When your child comes to you and says they want to study abroad, you’re filled with all sorts of conflicting emotions. On one hand, you’re ecstatic seeing them enrich themselves and find their place in the world. On the other hand, you’re wracked with anxiety and fear about what could potentially go wrong.
As a parent, it’s only natural to be concerned about your child’s well-being. Going out of the country is a significant change of pace and adapting to the lifestyle can be very difficult. There are ways for you to step in and make the process easier. In this article, we’ll be providing parents with helpful tips for parents to help their children study abroad.
Assist Them with the Necessary Paperwork
The paperwork that needs to be filed for studying abroad can be daunting for students going abroad for the first time. While you don’t want to directly intervene and do it for them, you can advise them and even collect the necessary information. You can research what the stipulations are for the country your child is looking to go.
Every country is different and has varying rules regarding travel. Many countries in Europe are part of a Schengen territory. This allows travelers from overseas to stay in the area without a designated visa for 90 days. With the right visa, this time can be increased. Student visas give a year’s worth of time but can be extended out.
Pay a Portion of the Cost
Studying abroad is, unfortunately, not exactly the most affordable thing in the world. From transportation costs to housing, your child must have a strict budget in place. When it comes to gathering the needed funds, it can also be a challenge, but there are ways for you to help your child out.
One such method includes taking out a HELOC, or home equity line of credit. This is a type of loan that works similarly to a credit card. The funds you can receive varies on how much the house is worth and the amount you’ve paid off. If you’ve already paid off the mortgage, then could be entitled to up to 80% of the home value.
It’s important to remember, however, that what you spend will have to be paid back again. On the flip side, the money you get can be used for anything, which includes your child’s trip.
Let Them Know Open Communication is a Good Thing
Parents know whenever their child isn’t feeling alright, but the latter prefer to keep it to themselves for some reason. Whether it’s shame or fear of a bad reaction from you, you must help them get over it.
Let them know it’s okay to feel bad and that they can discuss whatever is bothering them with you. In fact, open communication is vital when it comes to studying abroad. Going to a new country with a drastically different way of life can overwhelm anyone. But having a support system, especially from their parent, can really help ease your child’s anxiety and apprehension.