. We understand that parents also have questions throughout this process, and you're encouraged to review the information provided. We look forward to welcoming your student abroad!
Mail for students in Aix should be sent by regular airmail to:
8, rue de Littéra
13604 Aix-en-Provence CEDEX 1
In general all packages sent from the US are subject to duty charges. These charges may be avoided if the sender clearly marks packages "Articles usagés pour étudiants." The package should also be declared as a gift on the small green customs sticker.
In either case, the value of a package's contents should be declared as $25 or less if you do not wish to pay customs.
Students in Paris can have mail sent directly to the host family address which you can obtain from your student. Students in Barcelona or Valencia on a summer program may not have time to receive mail! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to send something, and you will be instructed on how to proceed.
It is important that students stay in touch with their families and friends while abroad. IAU suggests setting up a mode of communication prior to the student's departure as well as establishing a reasonable expectation for communicating while abroad.
Cell Phones: Students may use their unlocked smart phone abroad by purchasing a simcard and credits. This allows students to use a pay-as-you go plan as well as parents to contact their student as long as they have a minimum amount of credit on the phone. Students may also activate an international plan from their US carrier. Please contact your cell phone company to learn more about international calling rates.
Students can use wifi in their host families and hotels for services such as Skype, Google Chat (Gchat), Viber and Whattsap. These services are free when used in a wifi zone. Parents can set up accounts and connect with their student prior to departure.
Country Codes for Calling Internationally
When dialing internationally from the United States, a prefix and a country code is added to the phone number. The prefix to dial out of the US is 011. If you have a smartphone, it may appear as +.
The Country code for France is 44
The Country code for Spain is 34
You can find a complete list of country calling codes here.
For example, to call France, you first dial the prefix 011, then the country code 44, then the phone number without the first 0 included. If the phone number is 01 23 45 67 89, you would dial: 011 44 1 23 45 67 89
Please note that the ring tone for international calls is different than the ring tone in the US. It sounds more like a busy signal.
"Happiness is picking your daughter up at the airport and then spending the hour-long drive home listening to her tell you about the wonderful time she had and how much she had learned and experienced. Thanks IAU!" - Miriam L.
"I can’t tell you what a fantastic time my daughter experienced at IAU College in Aix-en-Provence. It has proven to be an incredible experience for her. She loves the program, professors and her host mother is just wonderful! Her grandmother and I visited the south of France a few weeks ago and we were thrilled to spend time with my daughter. She was our tour guide in Aix-en-Provence and the city is truly amazing. We especially enjoyed the Cours Mirabeau with its open air markets, shops and fountains. We also had a 'picnique' at the base of Mt. St. Victoire, and we even managed to climb part of it!" - Michelle S.
"My daughter had a wonderful experience. The family she was placed with was especially wonderful. She learned a lot educationally, socially and emotionally. Thank you!" - Elizabeth O.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program - IAU recommends that all students register with the U.S. State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling in this system, the U.S. Embassy can keep students updated with important safety and security announcements. It will also help family and friends get in touch during an emergency. For more information and to register, please visit the STEP Web site.
There are many ways parents can support their student during the study abroad process. Below are some of IAU's recommendations.
Before departure, we recommend obtaining a copy of important documents to be kept at home. If these items are lost or stolen, this will make the replacement process much easier.
- Plane tickets
- Credit and debit cards
- Indentification (eg. driver's license)
- Insurance information- Students receive a copy of this information with their acceptance letter
- IAU College acceptance letter
Create a communication plan. Schedule a time after arrival when contact should be made. Please keep in mind that students may not have access to the internet or a cell phone for the first few days upon arrival.
Learn about your student's host country. For example, educate youself on the time zone, currency and season differences. This will allow you to better relate to your child while they are abroad.
Have an emergency money plan in place. In case of an emergency, please reference IAU's Emergency website.
Before departure, help your student make their bank aware of where they will be traveling so that they don't suspect fraud or theft. It may also be helpful to have the name of someone staying in the U.S. on each account, one who would be able to make authorized changes in case an issues arises that needs to be solved in country.
Ensure that someone in your family has a valid passport in the event that it is necessary to travel overseas in an emergency.
Confirm that you are aware of any travel plans before and after you student's official program start and end dates.
Recognize the expected cultural adjustment your student will experience while they are abroad and when they return.
If you have been a Victim of a Crime
If your Passport has been Lost or Stolen
Travel Tips for Students
Tips for Living Abroad
Medical Information for Americans
The World Factbook
Frequently Asked Questions
IAU encourages students to speak with their home institution's study abroad and financial aid offices to learn about available scholarships. Students can also apply for an IAU College scholarship. Many third-party scholarships are available as well. Crowd Sourcing is a new fundraising technique and you can learn more on the Project Travel website. Students may also be eligible for Work Study Opportunities.
Students should be able to use their credit and/or debit card while abroad. Parents and students must contact their bank to learn about fees for charges and withdrawals as well as to inform their bank of their travel plans to avoid having the card blocked. Students should note the international number on the back of their card to call in case of loss or theft.
Students should speak with their academic advisor or study abroad advisor regarding the transfer of IAU College credit. Students should expect their academic program at IAU to match the depth and vigor of courses at their home institution.
Health and Safety Abroad
The health and safety problems that students encounter abroad are similar to those experienced in the US. Often times it's a student's own behavior that directly relates to most injuries and illnesses abroad. In the event of injury or illness, IAU College staff are available to assist your student.
Students should take precautions, listen to advice, and always be aware of their surroundings the same way they would on their home campus.
IAU employs a fulltime staff psychologist who is available to any student as part of the Wellness Program. Students are encouraged to be in touch with IAU prior to their arrival on campus should they expect a need to meet with a staff member whiel abroad.
Benefits of Study Abroad
Students who participate in study abroad are attractive to employers because they have a deeper, broader and less nationalistic education. The skills learned and refined while abroad are applicable to the global work environment. Many students also grow as a person, realize their interests, and find what it means to be an American as a result of studying abroad. As a result, students may return home as independent thinkers, self-confident and stronger intellectually with greater personal maturity.