1. How can I
communicate with my child? And vice versa?
For non-emergency communication with your child the best way to keep in
touch is to purchase pre-paid phone AT&T calling
cards. Teen program participants will have access to pay telephones.
Participants may not make phone calls from their home stays, however
parents may call the participants at the homestay. It is customary to
keep calls brief. Teen will
have access to the Internet as well.
2. What if my child has a hard time adjusting or is homesick?
Whenever participants study abroad, everyone (even adults) will experience
some cultural adjustment. This adjustment can be a little more difficult
for younger participants as they are less experienced travelers and their
expectations may be a bit unrealistic (such as their perception of
standard of living in other countries and differences in day-to-day
routines including meal times).
Generally, difficulties occur with cultural adjustment/homesickness within
the first week of a program only. If homesickness occurs with a teen, we
encourage parents not to over react by pulling their child from the
program immediately. However, we will never force a child to remain in the
program. Usually after a week the participants begin to feel more
comfortable with their new environment and start making new friends so
feelings of homesickness or being over-whelmed quickly disappear.
3. What method if spending money is best to send (ATM, cash, traveler's
We recommend a combination of US dollars and US dollar-denominated
travelers checks for extra spending money. There are ATM machines in or
very near most of the program location. Note that passport is usually
required to cash traveler’s checks in banks, and for other financial
transactions. Smaller denominations of US dollars (10’s, 5’s and ones) are
good to have on hand to make quick exchanges into local currency.
4.How will I know my child has arrived safely?
Parents may call at the home stay to make sure their child has arrived. It
is customary to keep this call brief as many calls are coming in on
arrival day! Once they arrive, the coordinator encourage
all teens to contact home.
Keep in mind the combination of arrival and transfer to home
stay the or their first day of their program (orientation, placement
tests) and possible time differences may cause a delay with your child
communicating with you.
5. Who is in charge of the program and overseeing my child while in
A Coordinator or staff verify each Teenager Program. The program staff can include
language instructors, activities coordinator/chaperones and host families.
6. Are activities and excursions part of the program?
Cultural/extra-curricular activities and excursions are offered by CICU. They may be included in the cost of tuition or at an additional cost
depending on the program location.
7. How much “fun” are your programs?
Our programs offer a stimulating mixture of structured language class
time as well as lots of activities, excursions, social events and free
time. Factors that contribute to the overall “fun” of the programs are:
the number of other teenagers attending the program, the range of
nationalities and ages of the participants, the variety of activities
available and how much time there is to take advantage of all the
activities on offer. Our coordiantors ensure that there is a positive
balance between all these factors to develop an enriching and fun program
8. How much learning is involved at a program that doesn’t require
participants to do homework?
It is important to remember that our teenager programs are full immersion
programs. This means that participants are exposed to another language and
culture the entire time, whether they are shopping for a souvenir, eating
a meal, watching TV, attending an excursion or participating in an
activity with other students. Living wih a Mexican family
offer a real "Live Lab".
Please note that additional detailed information is provided to our
participants and their families before their program start date. Please do
not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions or concerns. If
we don’t know the answer right away, we will find it out for you!