Study Abroad programs present an unlimited number of exciting opportunities for students. As thrilling as this sounds, however, some parents can’t help but feel anxious regarding this important move. Their child’s safety is one of their biggest worries.
If your child has expressed his or her interest in studying abroad, you may be having the same thoughts and doubts about sending him or her away. You should know, however, that this program is so much more than an excuse to take a six-month vacation. Moreover, this can be an excellent opportunity for them to grow and be independent.
Here are some common thoughts and misconceptions parents hold against study abroad. Aside from these, we also offer some answers or solutions that will hopefully help put your mind at ease regarding this big move.
1. “Travelling Overseas Is Not Safe.”
Especially with the ongoing pandemic and the threat of terrorism, it’s perfectly understandable for you to worry about your child travelling overseas. That said, here are some certainties that may help set your mind at ease about your son or daughter living abroad:
- Study abroad providers operate only in locations that would not put international students at any significant risk.
- Reputable program providers and organizations prioritize student safety at all times and employ rigorous protocols and measures to keep them safe.
- You may consult with an international safety expert at your child’s study abroad provider to understand the risks in different host countries better.
- If you still feel uneasy about their study abroad trip, you can work with your son/daughter to agree on a destination that you both feel is safe.
2. “They’ll Just Travel to Take a Vacation.”
Since they’ll be flying to an entirely different country, the idea may seem like an excuse to take a long vacation for you.
The truth of the matter is that studying abroad is a lot more than this. It provides your child with the unique opportunity of learning in a different culture and environment. On top of that, the experience of living abroad will help develop their character and soft skills, particularly their skills in communication and self-sufficiency.
3. “Study Abroad Is Expensive.”
While these programs are not cheap, they’re not necessarily expensive. In some cases, enrolling directly in your child’s chosen school may actually help you save a lot on tuition.
Many foreign universities have lower costs compared to those in the US. Furthermore, you may also be eligible for the same financial aid you regularly receive, depending on your child’s program and its affiliation with their home university. Many providers also include a housing placement in the program cost—which is another item off of your worry list.
4. “We Don’t Know Anyone There.”
Many parents think that this is a bad thing, but for the most part, this presents your child with the opportunity to create a brand new social space. Of course, this can be challenging for introverted students as well as those who struggle to learn the local language. However, the situation may inspire them to come out of their shell, try something new, and forge new connections in the host country.
Because it’s such a big move, studying abroad can often be scary for parents who stay at home. If you are having concerns about this, however, it helps to remember that this program can provide your child with an incredible experience nevertheless.
It is natural for you to raise your concerns when it comes to finances and safety before your child sets out; however, this must not keep them from spreading their wings. You may seek help from study abroad experts as well as immigration consultants in Toronto to help you come to terms with this endeavour. They will give you essential information and sound advice that will empower you to support your child as they explore the world out there.
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