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How to Protect Your Child’s Privacy

As a parent, your job is to protect your children. You want to know they are safe and well cared for wherever they are. When their school is far from home, that job can feel much harder. But it doesn’t have to!

Medical Records

School administrators work to keep their students healthy and happy. And part of maintaining that sense of well-being campuswide means making sure that students’ medical information is protected. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this issue has a new meaning.

Medical privacy is taken very seriously at schools and universities across the country. If your child’s school is testing students for COVID-19 regularly, you may have questions—from wondering how the results are stored to how long they are kept. The best way to get all your questions answered is to talk directly to the school:

  • Email the international program director or your child’s advisor to set up a time to speak on the phone. Time zones are challenging, but there is always a way to work it out!
  • Write down your concerns before the call so you won’t forget anything. The past two years have been stressful for everyone, especially parents. School directors and advisors understand that—and they will do everything they can to help bring you peace of mind.
  • Remind yourself that every question about your child is valid.

Sharing Information

There are different ways to keep international parents up-to-date about important issues at school, including email and interactive apps. Both English-speaking and non-English speaking users can easily access many platforms. WeChat, for example, has a translator option to ask questions or share concerns in your native language.

These connections not only provide a chance for program directors to inform parents, but they are also the perfect opportunity for parents to share thoughts with one another. However, keep in mind that these chat groups are not private.

Follow these simple tips when communicating with other parents in a group setting:

  • Use chat groups to share and exchange general information only.
  • Any comments about your child’s health—even if they’re directed at the school representative in the chat—can be seen by everyone in that chat. Your child’s medical information will no longer be confidential.
  • Conversations about your child’s medical status should take place on the phone.

Sticking to basic rules about privacy will help protect everyone: children, parents, and the school. Remember, your school is there for you! Reach out when you have questions, stay engaged, and enjoy your child’s successful academic journey.

When your child is studying in a foreign country, their health and safety are priorities. Let ISM’s International Scholar Protection give you peace of mind knowing your child has access to high-quality health care (offered by the Blue Cross Blue Shield® PPO network) no matter where they are in the U.S.
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