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Study abroad guide for parents

All you need to know when sending your child to study abroad

Honestly, that’s one of the bravest decisions you’ll ever make, and yes, the most crucial one for your child. Studying abroad means your child will come back with international exposure and a widened mind-set. As a parent, it is your responsibility to support your child in this decision and also gear up to be a part of the process.

What do you need to do as a parent?

You need to know what motivates your child. As a parent, you should be an active part of their decision-making procedure to ensure they take the right calls in life. 

Discuss goals openly

Sit down and understand why your child wants to go abroad – whether it is career-driven or personal. It is important to know what exactly your child seeks in life to be able to guide or support them.

Stay informed 

As a parent take part in researching about the courses your child is interested in, the universities they have been talking about and the kind of lifestyle they would most thrive in. This research will also include information on course curriculum, campus life and accommodations options available abroad. 

Consider your challenges

Reach out to friends and family whose children have gone abroad. Ask them about the challenges you are likely to face and figure out how to deal with them. The thumb rule for this is “Be specific as you can” and clear all your doubts before shortlisting any option. 

Seek professional counselling

If you have doubts and concerns, we are more than happy to help you. IDP offers free counselling sessions for students who wish to study abroad to further their career. 

Know how much you will have to spend

Having an estimate of the costs involved in sending your kids abroad can help you make a better decision. However, it’s not just the tuition fee alone you should be calculating in your budget. Do weigh in other expenses such as accommodation, food, health coverage, communication and travel as well!

Our guide on the overall cost of studying can help ease your financial budgeting for your child’s stay abroad.

Make a detailed plan

Once you have an overview of what goes into sending your child abroad, make a plan. Consider all factors including course and university selection, finances, visa, etc.

Safeguard their health before they leave

Ensure to get your child’s general physical examination, dental check-up, and a gynaecological check-up (if applicable). If required, ensure they have all the relevant shots and boosters. 

If your child wears glasses or contacts, get them a typed copy of their prescription. Help them with an extra pair of spectacles or contacts in case of emergency.

If there are specific medicines prescribed to them, speak with their doctors who’ll help them with the name, potency, and purity of the medicine available in their destination. When helping your kids with packing, ensure to keep the medicines in the original container/packaging only along with the doctor’s prescription.

Travel safety is crucial

Yes, it’s worrisome to send your child thousands of kilometres away, and that’s why it is important to ensure about their travel safety.

  • You can’t forget travel insurance! Ensure your child is insured before they leave
  • Sign up for a safety program. For instance, the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) keeps your child and you both updated with travel alerts and notifications while they are abroad. It also notifies the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in case of an emergency
  • Research about the do’s and don’ts of the new destination
  • Know about the local laws and international student rights
  • Encourage your child to be a healthy traveller to avoid potential health risks owing to new food, water and climate
  • Stock them up with emergency supplies in case they take time to adjust to the new food
  • Ensure they are vaccinated for common diseases in a new destination
  • If possible, enrol them in a self-defence class before they depart for the new destination 
  • Both parents and children should keep emergency numbers handy
  • Update your child on basic travel safety tips

Plan your visits

Once your child has settled abroad, discuss with them and plan your visit abroad. This will help you spend some quality time and also give them that emotional support they need while adjusting in another country.

Note: Given the current COVID-19 situation, there might be some changes in the 2020/21 intakes. Don’t worry, our international education experts are here to guide you with the latest updates to help you apply to your desired course and institution. Feel free to connect with our experts for a free counselling session.

Updated on August 4, 2020

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