Some parents wonder if it’s a good idea to send their children off to study abroad. While there are many amazing benefits to studying abroad, such as gaining new skills and developing a global perspective, there are also some potential risks. Here are six things to consider before making the decision.
Six things to consider before sending your child to study abroad
1. How Ready Your Child Is
Many parents often think that the decision of sending their child to study abroad is totally up to them alone and that their child’s opinion or desire does not matter. It is important to get your child’s opinion by asking them if they want to study abroad.
It is your child who is going to do the living and studying there so their input and opinion matter in the decision. You may find out that your child is not willing to leave the system that he has been used to. He or she may also not be mentally or physically prepared even though the financial preparation rests on you.
You can also study your child to see if indeed they are at the stage of their life where they can do well on their own. Someone suggests that if a child is already not used to a hostel life where he or she is already used to being away from home, then that child may not be ready to go abroad to study.
Apart from asking for their opinion, you know your child and you know how well they behave in different situations and environments. You should put this into consideration while making this decision.
If still have ample time and you are not quite sure about their readiness, you can start by sending them to a boarding school for their secondary education to prepare the. This way, your child will learn and be used to being away from home.
2. The Cost of Study
Another important aspect to consider before sending your child abroad is your finances. It can be costly to school abroad so you need to have enough money to send your child abroad. You may not have to worry about this if your child has a fully-funded scholarship to study abroad which is not so popular with undergraduate degrees abroad.
Check your finances and be sure that you have the financial capability to send your child abroad to study. Apart from tuition, you may still have to open and fund a bank account for them abroad. Most schools require that international students show proof of their living expenses for at least a year so they can be sure they can foot their living costs in the country.
You also need to pay for accommodation and other needs that your child may have while studying and living abroad. Even if your child will stay in school dormitories or a hall of residence, a fee will still have to be paid monthly to cover the costs.
Another thing to consider under the program country is the exchange rate. How high is the difference between your currency and that of the new country abroad? This will significantly determine how high the cost of study and living for your child will be.
This is an important aspect to consider because more than 50% of international students are being reported to resort to illegal means of getting money when they are financially stuck or go broke. You don’t want your child in this type of difficult situation so you should ensure you have enough money to send them to school abroad.
Although most countries allow international students to work for at most 20 hours per week, you should remember that placing the sole financial responsibility on your child may distract them from their studies. You should try to support them so they don’t have to fend for themselves alone and without support.
3. System of Education
The system of education abroad will differ from the one your child is used to in your home country. Depending on your country, most educational systems abroad will be more holistic and sophisticated than the one you have been used to. However, you should find out the type of educational system that is being used in the country.
Find out if the educational system of the country is better and more wholesome than yours. There should be no reason you want to spend so much money on an educational system that is not as standard as yours. If your educational system is better than that of the other country, you may want to reconsider spending such a huge amount of money on it.
Most people send their children abroad due to the holistic educational system. Studying abroad should offer your child great learning experiences through a holistic education system.
Many international students have mentioned how they were provided with abundant opportunities to explore their academic interests through research, peer collaboration, interactive lectures, excursions, field trips, and many more.
They found education abroad is not limited to textbooks alone or measured through academic achievements, which is generally the standard in most countries. Students should be evaluated on their talent, skills, and desire to excel and not just through academic achievements or prowess.
Universities provide a host of extracurricular programs and have a large number of clubs to nurture students’ interests and hobbies. As a result, your child should acquire a well-rounded personality, and in-depth knowledge to succeed in any field.
4. Culture and Way of Living
Apart from studying, your child will also live and interact with people in the new country. The culture and way of life of the country should be considered. Only when we are away from home, do we understand its importance.
Your child on this new educational journey will experience different cultures and learn about new beliefs and practices. It’ll be an eye-opening experience for your child when he/she will understand the relevance of social customs.
Education should not be limited to academics as established in the previous section. Studying abroad can help your child appreciate different viewpoints and grow immense respect for and allegiance to their traditions and values.
They will also be able to see that there are different cultures in the world and each is distinct in its way so their differences do not make one lesser than the other.
This way, you are helping your child become more learned and open-minded which is needed in the world today. Experiencing a different culture will help them remain open-minded to new things and understand that being range or different does not mean danger. They can openly embrace other people’s cultures while not losing or rejecting theirs.
5 .Opportunities That Your Child Will Be Opened To
It is important to consider the immense opportunities that your child will be opened to when he or she schools abroad. People take years to build their professional identity, at home as well as internationally.
By studying abroad, they can have an extensive international network. Studying abroad encourages them to collaborate with peers, and professors, go on field trips and exchange programs, converse with locals, gather authentic knowledge, be actively involved in clubs and extracurricular, and a good number of other engagements.
These activities allow them to know people, work with them and sometimes make life-long friends and associations. Studying abroad will place your child in a larger world and render him or her the chance to connect with diverse individuals. Their contacts are invaluable resources for career development as well as personal growth.
Studying abroad must be considered an amazing learning opportunity that most alumni and current students will vouch for. Sending them abroad will prepare your child to partake in the riches that study abroad has in store.
6.The Program Country
Although we have mentioned this throughout the other sections, it is important to consider the country in which you want your child to study. Choosing a country is one of the first steps to take in sending your child abroad to study. Consider the location of the country and the systems that may affect your child if he or she lives and study there.
This is also important in ensuring the safety of your child. If they have a good security system and a low crime rate, you can be a little assured that your child’s safety will not be easily jeopardized.
If the country has a good health care system, you can consider the country safe for your child. However, you should find out the cost of health insurance since this kind of infrastructure are not usually free for international students abroad.
Choosing a country with high crime rates or a substandard health care system can pose a great threat to the life of your child. A country with a high rate of racial discrimination or racism can also be a threat to the safety of your child. As a result, the country you choose is as important as keeping your child safe.