3 Ways to Help Your Kids Cope When They Study Abroad2:21:00 AM
Statistics say that over 4.3 million students are studying in countries that aren’t their own (BBC). And that’s counting only university students, but today many high schoolers pursue this path as well. Being a parent whose child is studying abroad isn’t easy. However, you have to be strong and know how to provide support to your children in order to make sure that this experience is safe and enjoyable for them.
3 Parenting Tips on How to Help Your Kids Study Abroad
1. Establish routes of communication for any situationOf course, it’s essential to stay in touch with your child when they are abroad. However, as they are likely a teen, you might have some issues with communication by default. At this age, frequent talks to parents make them seem overbearing, which might lead to fights.
It’s imperative to avoid those issues at all costs. When your child is abroad, they are lonely. There’s ample research to prove this fact. If they feel like they can’t rely on you, their experience will get infinitely harder.
So, you need to communicate in a way that will keep you connected but not stressed. The best way to achieve this is to set up a schedule for calls you’ll both agree with before the child leaves. You also need to establish ways to communicate in case of emergencies. This means having contact information of their friends’, school, landlord, etc. On your side, the child should have a way to reach you at work and home and to have contacts of any relevant people they can turn to in case something happens to you.
2. Choose a school that’s compatible with your childOne of the most important things you have to do to help your kids cope better when studying abroad is to make sure they are in a school that’s good for them. Forward Pathway advises researching and visiting schools in advance as well as using every opportunity they provide to see how exactly the school operates. This experience is necessary to determine if your child will be comfortable in this environment.
As a foreign student, your child’s opportunities might be limited as not all schools might accept transfers or offer classes you need. It’s your duty to learn everything about possible options and compare them, preferably with visits included. Take your child’s opinion into consideration and don’t forget that the ‘best school’ might not be best for your child personally. Therefore, you have to dig deeper than academic ratings.
3. Accept and embrace your child’s independenceIt’s difficult to have your kids so far away from you and know that should anything happen, you won’t be there to help right away. That’s why it’s so important to have a relationship of trust with the child who goes abroad. You have to be sure that they will trust you enough to ask for help when they need it. And this can be achieved only if you respect their independence and ability to make their own decisions.
You need to build this kind of relationship long before the child leaves. Giving them more independence in the decisions regarding their schooling and personal finances will be a good start.