Practical Guide for Parents with Irish Students Studying Abroad in University
Your child studying abroad isn’t just a new adventure for them, but likely for you as well. Be prepared for the ups and downs along the way. While this can certainly be hard on parents, studying abroad is also an amazing opportunity for your student to learn more about themselves and the world, beyond a traditional classroom setting. HomeHak has put together a practical guide to help you to support your student studying abroad.
Why should I let my child study abroad?
Study abroad is a decision that will impact the rest of their lives. It reaches far beyond just academics and careers, as it can also open their minds to understanding new cultures, experiences, and create global friendships. In our globally-connected world, spending a semester or year in another country gives students a unique chance to develop skills that will benefit them both professionally and personally.
Benefits of studying abroad
There are many benefits to having your child study abroad. It teaches real-world skills that aren’t found in classrooms. The opportunity to improve proficiency in a second language. It provides a change to build global friendships and connections. Finally, it helps to develop confidence and independence.
How do you pick a study abroad program?
Some of the top variables to consider while picking a program are location, cost, program length, semester, and whether or not the credits are transferable. Knowing exactly when your student wants to study abroad and having a few possible locations in mind will be helpful for the planning and researching process.
Key questions to ask:
- Will the school offer full credit for this program and course load?
- Will this delay the path to graduation?
- Will financial aid apply? If so, how much?
- What is included in the tuition?
- When will the semester start and end?
- What type of in-country support will there be?
Tips for studying abroad while on a budget
Keep track of all your students expenses, including pre-trip expenses. Encourage your student to utilize public transportation. Be mindful of how much they spend on excursions and activities. Check out this article on proven tips for students studying abroad on a budget.
Practical guides tips on how to prepare before your student studies abroad
- Get travel insurance.
- Learn about the host country.
- Make sure they know their medical history.
- Be smart with valuables and money.
- Keep backups of everything handy.
How can I stay in touch with my child during their trip?
- Set up a safe arrival call.
- Keep in touch but be flexible.
- Be clear about when you want to hear from them.
- Avoid calling the course coordinator unless its an emergency.
- Download apps for communicating long distance.
Even if your student doesn’t say it enough, they will forever be grateful that you supported them and saw the value in this experience, which will shape who they are for years to come. You may even be surprised at the maturity of the person standing before you in the airport. But then they’ll ask if you made their favorite dinner, and after they wolf it down, they’ll fall asleep in their childhood bed. Looking in on them you’ll know it was all worth it and they’re still your baby, no matter how worldly they become. HomeHak hopes this practical guide has put your mind at ease!
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