Your student is about to embark on an experience of a lifetime, one that requires independence and self-reliance. Ideally, a parent’s main role in the study abroad process is one of support and encouragement. Below are a number of tips to help you ensure your student gets the most out of their time abroad.
Have your student ask questions on your behalf
In many cases, your student will have the same questions you do about the study abroad process. It is best to have your student act as a family representative and come to us with any questions you may have. This ensures that both you and your student are properly informed about the study abroad process. Make sure your student is asking questions early on in the study abroad process. The more students own the process now, the better prepared they will be upon their arrival in the host country.
Remind your student of their study abroad goals
It’s possible that your student may become overwhelmed during their time abroad and potentially develop a negative outlook on their study abroad experience. This is a normal part of adjusting to a new culture. Help to remind your student why they are studying abroad and to emphasize the goals that they created before they departed. Often time, students need a reminder to help get them back on track.
Provide time and space
Your student needs to develop a support network while they are abroad. It is important that you provide the appropriate time and space to allow this to happen. Try not to contact your student too frequently, as this can prevent your student from forming connections within the local community and developing language skills.
Talk to other parents
Having your student across the world can be stressful for you. Talk to other parents who have had students study abroad. They will have a wealth of information when it comes to helping your student prepare to go abroad and how to support them while they are overseas.