2 Essential Ways to Prepare for Your Teen’s High School Summer Abroad

Once your teen is accepted on their CIEE high school summer abroad program and you have confirmed their participation, anticipation will fill your home. 

There are two very important tasks in spring that will help both and your teen prepare together: 

  1. CIEE’s Online Pre-Departure Orientation (also known as OPDO) 
  2. CIEE’s Know Before You Go Course (also known as KBYG) 

These tasks are assigned and completed a few weeks before the summer travel programs for high school students begin. Here’s why they are essential in helping you and your teen get ready for their big days ahead. 

A group of high school students at a botanical garden in Santiago

What Is the High School Summer Abroad KBYG Course? 

In early spring, your teen will receive an email when they have been enrolled in their KYBG course in Canvas.  

What Does the KBYG Course Cover? 

This virtual course covers information that will contribute to your teen’s understanding of their program. Through a series of videos and reading, KBYG includes information on: 

  • Program rules and expectations 
  • The academic experience your teen can anticipate 
  • Health and safety guidelines 
  • What to bring and what not to bring to the trip 
  • Technology 
  • Other travel tips 

Canvas is a learning platform that teens actually use while participating in their high school summer abroad program. Their KYBG course is a great opportunity for your teen to become familiar with the platform! 

Group of high school students posting in front of a museum in Palma

What Is the High School Summer Abroad OPDO? 

The OPDO is a live virtual event we facilitate between CIEE staff from your teen’s program destination and all the participants in your teen’s program (as well as their parents and legal guardians).  

This orientation typically takes place in spring, around a month before the start of summer.  

CIEE center staff will discuss and answer questions LIVE about topics like: 

  • What will your teen’s travel day be like? 
  • What will housing or student accommodations be like? 
  • What are the learning goals of the program? 
  • How should you and your teen communicate during program?  
  • What are the health and safety expectations? 
  • And more 

It’s during OPDOs that teens get to meet their Program Leaders, too! This means that during this hour-long virtual event, you and your teen will get to hear directly from all the people who will be supporting your teen abroad.  

Read the 6 Reasons Program Leaders Are a Vital Part of High School Summer Abroad

How Will You Know When to Complete These Tasks? 

Check your email in spring for important emails about your KBYG course enrollment and OPDO date.  

If you are listed at in your teen’s application as the Primary Emergency Contact, you will have access to the Parent Portal, where you will have a  list of major deadlines and pre-departure tasks to complete.