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72

JUNE 2017

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT

them, and through what mode of com-

munication? (Keep time-zone differences

in mind, of course.)

WhatsApp groupmessaging or Face-

book posts may be all a parent needs to

know everything is okay. Scheduling Skype

calls based on time zones can be helpful

for TCKs who are often used to communi-

cating with their parents on a regular basis.

Develop an Emergency Plan.

Emergency plans aren’t just for go-bags

anymore. When emergencies arise, it is

important for families to have a plan in

place.

Decide on a chain of contact in case of

student or family emergencies. Who does

the student call first in an emergency—

the local family friend or the parent

overseas? Who will alert the important

parties? What events warrant interna-

tional or domestic flights from campus

(e.g., family member surgery, death in

the family)?

Students often skip important medical

visits due to fear of scheduling appoint-

ments and dealing with insurance com-

panies, so discuss health insurance plans

and ensure students understand how to

schedule their own medical services and

process their insurance claims (including

mental health coverage).

Enjoy a Successful and Strong

First Semester

The recommendations outlined here

don’t

guarantee

a strong first semester.

They are meant as a starting point in pre-

paring for a successful college experience

and should be revisited throughout the

semester and, indeed, the first year.

As a final note, Tina Quick’s book,

The Global Nomad’s Guide to University

Transition

, is an excellent addition to the

summer reading list for both parents and

students.

When students arrive on campus

excited for the term ahead and ready with

ideas on how to build a community and

keep their mental health a priority, they

are more likely to succeed academically,

socially, professionally, emotionally and

physically.

And once you do finish that first year

successfully, pay it back. Join or create

organizations to welcome future TCKs,

and share the great college experience

you’ve worked hard to build.

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