It's important that your support system is on the same page as you. At CGIS we make every effort to foster independence in our students, and we encourage you to take responsibility for your global study experience. We expect you to act as your own agent and advocate as you prepare to study abroad and to work with us directly in solving problems you may encounter along the way. This is an important step in developing the critically engaged global citizens we want you to become.

Parents, families, friends, etc. provide valuable support and other resources, and we encourage you to communicate openly with your family about your plans and experiences. In the end, however, we ask that parents do not make decisions or attempt to fix problems for you. Instead, we ask that they help you think through the issues and arrive at resolutions on your own.

You may refer your families to the Families section of this site, where we answer some of the questions they commonly have, but keep in mind that this is your experience, so just like you'll have to prepare yourself for your time abroad, you're going to have to prepare your support system as well.

Privacy of Educational Records

The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student records. According to the University of Michigan’s Office of the Registrar, “once a student reaches the age of 18 or attends an institution of postsecondary education, the parents have no rights under FERPA. Only the student can give permission for the parents to have access to their records.”

CGIS will disclose protected information without the student’s express written permission only in the event of an emergency, such as when the student is hospitalized or poses a threat to themselves or others. This pertains to all information in the student’s file, whether academic, medical, or personal in nature.

The only information CGIS may disclose without permission is “directory information,” defined as “name, permanent and local address and telephone number, school or college, class level, major field, dates of attendance, degree received and date awarded, honors and awards received, participation in recognized activities, previous schools attended, and height and weight of members of intercollegiate athletic teams.”
Source: Registrar's Office, University of Michigan