For any parent, their child will always remain a small kid even though he / she grows up to be an adult. And if at all, the child desires to go Abroad for studies, the parents will go into a world of stress and worries. They will have innumerable concerns regarding overseas education, starting from the exorbitant fees, new country and safety.
In India, according to our culture, parents’ decision is the final decision so they are a huge influential factor on a student’s decision to Study Abroad. We wish to discuss some common concerns of parents which might help you take a decision for your child.
How will my child be safe in a new country surrounded by new people ? This question will arise in every parent’s mind before sending their child Abroad and it is quite understandable. In this age of terrorism and pandemics, any person will be worried about the safety. But here are some facts which might ease your mind.
Note that Student safety is the top priority of any reputable foreign institute, and organizations have intensive protocols and measures in place to ensure that students are kept as safe as possible at all times. Theft and robbery is another concern. You can train and educate your child about safety habits or invest in Travel Insurance. Safety standards vary from country to country but always remember you can choose the destination yourself where you feel your child will be safe.
Yes, studying abroad is a costly affair ! But then you are spending it for own child. There are many ways to finance Overseas Education. Students get Scholarships and Education Loans are also available. Also keep in mind that most of the countries offer an opportunity to international students to work part time during their study and thus most of the students are able to manage their living expenses and sometimes bit more than that.
While deciding Study Destination and an Institute, keep your budget in mind. You have range of options available to choose from which will match to your budget.
Studying Abroad can provide a valuable opportunity for your child to learn about budgeting and managing their own finances, so it’s worthwhile to have a conversation about how they intend to spend money while Abroad, how much extra traveling they plan to do, and where personal spending money will come from.
Influence of New Culture
What if my child is influenced by the negativities of the foreign culture? This is a common concern of every parent. But then, a bad influence can be anywhere in the whole world, even in your own country. Addiction to tobacco or drugs or alcohol is a common trait seen among International Students. But as a parent, you should educate your child and train him not to get influenced by the bad habits. Talk about the ill effects and trust your child. Let him / her be responsible enough to know what is right and what is wrong.
No Acquaintances in the Foreign Country
We have no relatives or friends in that country. Well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Part of the appeal of study abroad for some students lies in the opportunity to carve out a whole new social space, independent of their lives and social circles back home.
If your child is an introvert, then it will be a motivating factor for him / her to open up. Meeting strangers and making friends will enhance communication abilities.
If you’re worried about a lack of support network, don’t. Your son / daughter’s Institute will have all the required support system starting from airport pickup to medical care. If they decide to stay with a host family, you can rest even further assured that someone’s looking out for them.
Where will They Live ?
It is perfectly reasonable to feel some anxiety about your child’s living situation, especially when it is a foreign land, miles away from your home.
There are lots of options available. Your child can opt for a dormitory, a rented apartment or live with a host family. Dormitory is a secured place where all the needs will be taken care of. If your child is going with his friends or you know other students going for the same university/school, then renting an apartment will be a better alternative. Host families are always welcoming and your child might / might not feel comfortable living with them.
So talk it out with your child, consult other people, ask university counselors for options and choose a proper living for your child.
What About Food ?
This will be every mother’s first concern for her child. My child is used to eating homemade food only. He / She is very choosy regarding the food habits. So yes, it should be a big concern but not a reason to worry. Food facilities are available at their living places. Moreover, you can develop his / her cooking abilities so they are not deprived of homemade food. Moreover, Indian stores and restaurants are available in every corner of the world. So don’t worry, let your child develop the taste of a new cuisine or develop the taste buds according to what is made available.
Is the Foreign Degree Valuable for Future ?
Well, obviously yes ! The degree earned by your child will make him / her a more valuable and qualified person for future career. Whether he / she wants to apply for a job or start their own set up, the International Education and the overall grooming will be an X factor for their future.
Many industries are going global now so demand has risen for candidates with international skills across just about any industry. Irrespective of any field, international experience will only help deepen their understanding of their major and chosen field. In some ways, the global skills and knowledge gained through Studying Abroad may actually be far more relevant to the current job marketplace than the traditional liberal arts core education.
Is It Really Worth It or Just a Show Off ?
This is totally dependent on one’s perception. Parents might think why to spend so much money and send their beloved child miles away just to get a degree and show it off to the society… Well, that is not why you are sending your child Abroad. It is true that students may be able to access some of this at their home university, but there’s really no substitute for the full, challenging, rewarding learning experience that comes from truly being immersed in another country and culture.
Studying and living in another country exposes students to different political and belief systems, alternate styles and methods of education, diverse cultures, and helps students acquire a whole set of life skills – including problem-solving, cross-cultural communication and independence – just from learning to navigate life in another country (and language). Most importantly, though, by participating in experiential learning, students are gaining knowledge they wouldn’t be able to receive in a traditional classroom environment. That’s the whole point of Study Abroad.
Will my child become a complete foreigner ? Will he / she forget the Indian values and culture ? Undoubtedly a question that haunts every parent. Here, your upbringing and values given to your child play a major role. If your son / daughter is going to a new land, it is sometimes necessary to adapt to the new culture so you might see some changes in their behavior. But don’t be disheartened, deep down a person never forgets his roots. An Indian always remains an Indian !
Having discussed all of these concerns, we really hope you will consider to send your child to Study Abroad. Studying abroad can be scary for students, and often it produces even more anxiety for the parents who stay at home. While it’s reasonable to discuss concerns about finances, safety and academics with your child before they go overseas, these questions shouldn’t prevent your child from taking advantage of all the incredible opportunities and advantages that Studying Abroad has to offer. Besides, if you never had the option to Study Abroad yourself, now is your chance to live that experience through the eyes of one of your favorite person ! So give wings to your child and let him / her fly their way to the bright future.