Generally, parents & guardians of participants of our Teenagers Abroad programs have questions and/or special concerns about their children. Naturally, the parents / guardians of participants have different questions and concerns than do the actual participants themselves.
Therefore, we have created this section just for YOU - the parents and guardians of the participants and potential students of our Teenagers Abroad programs.
In this “Parent’s Zone” section, we will address general concerns, as well as provide answers to common questions that we hear from parents & guardians each year. Our safety policies will be clarified and general information about our staff will be given. By the end of this section, your mind should be at ease about allowing your child to attend one of our fantastic Teenagers Abroad programs!
Keep in mind that we (Teenagers Abroad) have been organizing study abroad programs for teenagers and children for many years and that our experienced staff is here to help you every step of the way through your program selection and application process.
It is oftentimes concerning to parents / guardians that many of our programs are located in countries/cities that they, themselves, are not familiar with; therefore, parents / guardians are sometimes hesitant to send their child to study in the country of his/her interest. We have made this following section to put those concerns to rest!
To illustrate ALL of the benefits that your child would receive by participating in one our language schools or camps abroad would be impossible. Of course, by attending a Teenagers Abroad program, students will enhance their ability to speak a language, make new friends, experience new foods, participate in new activities, and be exposed to new and different cultures & ways of life.
What we really can’t explain or properly illustrate is the personal development students will gain by leaving home and being placed in a new environment among other young people from all around the world. Our programs have a diverse mixture of students with only 35% of them coming from North America. This diversification exposes students to new ideas, perspectives and opinions.
All of our camps and language schools have staff members and directors that are properly trained in the field of international education and are professionals that help students through the adjustment period that most experience in the first few days of their program. By living in a different culture, students will have their minds opened to new and exciting experiences. Also, their ability to cope with and manage new surroundings will be put to the test. The experiences that students have while they live and study abroad build character, which is just one of the many benefits of a language immersion program!
The shortest Teenagers Abroad programs is 1 week in duration. However, we recommend that students stay for at least 2 weeks. In these couple of weeks, students will have proper time to recover from their jetlag, adjust their appetite to the new foods, grow accustomed to their new program’s routine, as well as get to know other international students, our staff members, and hopefully a few locals as well.
Because we have private campuses, political and economic problems is the host countries have no real bearing on our language camps. We very closely monitor the international arena and will not offer language immersion programs in countries where it is not safe and secure for our students. Remember that it is one of our top priorities to make our students (your children) feel safe, secure and comfortable while they study abroad with one of our Teenagers Abroad programs.
We proudly boast that our staff rarely receives reports of racial, cultural, religious, or gender prejudices or intolerances from the language course participants. From the very beginning, it is made clear that we (Teenagers Abroad and all partner schools) have a zero-tolerance policy on such issues. Our staff is prepared to properly deal with violations of this policy immediately on-site.
As far as personal safety issues go, our Teenagers Abroad program locations are relatively safe and have the same issues that may be found in most urban or rural areas of the USA, Canada, Europe and beyond. Of course, there are certain areas in each of our locations that we advise students to avoid while participating in their program. We also advise our students not to display cash, credit cards, jewelry or electronic goods while in public, stores or in restaurants. It would actually be best for them to leave all valuables at home!
Our students are counseled on how to become and stay aware of their surroundings while in the city. This is especially important when students are in crowded areas, surrounded by tourists and/or sightseeing in a new & exciting part of the city.
Our staff is prepared for any minor health issues that may arise, such as headaches, scrapes & bruises, bug bites, etc… For more serious issues, most of our Teenagers Abroad program locations offer medical care on-site or have a camp physician or doctor very close by. If there is any cause for concern, the camp staff will ensure that the student is immediately treated by the closest reliable healthcare facility or hospital. We assure you that our language immersion programs are only in countries where the quality of medical care is very high.
It is important that you inform us of any / all dietary or health restrictions that your child may have. When enrolling, please attach a separate page containing this information to the other enrollment documents. If we are not informed far in advance of the program's start date of any medical conditions or allergies, Teenagers Abroad cannot be held responsible for special dietary, allergy or health issue needs that are not met.
In order to give our camp directors as much time as possible to accommodate your child/teen’s needs, we will immediately pass all heath and dietary information that you provide to us forward to the language camp's directors.
School & Camp Hiring Policies & Rules
Each teaching staff member and activity monitor is selected through a comprehensive hiring process done by the local camp director and personnel mangers. This process is based on the following criteria: past experience as a language teacher or monitor, security clearances, ability to work well with young international students, possessing an engaging personality, ability to promote our philosophy, and the ability to enforce the local program rules.
Our policy on alcohol, drugs, and sex is quite simple: NONE are permitted on our school premises, on our campus, nor in the students’ accommodations. Our policies apply to all participants enrolled in a language immersion program, regardless of their age or nationality. If our rules are broken, parents / guardians will be notified immediately and the student will be given a strong warning. If the student breaks the rules again, he/she will be immediately sent home at his/her own expense!
Supervision of Participants
Depending on which language immersion program is chosen and the age of the participant, our language camps for teenagers provide varying levels of student supervision.
Residential Programs: This choice of program is operated as a ‘campus type’ of location. This means that the residence is located between 5 and 20 minutes away from the school. In some locations, students eat, sleep and study in the same complex.
Students must then return to the campus before the set curfew time. Curfew times vary depending on location, day of the week, and time of the year. Oftentimes, curfew times are 1-2 hours earlier during the week as on the weekend. The average curfew time for our Teenager Abroad programs is 11pm during the week and midnight on the weekend. Be sure to check the local website of your specific program to find exact times.
These curfew times are set and extremely strict. Failure to comply with the curfew may result in expulsion from the program. Students may be sent home immediately at their own expense for breaking curfew. Again, curfew times can be found in the pre-departure information package sent upon enrolling in a program.
Host Family Programs: In this program, students reside with a host family away from the language school. Host families generally live within 20-50 minutes of the school and can be reached by public transportation or by walking. Our staff supervises students during the day of language class and during the organized activities in the afternoon. However, students will be responsible to travel to and from their accommodations independently every day, except for the first day of classes.
On the first day of school, an adult member for the host family will take the student to the language school. At the end of the first day of classes, one of the school’s staff members will ensure that the student knows his/her way home before being dismissed. It is also common that our host families host more than one international student at a time. This means that students can travel to and from school together from their accommodation.
The ‘Host Family’ accommodation does not always mean living with a traditional family. A host family may consist of a young couple with children, an older couple with no children, a middle aged couple with teenagers, or a single parent family.
Most host families volunteer because they are generally interested by other cultures, want to share their culture with foreigners, have extra room to accommodate a young person, or because they need additional income. All host families are required to provide incoming students with a clean and comfortable separate room, as well as the agreed to meals.
Furthermore, prospective host families are always interviewed by local program accommodation coordinators. Once they are accepted, host families are required to complete special training on how to welcome international students into their home, how to handle typical communication issues, as well as enhancing of their problem solving skills and training in minor first aid matters.
Please Note: Host families will do their very best to make students as comfortable as possible while living in their home. However, they often have busy personal or professional lives that may not allow them to share all meals or have daily conversations with the visiting students. Students should be able to entertain themselves on the weekends and in the evenings, as they are responsible for their own free time.
Communicating with your Child
We provide telephones at all of our school locations, which can be used to make international calls. Most of our locations also offer free internet access and computers. There are no phones inside the students' rooms. Cell phones are permitted on campus; however, they must be turned off during class and organized activities. We also ask that students be considerate of their roommates when talking on the phone late at night or early in the morning.
All school locations have a local emergency contact number that will be given to you before departure. This number can be used when the students are on an off-campus excursion and it is important for you to reach them.
If you have any serious concerns or questions about your child while he/she is attending one of our programs, please contact our Toronto office during normal business hours. If there is no answer when you call, please leave us a detailed message and we will follow up with you as soon as possible.
Students who are nationals of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most Western European countries do not need a student or tourist visa to visit any of the countries where our Teenagers Abroad programs are held, except Beijing. Because of the relative short length of the program, students are considered to be tourists while attending the program; therefore, they do not need student or academic visas. In the airport, after the international flight, students will have to cross the host country’s immigration official, who will grant the tourist/visitor visa. This visa is just a stamp in the passport & is valid for 90 days.
For travelers under the age of 16, a notarized document, which certifies that both parents agree that the child may travel alone, must be carried while traveling. The document must also state who/which organization is picking up the student when they arrive at their destination. We recommend that clients book their flights as soon as they’re confirmed in the program and to book direct flights or flights with the least amount of layovers as possible. Direct flights may be a bit more expensive, but for young travelers, they are much easier to manage.
For children that are under 13 years old, we recommend parents/guardians pay the additional ‘Unaccompanied Minor’ free. This service is offered by most airlines, where they assign a staff member to take responsibility for your child during their trip. The Unaccompanied Minor service includes escorting the child from the gate to the plane, ensuring the child is in his/her assigned seat, assistance on the flight, as well as helping the child at their destination to the baggage claim area, through customs and to the designated pick up point.
Arrival and Departure Days
It is mandatory that students arrive on the designated arrival date. It is understandable that flights have delays, cancellations or are missed. If this would happen, please inform us as soon as possible so that we can arrange for your child to be met at the airport when he/she arrives. If your child must arrive or leave on dates other than those which are designated on our website, there may be additional fees applied. All special arrangements must be made on an individual basis and confirmed by our staff well in advance.
It is recommended that your child bring cash and/or credit cards with him/her for personal expenses. We suggest bringing between $100-$150 USD per week for most of our locations. ATMs are generally available for cash withdraws in the major cities. Please keep in mind that there may be service charges applied per transaction to your account depending on your banking institution. Therefore, it is advised that students take out larger sums of money to reduce fees. However, we do not recommend that young students carry more than $200 USD on them at anytime.
Please visit our ‘Enroll’ page to find more information or to enroll in one of our Teenagers Abroad programs.
We accept MasterCard, Visa, direct bank transfers, and certified checks made payable to our parent company 'Inside Exploration Inc'.
If you have any questions regarding your payment options, please contact us at 1-800-219-9924, or send us an email.
Medical & Health Travel Insurance
In order to attend a program, our teen program partners at all locations require proof of personal medical health insurance coverage. If you feel that your medical coverage is adequate, please review your policy to ensure that personal travel, international accidents, medical expenses, etc… are covered while abroad. If it is not the case, Teenagers Abroad includes a travel health insurance to your program price.
Please review the Teenagers Abroad Travel Medical Insurance policy, which provides the details of our comprehensive and competitively priced insurance coverage.
Our Cancellation and Refund Policies
For information about Teenagers Abroad's cancellation and refund policies, please refer to our official Terms & Conditions page.
Turn a study abroad program into a family vacation!
Travelling or studying in the city where your child is participating in one of our Teenagers Abroad programs is a great experience for everybody involved! Have fun traveling independently while your child is in class, or why not take enroll in a program yourself!? Our language division for adults, Languages Abroad, offers more than 150 programs for adults and teenagers over the age of 17.