It’s not easy seeing your child leave the comfort of the nest and flying away. While, as a parent, you can feel a bit helpless, knowing your child is in a foreign country, studying abroad will be rewarding for them in countless ways. Your beloved offspring will return as a more adult individual, full of wisdom that comes with having to look after themselves and getting to closely know a different culture.
Despite the many miles between you, you can still do a lot before and after sending your child to study abroad that will put your mind a bit more at ease.
Do the research
This isn’t your typical one-day task. Take your time in researching the school or university your child is going to attend – is the course in question easy or rigorous? What is the equivalent in your country of the points or degree they will earn? Google, chat with online councillors and check out the commodities the campus offers. Don’t forget to look beyond education – learn more about the culture and mentality of the country in question.
Set requirements in order
Almost all universities require that future foreign students prove their knowledge of English, usually by providing a test certificate or a degree. Besides, your child should be proficient anyway because knowing how to communicate in a widely-known language will make their stay easier and more productive. Enrolling them on time into PTE classes is a good idea, since it gives the child enough time to prepare for the test by going over their English Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking skills. Seeing how the whole test takes just 3 hours at an official center, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and knowledge that your child now has a widely-recognized certificate of English knowledge. The test prep at EnglishWise is a well-rounded package that includes all necessary materials, coaching, assessments, personal feedback, strategies, etc.
Prepare the child for everything
You helped your kid get the certificate of English language, you both got accustomed to the culture of the destination country, and what now? You should be ready for as many unforeseen circumstances as you can – visit your doctor before the trip because a checkup never hurts. Pack them a basic first aid kit and ensure they have enough of their specially-prescribed medicine if there is a need for it. Moreover, journeys to other countries sometimes require special vaccinations, so consult your GP on this matter.
Of course, emergency phone numbers are also needed, because even though such occasions arise rarely, you want to be sure that your kid knows who to contact in case they need assistance. It’s just common sense – if you think about it, your child should know emergency numbers in their native country, too, right?
And another thing to keep in mind is that your child should have packed clothes and shoes for a lot of unforeseen weather – rain, snow, summer heat…
Take care of the money
Whether your kid has a scholarship or not, there will be considerable costs to take care of. First of all, don’t sugarcoat things and be realistic. Be sure to check the currency and its fluctuations. Help your child open a bank account, so you can send them money quickly in case of an emergency. Apart from this, bear in mind that studying at the university also brings some costs, from counselling to books, so add this up to the bill. Moreover, it is a given that your child should, to some extent, be able to get to know the country they’re studying at through more than just attending school. They should be able to go on field trips with new friends, attend concerts, buy transportation tickets… that’s why allowance is another must.
Sure, saying goodbye to your child for some time is hard. But rest assured you will find that time passes by quickly. Why? Because if you and your child have a relationship where they update you on the exciting new things that happen in their lives, you will see that these novelties fill your life too. Apart from this, you can make the ordeal easier by sending them holiday cards, care packages that remind them of home and of course you can send each other pics, videos, and messages on WhatsApp, Viber, and other instant messaging apps.
Breathe in, breathe out. And remember, this move you’re making, it’s ultimately a priceless life lesson for the little ones. And is there a better gift a parent can gift to their beloved child?