Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Martha Merrill


Parents of today can pose significant challenges to study abroad administrators. Often referred to as “helicopter parents”, these parents can become over-involved in a student’s study abroad experience, hindering the student’s development of problem-solving skills and independence. The purpose of this paper is to detail the design and development of a parent engagement strategy within a small study abroad provider office, built to run in conjunction with a direct-enroll semester abroad program. The semester abroad program provides the structure upon which the parent engagement strategy is overlaid and described. The parent engagement strategy utilizes a four-pronged strategic framework for parent interaction, described as Four E’s of Engagement: Easing minds, Educating, Establishing/Enforcing, and Evaluating. This strategic framework is used to design a parent engagement strategy tailored to this small study abroad provider context. It is further posited that the Four E’s of Engagement would prove a useful tool for developing situation-specific parent engagement strategies in similar contexts.


International and Comparative Education