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Tracking your willing child while they study abroad

2456

Replies to: Tracking your willing child while they study abroad

  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 32,498 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    I'm not mentioning some of D1's antics. She did have a plan to go to Iran ("Mom, day visas are easy. And I can take the little independent van taxi (like a gypsy cab in the US) from here to there." Ugh.) Work on getting her to rely on the buddy system, to wait on certain plans til she sees who's willing to go and the advice, at that point.

    I checked state dept traveler advisories (not that she cared.) But I also use tripadvisor and see what others post about singles (or young women) venturing out, etc. Sometimes, what sounds iffy "alone,"can be done by hooking up with a local tour guide/group. D1 flew off to Africa herself (from the country she resided in,) but let me find, vet and recommend where she stayed. (And did heed what I learned about what's safe, what to avoid.) I lean on advice from other English speaking travelers- many of their interests and cultural expectations are similar to ours.

    I do have young friends who did the semester in Vietnam and had a wonderful time. And in other places that give us pause. Btw, mine skipped Iran. none of her friends were interested.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,888 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    I've just returned from a trip to Asia where I went to an insane asylum. Not Ho Ch Min City, but a similar place: Phnom Penh. I can assure you, there are few safer places on earth!

    Plus, she's clearly on an organized trip. Great. A chip implant will not be necessary. She will be escorted, won't have to make any independent decisions, and will be in the safety of many, many tourist groups. Her biggest safety threat will be tuk tuks and wild drivers. And that no amount of tracking will diminish!
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,168 Senior Member
    Perhaps your time would be better spent working with your daughter on common sense behaviors when traveling abroad. Knowing where she is at lol times will NOT prevent her from going to places that might be iffy. All that will happen is that you will know she is there. And really SHE probably will be safe even at that asylum.

    I'm not sure what you hope to gain simply by knowing her whereabouts 24/7.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,888 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    -- especially with thousands of miles between them, and a 14 hour time difference...
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,888 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    @‌ lookingforward
    Lol, your daughter does sound like an adventurous young woman. I actually like all the research you did on her behalf. There is no doubt that solid information from solid sources is the best preparation for travelers -- and their parents.
  • TV4casterTV4caster Registered User Posts: 1,525 Senior Member
    "I'm not sure what you hope to gain simply by knowing her whereabouts 24/7"

    I don't want, or need, to know where she is 24/7. I just thought local authorities would find it helpful if she turned up missing to be able to say she was last in ABC city instead of "we heard from her 4 days ago in XYZ city but she could be anywhere in your country".
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,168 Senior Member
    Then you would be better served to ask your daughter to email or send you a message if she changes locations for any reason. Teach your daughter that it will make you feel more comfortable with this information.

    My kid traveled to Cambodia in the fall. The travel plans and hostel arrangements changed several times. She had an unlocked IPhone with an international plan with her. She simply sent me an imessage when her plans and locations changed. It was easy peasy. And I let her know I hoped she would do,this for just the reason you noted...so we would know her whereabouts just in case.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    My kid is a novice traveler and a complete airhead. I expect she will be traveling alone at times. One of the places I know she will be going is to an insane asylum in Ho Chi Min City.I also promise you that she would be completely on board with it.

    Is your daughter going to be visiting this insane asyllum in Vietnam totally unsupervised by the assylum staff?

    Have u considered that maybe both you and your child just aren't suited to doing this trip, and maybe she should stay at home?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,168 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    Also, this will only work if your daughter has her cell phone with her at all times. Otherwise, you will know where her cell phone is...but not necessarily where SHE is.

    I agree with GMT....maybe you just can't let your kiddo go on this trip if you can't trust her judgement.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 32,498 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    We need a thread about our kids' travel adventures (and maybe ours, at their ages.) Katliamom I'd call her adventurous now, but not savvy until the last big stay. OP, it's not easy. But when they have a marvelous opportunity- and when we agree to it- we try to trust the strengths they do have and work on the lessons we think they need. Or we do ask them to find another idea we're more comfortable with.

  • GhosttGhostt Registered User Posts: 1,667 Senior Member
    I think the obvious answer to the OP's quandary is that you can't reliably track your child's movements in Vietnam, from the US, unless you have the will and resources to install a subcutaneous GPS chip in them, and you can't personally ensure their safety unless you physically accompany them everywhere and hire a bodyguard.

    You'll just have to deal with the fact that the world is a big scary place and your child is in it, I think.
  • SlackerMomMDSlackerMomMD Registered User Posts: 3,094 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    My kid is a novice traveler and a complete airhead. I expect she will be traveling alone at times. One of the places I know she will be going is to an insane asylum in Ho Chi Min City.

    Maybe she should travel first within the US on her own or with a school program before venturing on her own overseas. My niece traveled quite extensively with summer programs while in high school, so when she traveled in college, her parents weren't worried about her street smarts while traveling.

    Saying one's child is a "complete airhead" is not the best description, nor is it really helpful. If she's uneducated, then educate her about basic things one does while traveling. Registering with the US embassy is one thing. Giving you a detailed itinerary with names, addresses, phone numbers and/or email address is another. Tell her to check in weekly or whenever she moves from one place to another. Tell her to have a travel buddy - don't go out at night in a strange city alone. Teach her about exchanging money.

    Give her the tools and knowledge to travel safely. That's way more important than a chip implantation.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,888 Senior Member
    Let's not forget that OP's daughter will be part of a program. She'll have onsite advisors and care takers, she'll be with other Americans, likely some of whom have traveled in Asia. Vietnam is a tourist mecca, there are many westerners there, lots of expats. I can think of far scarrier locations for a novice to go. It's not like she's going to inner Mongolia or Timbuktu.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    My D went to Europe by herself earlier this year (she was meeting friends, but had to navigate plane changes and a lengthy train ride from an airport to the city where her friends were, and then she took another train / bus / plane combo to visit a different friend). We got T-Mobile so she could text us from anywhere. It made a difference in my peace of mind - she could text us when she arrived at each airport, when she got to a destination, etc. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a short text every day (simply "I'm fine" or words to that effect). Believe me, if I were made of money I would hire armed guards to accompany my kids everywhere, and fly them via private jet while I was at it, but you're better off just teaching her the tools to navigate travel.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    @OP, does your kid's college offer a "tamer" study abroad option like the UK?
This discussion has been closed.