So, your teenager is preparing to study abroad. This must be one of the most exciting times of their life. Living abroad has a life-changing and lasting positive effect on all students regardless of their ages. However, for a student still approaching high school and has never lived abroad, this usually requires some preparation. Further in this article, we will discuss how to prepare your teenager for studying abroad.
How to Prepare Your Teenager to Study Abroad
Generally, aside from the emotions building up, your teenager is excited to travel and study abroad. Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity for your child to see the world, and there’s no better time to begin than now.
Here are tips on how to prepare your teenager for studying abroad:
- Define the benefits
It would help if you made them understand all the benefits and opportunities that studying abroad offers. Discuss what they will want to get out of the experience. Know if they are willing to live in a new country, learn a new language, and if studying abroad prepares them for the future they want. Are they excited about this experience?
- Make Financial Arrangements
There are usually a lot of funding arrangements involved – from visas to deciding citizenship and other involvements. It is essential to make financial arrangements quite early, even years before your child is ready. This will help you take away a lot of pressure. It will also help you save more to find your child’s future.
- Plan Your Child’s Finances
To further plan your children’s finances, you can open an international bank account or make an appointment for them once they land in the new country.
Review the Country, School, and Course of Study
Your child has to make their decisions, and what you have to do is review and guide them. Understand what their plans and aspirations are. Also, guide them through choosing courses as you psychologically, mentally, and emotionally prepare them for the journey ahead.
Find out the schools that offer the courses related to your child’s aspirations and ensure you guide them into choosing schools that are good enough for them, their career, and your financial capability.
- Make Emotional and Physical Preparations
Your child now has to understand that studying abroad means being away from home. It means to be able to make some secondary decisions on their own, to be goal-oriented, and have focus.
They must learn to be physically and financially independent. They need to learn proper budgeting and spending skills to help them stay good on finances.
- Create a Checklist That Works
You must ensure every requirement your child will need to study abroad is available. It is vital to create a checklist of every info and document required and tick the boxes once any task is complete. A list helps you keep track of your activities and records your progress.
A checklist can contain cost implications, timelines, deadlines, long and short-term steps required to prepare successfully.
- Register for External Examinations
External examinations are usually a prerequisite for admissions in most Western countries. However, these examinations vary across countries and schools. Research the exams required by your child’s country and school. You must prepare them for these exams and ensure they meet the criteria.
- Get the Required Documentation
Ready the required documents. Research the documents needed for the country and school your child has chosen and prepare the necessary documentation. It would help if you began in time as these documents are usually not ones you can get in a blink of an eye.
- Schedule a Health Check
Although most schools require medical and health checks, if not, also schedule a health check for your child. Your child must be in good health before they leave. If not, they can manage a health condition on their own before they go. However, you must ensure you inform your child’s school should your child have an existing medical condition before they leave.
- Prepare Your Child for Emergencies
You have to prepare for emergencies to reduce fear and feel more reassured about your child’s well-being in another country. These emergencies could include plans to take if there’s an accident, sickness, or losing their valuables.
Furthermore, you must have the contact details of your child’s residence and university and give reasons you must be listed as their emergency contact.
Also, it would be important to make your child’s accommodation choices based on proximity to clinics and convenience. Keeping the location’s weather information in mind is important too.
- Allow Your Child Their Space
It is expected that you might want to be on the phone with your child once they have left to study abroad, but they will need some space. It doesn’t matter if they are the ones wanting to be on the phone. This will help them adapt to the new environment easily. Also, it will help them focus on the most important things and meet and interact with new people. You must allow your child to develop their independence.
- Encourage Open Communication
While maintaining some space, be your child’s friend. Your child must understand that it is okay to have dissatisfaction and be expressive about them. This dissatisfaction could be about their school, friends, or anything else. The plan is to let them know that they can talk to you and not be quieted, judged, or ashamed. This will help improve your child’s mental strength and health.
- Connect and Get Insight from Other Parents
This works if you know parents whose children study or have studied abroad. They have experiences and information you don’t have. However, if you don’t know anyone, technology has made it easy – you can find them from wherever you are. According to this report, there are over 69,500 international students in US high schools in the fall of 2019. You could join forums for parents or Facebook groups for parents of international students. Also, connect with other parents who are having the same experiences as you.
- Remind Them of Their Goals
Also, while maintaining space, find time to inspire and remind them of their goals. Studying abroad can be quite overwhelming, but it always helps to have someone who can remind them why they wanted it at first. Reminding them of their goals can also help to take back their focus to the goal.
Maple Canadian College is a university pathway school for high school students who want to study abroad. Our program helps to mentally and academically prepare students to succeed in their education. Students also graduate with an OSSD which can be used to get admitted into any school in the world.