Studying abroad is a life-changing experience. It allows students to gain cultural understanding and develop global competencies. Studying abroad is a time for your student to see the world and come to an understanding of his or her place in the global community. It will also help your student enhance his/her professional goals and career prospects.
Athena recognizes that safety is a top concern of parents with a daughter or son studying abroad. We want to reassure you that Athena Study Abroad is committed to providing a safe environment for international study.
Our program sites have been carefully selected to take place in countries that are considered safe and stable. We work closely with our partner universities and on-site Resident Directors who have established networks with local authorities, US Consulate and Embassy staff, and local medical providers, to ensure the highest level of care is available to our students should an unexpected event arise. In addition, Athena provides all of our students with
premier overseas health insurance coverage through HTH Worldwide Services.
The pre-departure materials your student will receive from Athena include safety guidelines and resources for preparing for a safe international experience. Students are provided with Athena's 24-hour emergency services contact number as well as the contact information for on-site personnel who can provide immediate assistance. In addition, once our students arrive in country they participate in extensive on-site orientations during which time safety concerns will again be addressed.
At Athena Study Abroad we do everything in our power to ensure that your student is healthy and safe while abroad. Our program locations are considered as safe - or safer - than comparable U.S. cities and our students are provided with comprehensive safety guidelines.
Although we do all that we can to prepare students and keep them informed of health and safety concerns, it is ultimately each student's responsibility to follow safety protocols and guidelines abroad. Just as your student's safety at home is largely dependent on the personal decisions he or she makes, staying safe abroad will greatly rely on your daughter or son making smart, informed personal decisions.
We encourage you to speak with your daughter or son about this responsibility and to contact Athena Study Abroad with any concerns you and your student have regarding safety.
Athena Study Abroad accepts most forms of financial aid as payment; however, Athena cannot issue or process financial aid. Your student must work with his/her home university's Financial Aid & Study Abroad Offices to coordinate the use of financial aid award money.
The Higher Education Act permits schools to release Federal Financial Aid for payment towards a study abroad program if the student will be receiving academic credit at the home university for the study abroad program. With the exception of Federal Work Study, most forms of federal aid can be used as payment towards an Athena Study Abroad program, when approved, if your daughter or son will be earning credits towards her/his degree. This includes Pell Grants, guaranteed student loans, and PLUS Loans.
Some states also allow state financial aid to go with students abroad, however your student should talk to the university study abroad and/or financial aid office about policies on the use of state and institutional aid for study abroad.
Athena Study Abroad recognizes that federal and state regulations governing financial aid restrict when a student's aid can be released and understand that universities may not be able to disperse financial aid funds until after our established payment deadlines.
Your daughter or son can work with us to make arrangements to defer the portion of the program fee which will be covered by financial aid. Athena Study Abroad will supply your student with a "Financial Aid Disbursement Form" that her/his university should complete and then send in to Athena. This form will tell us not only how much aid your student is receiving, but also when the aid will be disbursed and to whom.
If the aid will be disbursed to your student after departure, you may be responsible for depositing the check and forwarding payment to Athena - in which case your daughter or son should grant power of attorney to you prior to departure.
Yes! Athena offers several different scholarships with award amounts ranging from $250 - $8000. For specific scholarship details, including eligibility requirements and application procedures, visit our
Encourage your daughter/son to apply for any scholarships they are eligible for - sometimes students need a little extra encouragement to understand that completing a scholarship application is worth the effort!Â Your student's home university may also have study abroad scholarships and grants available so your student should explore these options as well.
Keep in mind that your daughter/son may not have access to a phone immediately upon arrival overseas. A great way to enable communication while abroad is to set up a time each week to talk via telephone or through an internet feature like AIM, email or Skype.
While we understand that speaking with your student regularly will help lessen any concerns/hesitations you may have, we encourage you to allow your student to immerse themselves and work with local staff to resolve any issues that may arise.
To read what our alumni and their parents are saying about Athena Study Abroad, visit our