For Parents of Students Interested in Study Abroad

The Office of Study Abroad works with Pitzer students who are interested in pursuing a semester, or year of study abroad, either on one of Pitzer’s own programs or exchange opportunities, and with guest students from other schools who wish to participate on a Pitzer program. A list of approved programs and exchanges for Pitzer students may be found on our website at Approved Programs.

Planning and Academic Preparation for Study Abroad

Preparation for study abroad is something that begins in a student’s first year. Students are required to identify at least one course they have taken to provide background for the destination where they will be studying. Some programs have language requirements students must complete prior to studying abroad. Students from other schools must follow the procedures at their home college or university to be eligible for participation on a Pitzer program.

The Go Global study abroad checklist includes suggestions for students and their parents:
Parents as Intercultural Co-educators: Helping Your Student Before, During and After Study Abroad

Advising and Application Process

For Pitzer students, the advising and application process begins with a Study Abroad Information Session and includes a meeting with a study abroad adviser, their academic adviser, and an interview with a student who has recently participated on the program. Visit the How to Apply pages of our website for more information.

Acceptance Documents

Pitzer College study abroad acceptance letters are emailed to Pitzer students via their Pitzer email accounts and to non-Pitzer students at the email address indicated on their application. Acceptance documents include (but are not limited to) the acceptance letter, an acceptance and release document (to be signed by both a parent and a student) conditions of participation, declaration of disability or special needs, contact information and a health report. After acceptance by Pitzer, some programs require students to complete a program specific application and acceptance documents in addition to the Pitzer forms.

Orientation for Study Abroad

Students in the Southern California region will attend orientation on campus in preparation for studying abroad the following semester. Orientation is a two part process involving a workshop on intercultural learning so students can make the best use of their opportunities abroad and a session about the specific program and the logistics of preparing to go abroad. The program specific orientations typically take place in November for spring programs and in April for fall programs. Program dates are announced at orientation. Students from colleges in other parts of the country who participate on Pitzer programs will have an orientation by telephone.

Students are given the option of completing the intercultural learning workshop on campus or on-line. If you would like to learn more about this orientation, visit the Website What's Up with Culture at

Pre-departure Orientation Handbooks

At orientation, students are given a Pre-Departure Orientation Handbook that outlines Pitzer’s policies for the study abroad experience. The handbook contains detailed information about health and safety issues, cultural awareness, insurance, airline reservations, what to bring, financial issues, etc. Parents and friends may also have questions about study abroad so the handbooks are posted on our website for reference. Pre-Departure Orientation Handbooks.

Contacting the Office of Study Abroad

Contact information for the office is available on the Contact Us page.  

You or your student may email questions to or call us at 909.621.8104. We are open 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday except for holidays, the week between December 24 and January 2, and special events. We reply to emails and return telephone calls during office hours. In an emergency at home or abroad when our office is closed, call Campus Safety at 909.621.8170 for assistance in contacting a staff member.