Traveling abroad for education is a huge decision that does not only include the students going abroad but also proves to be an equally daunting task for their parents. From investing a great deal financially to making the brave decision of sending their kids overseas can be emotionally taxing as well as a monetary drain for the parents. It is of paramount importance that this whole process from applying for a college up to the departure must involve active participation from the students and, more importantly, from their parents.
DISCUSSION OF GOALS:
As we already know, it is of utmost importance for the parents to involve in this whole process with the students. Parents must be very vocal in their opinions and must serve as counselors for their kids, guiding them in the possible right direction. Parents must try hard to find out exactly what their child seeks in terms of education, lifestyle, and career and thus help them make a decision.
RESEARCHING AND SELECTING THE DESIRED COURSE:
Once the aspiring student zeroes down on the course and subjects he wishes to study, the process becomes all the more detailed an excruciating. Parents must sit tight with their kids and research in detail about all the universities that offer similar courses and apply to several universities and colleges and keep their backups as well. Along with researching the course, the parents must also make other decisions along with their children, such as choice of lifestyle, career preferences, and housing facilities.
PROFESSIONAL ACADEMIC ADVISING:
Another vital part of this whole process is seeking out professional academic counseling. Parents must make sure their kids seek academic advising from professional advisors who will clear any doubts the students have and can also provide the expert opinion about their course as well as the university.
The most significant investment in this whole tedious process apart from the emotional investment is the finances that go into this entire process. Investing a considerable amount of money requires careful deliberation, and hence, this must be a thoroughly planned activity as well. Parents must calculate their overall budget, living expenses in a new place, and the cost of shopping for new things, health budget, food, and anything else that requires money.
THOROUGH HEALTH CHECKUP BEFORE DEPARTURE:
It is of absolute importance that a student must undergo foolproof health checkups and a detailed examination of their health. From dental exam to testing for any virus and eyesight correction, it must be made sure that the aspiring student is in the best of health and shall face no problems once he lands in a new place.
One might think that all significant formalities are supposedly over up to the time of departure. But travel safety is a crucial aspect of traveling abroad as well. Parents, as well as the traveler, must make sure that he has all the necessary documents and details. Health Insurance is a must, and it must be made sure that the student is insured before he/she leaves. Parents can sign up for a safety program that keeps them updated with travel alerts as well as relevant notifications. For example, the US Department of State has a program called STEP. Students should have access to emergency supplies and funds.
PSYCHOLOGICAL & EMOTIONAL SUPPORT:
Going abroad, the whole process and the efforts required can be emotionally and mentally straining for a person. While still very young and naïve, many students decide to go abroad. Parents have a fundamental responsibility of providing an ample amount of emotional support, for the kids might be feeling vulnerable, scared of going so far off, staying all by themselves in an unknown place. Parents must give their children all kinds of positive motivation and must act like a friend and a counselor all rolled into one.
Apart from the pointers as mentioned above, certain other things such as providing practical guidance, spending quality time before they leave, figuring out housing plans in the foreign land, loan repayment as well as international money transfer. Parents play a pivotal role in shaping their kids, and therefore, they must leave no stone unturned to make this whole process easier for their children. Even though it might not be as easy for them and could be emotionally taxing as well, they must lay aside these concerns and help their children get the best possible opportunities.