Here's What You Need To Know If Your Child Is Studying Abroad -- Feb 20
Looking after your child when they are studying abroad can be challenging for a number of reasons.

Firstly, and most obviously, your parental instincts to keep them safe and close to you are kicked into overdrive, leading to the temptation to bombard them with messages every day to check that they are happy and healthy.

It can also lead to logistical issues, as you struggle to maintain contact and organize for their return trips home during holidays.

Here’s what you need to know if your child is studying abroad:

Finding the right international school is crucial

The first and most important step when your child is planning on studying abroad is to help them select a high-performing international school. This is crucial for a number of reasons. The most obvious factor is how much benefit the school will have on your child’s education.

For this, you would go through a similar process to how you chose their native schools beforehand - a combination of high average grades, engaging teachers, and a safe location are all primary requirements.

You should also take into consideration other aspects such as how many other pupils are from your home country, whether the area suits your child’s needs, and whether it is a boarding school.

Regular contact is paramount, but only if it is healthy

Although it is natural to want to be in regular contact with your children - especially when they are abroad - it is best to avoid badgering them. You must have faith that they can look after themselves properly and in the ability of the school’s staff to protect your child.

Indeed, persistent messaging and calling can often drive your children away from you, making the whole process worse and having the opposite effect as intended.

Make the most of video calling and social media

While consistent badgering of your child is not advised, a healthy alternative is to make use of video calling apps. Arrange a regular time for you and your child to call, catch up and see each other’s faces. This will alleviate their inevitable homesickness and your desire to spend time with them.

Their new home will impact their world view

One aspect which is not often considered when your child spends extended periods of time away from home is the impact it will have on their outlook, opinions, and worldview.

Watching your child widen their horizons is wonderful for a parent, but it can also be difficult if they initially appear changed by their time abroad. You should be patient and accept these changes. Take the time and effort to reacquaint yourself with them and to understand their perspective. It might alter your outlook, too.

Trust them to make the right decisions

This is an important truth to consider, but it is arguably the most challenging. While you will always be their parent and offer them unbridled support, you have to let them make their own decisions, and yes, their own mistakes.

Trust your child to act sensibly and to keep themselves safe when studying abroad. Bear in mind that, while you feel powerless, they are being taught vital life lessons that will stay with them forever.