As a parent, you have a significant impact on how your child views the world and, to some extent, whether he or she even considers studying abroad.
Every student who hopes to succeed in the global economy should study abroad.
Globalization is everywhere, and it affects everyone in some way or another. Communications and technology have forever changed the way people interact by opening up borders for one-to-one communication without ever leaving home. Three factors—globalization, communication, and technology—have people around the world shifting to an increasingly borderless economy that includes politics, culture, and education. In order to give our children, the best opportunity to succeed in this interconnected world, we need to provide them with opportunities to interact with the world beyond our borders.
Yet only 10 percent of the approximately 2.6 million students who graduate with an associates or baccalaureate degree each year study abroad, which means relatively few are truly prepared to compete on a global scale.
As a parent, you can champion study abroad as an essential component of your child’s college education. You should encourage your son or daughter to begin thinking about studying abroad during his or her high school years and making studying abroad a part of the college selection process. All study abroad is not equal, and students should choose a college or university that fits all of their needs, including study abroad. Moreover, the sooner your child starts thinking about studying abroad, the more likely he or she will investigate options and stay true to his or her mission and not be blown off course by peer pressure on campus. Oftentimes students are short-sighted, peremptorily writing off study abroad as too expensive or deciding not to pursue it because of friends, a romantic partner, or sports or campus activities, not realizing—as parents do—that these reasons will probably fade in importance in only a few years.
Value of Studying Abroad
As a parent, you have a significant impact on how your child views the world and, to some extent, whether he or she even considers studying abroad. Tomorrow’s college graduates are just as likely to work with people from as far away as Beijing and Bangalore as they are with those from Boston or Boise. Employers across all sectors increasingly seek workers with a combination of both technical and disciplinary skills as well as linguistic and cross-cultural competencies. Those who are best prepared for the new realities of the job market are the ones most likely to be hired first, and then to succeed. If your son or daughter is contemplating a career in international business, research, or diplomacy, global experience is a must. If two applicants have essentially equal resumes, Global organizations as well as multi-national companies would hire the one who had studied abroad, citing the following attributes:
- Cross-cultural awareness, which is critical to working on diverse teams.
- Ability to bring global thinking skills to bear on complex issues;
- Language skills needed in a multi-lingual world;
- Predisposition to and experience with global mobility
In any case, just because your child studies abroad does not mean his or her potential employers will simply tick the box of international experience and hire them because of it. Overseas experience usually precipitates a whole line of questioning during the interview process, so your child must be prepared to discuss the value of his or her study abroad experience.
Exploring The Options
Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting experiences of your son or daughter’s college career, but it is also a serious undertaking. It challenges students on a personal level. It will have an impact on his or her course of studies. It costs money. It’s a big decision. As parents, you can help your child start thinking about study abroad in his or her freshman year (or better yet in high school) so as to have as much time as possible to consider the pros and cons, research the best options, and complete the application, which is often due months before departure. But the process takes time, and there is a great deal of information to consider for both you and your child.
While planning to send your child to study abroad, there are multiple factors that they consider as most important. Following are the major factors to consider:
Identifying Right Kind of Study Abroad Program
When planning to make your child study abroad, planning regarding where to initiate, what courses to choose, which university to apply in along with how much of the cost they will have to bear is the major factor to consider. Initiating with such planning will definitely demand parents to grab all necessary information regarding the international students in order to fulfil the requirements.
Discuss a decision-making process with your child by asking this list of questions:
- What do you want to study while abroad?
- How important is it that you earn credit?
- Where do you want to study and why?
- Where and with whom do you want to live?
- How long do you want to be abroad?
- What role does language learning play?
- What is the program going to cost?
- Can scholarships or financial aid be applied?
- How will study abroad affect campus commitments such as a job, internship, or sports?
- How much freedom do you want or need out of the experience?
- What do you want most out of the experience?
- Any other special needs like talking to a study abroad expert or an alumni.
Figuring out the Financials: Cost Models, Financial Aid, and Scholarships
Although study abroad certainly isn’t cheap, it doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive either. The cost of studying abroad varies greatly depending on the type and location of the program, the length of stay, and whether the program is administered through a university or an outside agency. Please find out the list of few Scholarships for your reference.
The cost of a study abroad program is a summation of several factors. First and foremost is the cost of the program itself, which varies based on the type of program— a university-run program, a university-affiliated program offered through a study abroad organization, or an unaffiliated program—and its length. Services such as local staff support, orientation or language training programs, social activities, and excursions all affect the price of the program.
Few things to be kept in mind such as:
- Comparing Programs
- Housing and Food
- Length of Stay
Additional Expenses such as s airfare, books and school supplies, visa and passport, immunizations, excursions, travel within and outside of the country, international insurance, and spending money based on the program and the student
Listen to those who know
As a parent, you should make a point of talking with other parents who have children who have studied abroad, and you should encourage your child to do the same with other students on campus. Someone who has been to the location recently will be able to tell you how much things really cost and how much he or she spent above and beyond the “posted” price of the program.
Health & Safety Abroad
While the benefits of studying abroad are immense, the thought of one’s child living in another country can rattle the nerves of even the most easy-going parents. Rest assured that the odds of your child's having a safe and incident-free study abroad experience are in your favour, regardless of where your child goes. Here are some Health & Safety tips for your child abroad.
Individuals who plan to shift themselves overseas for further studies are more concerned about their health and safety that also includes mental and emotional wellbeing, especially if the country of study they chose have instable political condition. Hence, parents consider countries which are safe and sound and has lowest crime rate.
As far as health and safety is concerned, parents are prone to choose every precaution prior to sending their child overseas. Before the departure of your child, one must ensure that the child is healthy and have received all the necessary immunizations needed/demanded in the host country. They must ensure that their child is able to manage/handle empty nest syndrome in the desired manner. There are various study abroad programs that require submission of medical forms along with the evidence of the child being healthy. A quality study abroad program demands an individual to grab an insurance policy which is considered as an inexpensive way of protecting/preserving the child being sent to abroad.
For the purpose of knowing that your child is doing well overseas, the best option that you as a parent can have is staying in touch in different ways.
Willing to make your child study abroad? Get started with some pre-preparations in order to obtain a consistent academic performance, enabling your child explore world beyond his/her imagination.
Crime knows no borders; it takes place around the world. Natural disasters can strike anywhere, and their effects can be exacerbated by the inferior infrastructure found in poorer countries. Political unrest can break out and suddenly cut students off from friends and family back home.
One of the best ways for your child to stay safe is to be as informed about his or her destination as possible before arriving.
- Research current events, customs and culture, politics, economics, history, religion, geography, and climate.
- Read about the everyday behaviours and practices of the people well before departure and from several different sources.
- Talk to people who either grew up in or spent considerable time in the country where they are going and ask them specifically about differences in social behaviour to be aware of.
Preparing Your Child for Success Abroad
Once your child has chosen a program, there is still much to do before departure, and waiting until the last minute is always a big mistake. In addition to making sure your child completes the application on time, applies for or renews a passport, and secures any necessary visas, he or she needs to start considering the intellectual, emotional, and physical aspects of the upcoming study abroad experience.
Help your child to be organized with all the arrangements of
- Important Information and Documents
Help them in
- Planning/Creating a workable budget/financial plan
- Spending & saving money
- Creating a global mindset
Offer Tips for Making the Most of the Experience
You want your child to thrive during his or her study abroad experience, not just survive, so offer him or her some strategies for making the most of the experience. Every student comes back with a slightly different story of how they grew emotionally, intellectually, and cross-culturally. Few say it was easy, but your child can learn from those who have gone before. When you speak with your child, encourage him or her to:
- Get to know people and make local friends.
- Be a tourist, explore and see the sights.
- Try something new every few days.
- Find sports or clubs of interest and participate.
- Learn and practice the language.
- Adapt to the local culture.
- Don’t blame locals for problems.
- Learn from mistakes.
Even if your child may not say enough, she or he will be forever grateful that you supported them during the most crucial days of their career. The experience gained while studying abroad will shape who they are for years to come.
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