Preparing your teen to study abroad is quite a hefty task and one that involves a lot of different aspects. It’s stressful, somewhat sad, and even overwhelming at times. The following eight tips will help both you and your child to strengthen up for this quite special occasion.
1. Pick a Country/University
There are a lot of factors involved in the selection process – university costs, political situation of the country, size, etc. It’s important to carefully weigh all the options before making a choice.
A smart approach is contacting every university you’re interested in and asking them for some basic information. Which programs are they offering? What qualifications does the student have after finishing it? This is arguably the most important step, so take your time with it.
2. Prepare The Documentation
There are a lot of papers that you’ll have to acquire before enrolling into the university – acceptance letters, accommodation contracts, insurance documents, and so on. However, since they’re quite valuable and compromising, it’s important to make copies in case anything happens to the originals. Some universities even accept copies so that the originals can stay at home with you. Check their policy, and always make sure that you have backups for the worst-case scenario.
3. Visit The Accommodation
Before sending off your child to live on their own, you have to make sure that their accommodation meets all the necessary living conditions. University-managed halls usually house hundreds of students, so you won’t have to worry about the living conditions there. If, however, you’re going to be paying for private accommodation, you have to be a bit more careful.
Check if there are all the necessary appliances – washing machine, fridge, freezer, stove, etc. Also, don’t sign any long-term contracts, since you can’t be completely sure that there aren’t any hidden problems.
4. Go Easy With The Cash
Even though you might be tempted to give them more cash than they’ll need, that’s not a particularly good idea in the beginning. Since they’re just starting to live on their own, they’ll have to learn how to manage their money and spread it out over a certain time period – week/month. If they have more than they need, they’ll likely be going to spend it without thinking too much about it. Start off with just enough, and you can increase the amount later if needed.
5. Find Apps For Long-Distance Communication
The usual phone calls can get extremely expensive, especially due to roaming costs associated with the different countries. Thankfully, there is no shortage of free-to-use apps that enable communication over the Internet. Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp are just some of the examples of these types of programs. Make sure that everyone knows how to use them beforehand, and make a schedule on when you’re going to talk to each other.
6. Keep Track Of Them With Spokeo
While your child’s away, you’ll never be able to know what they’re doing at all times. Fortunately for you, there’s a way to minimize that unknown time. Since all you need is their number, Spokeo, a reverse number lookup tool, can extract a whole bunch of information and give you insight that you wouldn’t be able to acquire otherwise. As soon as you run a search, the tool could return all of the known associated social media accounts with that number, as well as the previously known location of the person. While it’s not a know-it-all, Spokeo is still the most efficient utility out there.
7. Be Supportive
Enrolling in a university (especially in an abroad country) is one of the most daunting experiences that your child will have to go through. As a result, it’s extremely important to be there for them every step of the way. Wish them good luck, and don’t be too harsh as far as the results go, especially at the start. They’ll need some time to get used to the different environment, different people, and being on their own. If they know that they can reach out to you at any time, this process will go a lot smoother for them.
8. Prepare a Medical Insurance
As a parent, it’s normal to worry about your child. However, when they have health insurance, you’ll know that they’ll always have necessary medical care if a certain scenario calls for it. These policies cover a range of expenses such as dental injury costs, in-patient care, treatment of pre-existing diseases, etc. It’s hard thinking that something might happen to them, but it’s much better to go through that beforehand so that they’ll be covered no matter what happens.
Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.