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What your family need to know when you study abroad

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The majority of overseas study advice is focused on you, the student. But what about your parents and family? Often they can be the ones providing some or all of the funding.

We know that it can be stressful for parents seeing their children leave to study abroad. Here are some tips for things that you can do for your family to reassure them about your plans and get them as excited as you are for your next step!

1. Show your family your study abroad plan

Do your research and present your family with a clear idea of what and where you wish to study. Show them that you have shortlisted courses and give them the details – costs, entry requirements, location, your planned accommodation and why you chose these options. This will show your family that you are determined to succeed and have thought your ideas through.

2. Know how much studying abroad will cost

If your family are at all responsible for helping you with the finances of studying abroad, the considerate thing to do would be to prepare an accurate idea for them of the costs involved. These costs will include your tuition fees, accommodation and meal costs (and any housing deposit if required), costs of applying for a student visa, healthcare costs, application fees and any travel fees.

Your costs will depend on the location, university, choice of accommodation and course that you have chosen.

3. Arrange your health insurance

For your and your families peace of mind, and also likely a requirement of securing your visa to study abroad, you should make sure you have plans in place for health insurance when you study abroad.

Depending on the country you will be studying in, this could either involve enrolling on the national health service of that country, or securing private health cover. Your university will be well placed to advise how to secure health cover, and also the costs involved.

4. Plan to keep in touch

Thankfully it is easier than ever before to keep in touch with your loved ones, even from the other side of the world. Either on your favorite messaging app, video calls on your phone or laptop, even writing an email! Make a plan to regularly check in with your family whilst you are aware to share your adventures with them and keep them up to date. Be prepared to budget for a pay as you go sim card or mobile phone contract in your new country. Do also note that your mobile phone may not be compatible with carriers in the country you are visiting to study.

 5. Show that you know how to keep safe while studying abroad

Some basic tips for keeping safe while you study abroad include:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Avoid going out alone at night
  • Hide jewelry, electronics and only have small amounts of cash on you
  • Give the right of way to traffic!
  • If you go for a drink, make sure you’re with friends you trust
  • Research where you live – stay away from areas that aren’t recommended for students
  • Protect your passport and identity documents
  • If you have an accident, know the emergency number to call

6. Share the benefits of studying overseas

Your family may be interested in hearing why you want to study overseas. How will it benefit you in the future?

  • Travel and study will help you develop as a person
  • You’ll gain skills in working in new cultures
  • You’ll develop an international network of contacts
  • Develop your independence, improve your social and emotional IQ
  • Learn or develop a new language
  • Become ready for the globalized business world

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