Study abroad: Tips for parents and guardians

  • Gradstar
  • June 13, 2023
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Are you considering sending your child to study abroad and worried about making the right decisions in planning this life changing venture? Indeed, sending your child to an unfamiliar environment to explore a new world of possibilities is a brave step. Although it ushers in new challenges, it ultimately prepares your child to reach their potential through global education. At Gradstar, we extend every possible assistance in this journey but there are many things to think about so let’s dive in and discuss.

Understand the challenges ahead

To make the study abroad dream a reality, you need to start planning well in advance. The average time to start planning ahead is approximately 18 months but for some students they start planning years ahead. The main factors to consider are level of academic achievement and interests, destination, budget and career outcomes. Starting a short list of preferences early will help you refine closer to the application submission date.

This cumbersome research task becomes much more seamless when you seek professional assistance. At Gradstar, we offer a personalised co design process, factoring in all of the variables and preferences for each student. Our Dream Makers are educators, listeners and study abroad champions with a wealth of knowledge to guide your choices and ensure you are ultimately set up for success.

Assistance needed to understand the scenario

There are some steps you can take to become more equipped for this journey; let’s discuss them:

• Reach out to friends and family

To gain a comprehensive idea of the possibilities available and the potential hurdles involved in the study abroad process, you may contact friends and family who have had similar experiences. Several aspects are involved, such as selecting a country and comprehending language barrier concerns. Furthermore, several countries only accept international students after confirming the student’s basic knowledge level of the country’s original language. You need to keep all of this in mind before proceeding.

• Budget and explore funding options

Again, scholarship possibilities such as full or partial funding should be investigated to pay for the course. Scholarship rules differ by country and university. So, before applying, you should learn everything you can about it to avoid future problems. It is best to create a budget from the start to account for potential expenses such as academics, food and lodging, and transportation. Your child can apply for a fellowship or scholarship based on these considerations. Additionally, you must instill in your child an understanding of the financial condition for them to spend wisely and not engage in extravagant spending overseas. At Gradstar, we offer a full package of services and guide you in researching estimated expenses, so you can strategize accordingly.

• Take proactive steps to ensure health and safety

Health and safety are top considerations for you as a parent. To ensure your child’s well-being, you must learn about health insurance systems in the country of choice and the medical services provided by the university to which your child wishes to apply.

Before traveling, your child should have a comprehensive medical assessment and receive all necessary vaccinations and immunity boosters. Moreover, your child should be aware of their health difficulties and medical history, including allergies, food restrictions, prescriptions, and so on, and they should have a proper prescription to back up the medications required. Several countries have strong restrictions regarding medication use; therefore, a valid prescription is required.

Often such rules and regulations skip the comprehension of foreigners. So it is wise to seek the guidance of professional counselors who can groom your child according to the rules of the country selected. At Gradstar, you can easily avail of these services.

Prepare your child before shifting abroad

Relocating is a major step for your child; therefore, to mentally prepare them, you should urge them to learn about the cultural differences of the country their university is situated in. Cross-cultural training, learning about the foreign country’s policies and political scenario, picking up the language of the country for smooth communication, making a financial plan, and prioritizing academic goals are a few things that you as a parent can ask your child to take care of to ensure they’re aptly prepared for the journey that follows.

Importantly, if your child wants to make a life for themself overseas, the sooner you allow them to be independent and self-sufficient the easier it will be for them when they are living away from home. Ensure they learn some basic skills such as cooking, cleaning, and how to do laundry.

Stay connected with your child

When your child moves, it is equally crucial for you to stay in touch with them and provide emotional support as they adjust to a new situation. It is best to schedule calls ahead of time to stay in touch. Students frequently get homesick and staying connected can minimise that. Get access to emergency contact numbers in case your child cannot keep you informed of their whereabouts. Above all, be emotionally present for your child and helpful without becoming reactive.

Help them deal with reverse culture shock

Students who return home from abroad after completing their education frequently experience reverse culture shock and struggle to settle back in at home. As a parent, you must be patient with your child and encourage them to digest and readjust while focusing on putting the knowledge gained overseas to practical use. Encourage your child to continue exploring new chances to achieve success now that they are a global citizen.

This entire journey of preparing your child for studying abroad to finally enable them to start a new chapter of life can be overwhelming and complicated. Seek a trusted partner from the beginning which will save you time and money. Gradstar is a free service for students and will relieve you of the stress. You will be walked through the entire process and the heavy lifting will be done. The service is comprehensive and includes in depth counselling for University and course selection, visa application support, English language proficiency test, and accommodation support.

When you work with us you can worry less about getting the right advice and focus more on supporting your child to achieve their potential.
Book a private appointment now.