So, you want to study abroad. You want that European lifestyle, experiencing different cultures and cuisine. Maybe you want to ski through the mountains in Switzerland or soak up the Barcelona sun at the beaches. The only problem is you don’t know how to break it to your parents.
Step 1- Get their Initial Opinion
Have a conversation with your parents telling them you’re thinking about studying abroad. Ask for their opinion and listen. Take the time to understand your parents’ reasons for saying no. Listen to their concerns and try to see things from their point of view. Are they scared you’ll be in danger? Too expensive? This will help you address their specific worries and find common ground.
Step 2- Make a Plan
Now that you have brought up the idea to your parents. Develop a plan outlining your goals, the specific program or university you wish to attend, the duration of the study abroad program, and how it aligns with your academic calendar. Tell them about the academic advantages of studying abroad such as learning a new language . Explain to them how studying in a different country will expose you to new perspectives. Here are the most common concerns parents have about their kid studying abroad.
It’s Too Expensive
Studying abroad can be fairly costly. Not all programs are equally pricey. Summer semesters tend to be cheaper since you’re only abroad for a much shorter amount of time. Many home universities will give out scholarships that you can apply for and financial aid money. Show your parents that you have considered the costs and have a realistic plan in place to manage your expenses.
Being Abroad Is Not Safe Being So Young
Many Americans think that Europe is so much more dangerous than the United States. However, that is not the case at all. European cities have much lower violent crime rates than the United States. Just like in most places, you have to be cautious and follow the basic safe precautions.
Being Abroad Will Get In The Way Of Your Studies
Show your parents that you are dedicated to your studies and will maintain your focus while studying abroad. Assure them that you understand the responsibility and will make the most of the opportunity. It might take a bit of time to get into a routine of how things work abroad.
Step 3- Have the Discussion
It’s time to sit down with your parents again and talk about studying abroad. Engage in open and honest communication with your parents, actively listen to their concerns, and address them thoughtfully. Tell them they are welcome to do extra research on their own, as it might make them more confident in their decision.
Remember, it may take time for your parents to fully consider and accept the idea of you studying abroad.