All students experience some degree of culture shock when they arrive in their host country. This is true regardless of the student's previous experience, maturity, disposition, or knowledge of the country in which they will be living. A period of mild disappointment, homesickness, or depression is a normal part of the study abroad experience -- and one that passes quickly for most students.
You can help by listening and by helping them identify specific actions that can connect them with support services on the ground. Some parents benefit from getting in touch with a close friend of their son or daughter - he or she may have just received a cheerful letter describing new friends and unique opportunities.
If you are concerned about your son or daughter's welfare or state of mind, contact the Office of International Programs. We can contact on-site program representatives or non-Brown program offices in the U.S. to determine if any action should be taken, or more likely, supply you with information to relieve your concern.