Engaging students from a distance


Sending a student off to college is a major life change for the student, but also friends and family that are a part of the student’s life.  The beginning of the year is full of celebration and energy.  Your student may miss home or feel extra stress, especially as they return to school after winter break and look ahead to the rest of the academic year.

We have compiled a list of ways for you to support your student from a distance.  (Rumor has it that even our students from the Siouxland area would also love to benefit from our suggestions below.)

 Suggestions to send some love from home:


  • Care packages:  Students love getting mail and especially packages!  Consider assembling a package with your students’ favorite foods from home, some seasonal decorations for their residence hall room, homemade baked goods, new shower shoes, or some winter gear.  A quick Google or Pintrest search will yield many options.  The ideas are endless! 

  • Birthday in a box:  How can you help your student feel special on their special day when you are far away?  Consider sending a “Birthday in a Box” to campus.  Fill the box with party hats, noise makers, decorations, and cards and gifts from friends and family at home.  To be extra sneaky, send it to your students’ friend or roommate and get them in on the surprise!  Ask them to decorate the birthday boy/girl’s room while they are away at class. 

  • Skype Dates:  You probably stay connected via text messages and phone calls, but consider setting up a Skype (or other video calling service) date.  Skype your student in to a family gathering to help him or her feel a part of the action. 

  • Surprise food delivery:  Does your student love pizza?  Do they crave a sub sandwich or some good Chinese?  If you know your student is up late prepping for a big test or presentation, call a local Sioux City restaurant and order delivery for your student.

  • Letter writing campaign:  Ask your student’s friends, extended family, church congregation, or organizations to send letters and cards.  Your student will get a kick out of hearing from so many people. 

  • Night out in Sioux City:  Has your student been putting in extra time studying, at practices, or with their organizations this semester?  Treat your student to a night out in Sioux City from a distance.  Many Sioux City businesses have ways to purchase gift cards online or over the phone.  Consider contacting a movie theater and restaurant in town and help your student have a stress free evening. 



Tags: BCU, Parents