Information for Parents
Bienvenue! We are so thrilled your son or daughter is considering studying abroad with Academic Programs Abroad in Paris. Study abroad is an opportunity for global learning, reflection, and exploration that a regular university setting cannot provide. Many students will say studying abroad holds some of their most important memories from their time in college.
APA Paris has compiled a list of topics of conversation that often come up when discussing study abroad with our students’ parents. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page if you have questions specific to APA Paris’ programs. If you have further inquiries, you are always welcome to contact us directly.
During the first day of orientation, APA Paris covers a range of safety topics to prepare everyone with the knowledge to have a successful stay. A Prevention and Emergency Action Plan has been developed to quickly disseminate information and check in with all parties in the event of an emergency.
Whether a seasoned traveler or this is the first time outside of the country for your child, here are a few helpful tips:
- Make a copy of your son or daughter’s identity page in their passport and keep on file our Paris office address and telephone number. Once your child’s home stay is announced, have this address on file as well.
- Make sure your son or daughter has a paper copy of your contact information including address, telephone number (including work number) and email address.
- Register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive travel updates from the US Department of State.
- When traveling personally around France and Europe, request that they alert someone what city they will be traveling to, the dates, who they are traveling with, and where they will be staying. This information is required by the APA Paris office prior to taking any trips.
We know one of the first things students want to do is check in with friends and family to let them know that they have arrived in Paris safely. International cell phone fees are costly and add up quickly so one of our first stops is Free, a French cell phone provider, for students to purchase cell phones or French SIM cards.
If an American cell phone is “unlocked” (not tied into a contract), it can be used in France. A French SIM card assigns the phone a French telephone number and usually run about 10 euros.
APA Paris offers complimentary airport pickup upon arrival. For students to take advantage of this, they must fly into Charles de Gaulle airport. Date and time of the pickup will be announced to students after admission to the program.
Websites like statravel.com and studentuniverse.com are student travel agencies and typically offer flights with reasonable fares and have more flexible date change policies. STA Travel offices are in major cities and in most student towns. You can also purchase tickets on their website or call them at 1-800-226-8624.
APA Paris provides personal liability insurance as part of the program fees. All students are responsible for providing their own health insurance. If your son or daughter is covered under your health insurance policy, please make sure that this includes international travel.
The French Consulate will also want proof that your son or daughter has medical coverage, in the form of a letter from your insurer when he or she applies for a student visa. If your son or daughter will need to purchase his or her own health insurance, HTH Worldwide and CISI are two companies that specialize in international student coverage.
Physical Disabilities & Mental Health Concerns
APA Paris works diligently to accommodate students of all capabilities. When a physical or mental health concern is disclosed to us, APA is able to proactively work with the student to create an individualized plan that will meet their needs without sacrificing the study abroad experience. Past plans have included securing English-speaking specialist doctors, weekly therapist appointments, and handicap-accessible homestays.
Passports & Student Visas
All students must have a valid passport that will not expire for at least six months after their return from Paris. In addition, all students must receive a long-stay student visa issued by the French consulate prior to going abroad.
Obtaining a student visa consists of two separate steps: applying online through Campus France USA and in most cases an in-person consulate appointment. APA Paris will contact students after their admission with a comprehensive, step-by-step breakdown of tasks in order to successfully complete the process.
To schedule a consulate appointment and view the required documentation needed, visit your French consulate’s website.