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Study Abroad anyone? Two years down and still more to come.

Discussion in 'Parents of College Kids and Young Adults with Type' started by siren, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. siren

    siren Approved members

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    Our son is applying soon to study in Sweden his junior year. All has gone well his first two years of college. Now he wants to live and study in Sweden and we want him to go have this chance. I haven't been to this area at all, so it will be new to us both. I plan to fly him over and get him settled, then he's on his own. I put in a lot of effort with him before his freshman year of college, I don't expect to have to do that again as he has assumed so much of the responsibilities. Just need to find a doctor, pharmacy, sight see, get a bike, sight see, be there if he has a basal rate problem and sight see some more.
    I am most nervous about the time changes from west coast to Sweden(I think its 9 time zones away). He's on a 722, dx in '02. I expect his CDE will be a big help there. The really big hurdle for me is letting him fly over and back on his own with T1 and a prior bad experience with TSA and insulin supplies.
    (don't worry, we sent a letter from a well connected lawyer and got back an apology from TSA Portland. But I still feel nervous they won't follow their own guidelines. You just wouldn't believe the stuff the TSA guy in Portland said to us and ignored reasonable requests allowed by their own rules.)
     
  2. Hollyb

    Hollyb Approved members

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    The good news is once he gets there it should be a good situation for his diabetes care. They are pretty cutting edge and pump-savvy in Sweden, lots of good work going on there. And my husband's experience is that almost everyone speaks pretty good English.

    Hope he has a wonderful two years, and you get to sneak in a couple of great trips.
     
  3. Boo

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    Wow..I'm impressed! My son is only 12, but I've often thought about whether or not a study abroad program would be an option for him down the road. I am so glad to hear that your son is doing this. It gives me great hope! My son loves to travel, and I think it would be a great experience. Obviously, I don't have any advice on the topic, but I appreciate your post!
     
  4. siren

    siren Approved members

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    Holly,
    thank you for those encouraging words. It really helps to know these things.

    Boo:I think its possible to do a lot with diabetes, its hard to be the mom though, bravery is tough when its our kids. I am just relying on his judgement and past performance which have been really good. Truth is I am not a very brave person but I know he deserves this opportunity. The dept chairman in his area of study at his home school says the chairman at the school in Sweden is world famous and its a great school. I assume if I get him settled in I'll feel better if I see where he lives and with whom. As for leaving, deep breath and push forward. ugh. thanks for the positive thoughts. It helps a :)lot.
     
  5. lilituc

    lilituc Approved members

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    I don't know if this helps or not, but I've heard that the diabetes care in Sweden is excellent.
     
  6. siren

    siren Approved members

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    Yes it helps a lot. i want to be sure he is treated well there, both medically and by people he goes to class and lives with while there. So yes its nice to hear.
     
  7. susanH

    susanH Approved members

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    what exciting news for you and your son! i have no input on the diabetes care in sweden, but i'm sure what the others said is very reassuring. my son has had offers to work summers in china and i just can't get past the "diabetes" care that may or may not be available to him so it's a no go. i'm sure you'll be doubly reassured once you go over with him and get him situated, email and texting has made our world alot smaller too, it's almost an instant access anywhere in the world, a good thing for us moms.

    maybe your bad experience flying with supplies will serve to prevent something like that from ever happening again; your son is probably very aware of exactly what needs to done and will do just that to insure he doesn't have any similar problems again!:D

    look forward to this next big step in his independence and growth. :cwds:
     
  8. kelpie

    kelpie Approved members

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    I live in Sweden and can second the comment that English is widely spoken here.. Sweden has the second highest rate of T1 D's (in proportion to it's pop) in the world (Finland has the highest) so he's come to the right place for medical care too! My daughter was fitted with a pump recently and they seem quite commonplace - so I hope he enjoys his stay here and as far as it's possible you can put your mind at rest..:)
     
  9. Juliefx

    Juliefx Approved members

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    I just sent my 12th grader off to Ecuador for 5 months for a study abroad by herself. I can just imagine how nervous you are about your son. I know that my daughter is also planning to do a lot of study abroad during college. The major problem for me was getting her enough supplies to last the 5 months since I was told that she might now receive supplies from us. I hope that your son has a great experience.
     
  10. jendean

    jendean Approved members

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    ANyone watch the movie, "sicko?" I plan to send my kids both abroad for college. I am thinking we need to move the whole family to Canada for health care reasons...
    No insurance companies telling us what he can and cannot have.

    WHEEEEEEEEEE!
    Sounds like a dream.
    I think being abroad is great for healthcare for our D kids. I really do.
     
  11. kaismom

    kaismom Approved members

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    My stepfather directs a college study abroad program in India and this year he had a T1 diabetic in his group. He said the student did fine no problems during the entire 3 month program.
     
  12. momto2

    momto2 Approved members

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    My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 in May....on July 6th she left for 4 weeks Study Abroad in Chile. Talk about being a worried parent! But she did great. A full understanding of how to manage her insulin, and how to count carbs.

    She had no problems with the TSA in Atlanta or Chile - she carried her prescriptions with her, as well as had prescription labels on all her insulin and supplies she carried. She said TSA didn't even question her about it (in her words "it was a joke"...which was scary). Turned out, one of her professors was Type 1 and he played "dad" to her the whole trip (and she thought she was getting away from her parents) but was a TREMENDOUS help for her in dealing with the local cuisine.

    She just recently traveled out of the country on Spring Break - this time out of Charlotte, and again had no problems. She had her prescriptions with her, but was never asked for them. Her insulin had their labels on it, and her syringe boxes also had a prescrip label.

    I worried about problems with her flying, but she had none. SHe just had to make sure she packed appropriate snacks for the flights.

    This summer she'll be flying out to California for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes....doubt she'll have TSA problems on that trip either. At least that one is within the country though!
     
  13. hugforme

    hugforme New Member

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    study abroad

    When I was in college I spent a semester studying abroad in Kenya and it was the best decision I ever made. Having diabetes makes it harder, but it's absolutely possible. Your son is really lucky to have such a supportive and encouraging mother.
     

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