Resources for Parents & Guardians
Studying off-campus is a huge step in every student’s academic, personal, and professional development, and ACM is excited to take that step with the parents and guardians of students who are interested in an ACM study away program.
This page provides parents and guardians with information about the distinctive off-campus study programs that ACM operates, as well as detailed arrangements for your student's participation.
As a consortium of small, private liberal arts colleges in the Midwest, ACM designs its programs to provide students with an immersive educational experience, enhancing each student’s intercultural learning through coursework, independent research projects, and community service opportunities. ACM also takes great care to facilitate students’ safety and health while on site.
The Parent Handbook contains a comprehensive overview of ACM off-campus study programs, including information about academics, study abroad preparation, on-site communication, health and safety, and more.
Download a PDF of the Parent Handbook: 2017-18 Parent Handbook
Upon acceptance to an ACM program, your student will gain access to an information page that contains program-specific information, documents that your student needs to complete, and student handbooks.
For general program information, including academic and course information, schedules, program faculty and staff, and living arrangements, please visit the ACM webpage for each particular program. You can find all the programs listed on the off-campus study page.
Policies and Procedures
All ACM policies and procedures are located on the Policies and Procedures page. Please note that specific off-campus study programs may have particular policies related to their unique location, context, or operation and those policies would be found in that program’s webpage or student handbook. ACM reserves the right to change these policies as it deems necessary and will endeavor to provide appropriate notice upon doing so.
Payment and Billing Information
Payment and billing information can be found on the Program Payment page. Please consult with your student’s home campus regarding the actual cost the school will be charged for the program, financial aid availability, and additional fees for studying off-campus.
ACM will host a pre-departure orientation webinar for all parents before the beginning of each term. You will receive additional information prior to the webinar date, but please note the schedule below and feel free to view previous webinars.
||Date & Time (Central time zone)
||July 13, 2016 - 6:30 p.m. (CDT)
||View the webinar
||December 8, 2016 - 6:30 p.m. (CST)
||View the webinar
Recommended Information File
Before departing for an off-campus study program, ACM recommends that you and your student compile a folder of important information that might be helpful during the student's absence. This file may include resources such as:
- Copies of passport, visa (if applicable), credit and debit cards, flight information, and lodging information
- Copies of the student's CISI Insurance card and information on how to file a claim
- The address where students can receive mail in their study abroad destination (can be found in the individual program handbooks)
- Contact information for ACM's Chicago office and the Off-Campus Study Office of the student's home campus
- Any information you might need in order to file the student's taxes in their absence (for spring programs only)
- Any information you might need to facilitate necessary processes with the home campus (housing sign-up, registration, etc.)
You may consider talking with your student about designating a trusted individual to serve as their Attorney-In-Fact. Granting someone Power of Attorney will allow them to assist the student with some banking, financial aid, or other personal processes while abroad.
Here are a few important reminders for students and their parents/guardians as students prepare to study off-campus:
- Healthcare: It can be helpful to have a physical and dental exam before departing. Students should have access to a copy of their complete medical record and any prescriptions in writing.
- Health insurance: CISI Insurance (provided by ACM for international programs) will cover all student medical needs abroad, but does not replace your home insurance, so please do not drop your student's coverage. Refer to the Policy on Health Insurance Coverage to find more information about ACM's health insurance plan. Our plan provides medical insurance but not personal property insurance—check to make sure your student has insurance coverage for any valuables he or she will take along (laptop, camera, etc.).
- Emergency plan: Discuss how you will handle any personal/family emergencies during your student's time away. Make a written plan that includes methods of communication to use and in what order. This might include information such as: all family telephone numbers and email addresses, access codes for messages on voicemail or answering machines, and a "third-party" relative or friend who can serve as a contact.
- Access to money: How will your student access funds for daily use? Investigate ATM withdrawals, cash advances, and currency exchange. Discuss strategies to avoid petty theft, such as safe money storage methods and keeping an eye on belongings at all times.
- Communication: Discuss with your student how you will communicate and how often you will communicate while abroad. Students will be required to have phone number and phone that works in the country where they are studying (either a US number or a local number). There are a variety of options for students to stay in touch including Whatsapp or Skype. Internet can be unreliable in many places, so be sure to discuss what your expectations are in terms of communication.
For more information, refer to the following resources:
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the ACM staff member:
Assistant Director of Off-Campus Study Programs
In case of a program emergency after business hours, please call the main ACM phone number at 312.263.5000. A message at that number provides instructions for contacting an Off-Campus Study Programs staff member.