3 Things to Consider Before Sending Your Kids to Study Abroad
Parents want what’s best for their kids, especially when it comes to providing a good education. For many, that means investing in a study abroad program that allows students to go overseas and immerse themselves in a different language and culture.
While this opportunity is usually exciting for students, it can be incredibly stressful for parents. No matter the student’s age, it’s important to have a comprehensive plan in place to ensure that their needs are being met while they are far from home. Before sending kids to study abroad, consider the three things below carefully to facilitate informed decisions.
- Early Planning
Many parents worry about sending their kids abroad when they are young, but acclimating to a new country, learning about a different culture, and having the opportunity to practice a second language in high school, or even middle school can offer a large educational advantage. Parents who are concerned about their children’s safety may want to both take the time to educate themselves about the risks associated with the study abroad location and find better child trafficking organizations to donate to in order to help protect other people’s kids. They shouldn’t let fear make decisions for them regarding whether to send a younger student abroad.
Personal and academic enrichment are the primary benefits of sending younger students to study abroad, but there is also a practical benefit. Spending a semester, a year, or even several years in another country can help students who intend on applying to universities in the same place overcome common hurdles such as language proficiency exams. It can also offer study abroad students a head start when it comes to selecting schools and compiling a competitive application.
- Location Isn’t Just About Language
Most families choose where to send their kids to study abroad based on what type of school system they prefer and whether the students plan to continue living there after completing the study abroad programs. For students who plan to continue living in the target country after graduation, location becomes even more important.
Parents may choose to purchase housing for these students outright to provide an added level of stability, but taxation issues vary from country to country. Some countries have restrictions on foreign buying, while others levy large taxes on foreign real estate purchases.
- Money Management
Purchasing a residential property, whether it’s a condo or a house, makes some forms of money management easier for families of older students. However, the costs of living abroad can vary significantly depending not just on the country but also on the specific school and program that students attend. It’s a mistake to think that wealthy families shouldn’t have a plan in place for money management.
Parents often provide for students’ expenses. Some do so by investing in businesses in the child’s country of study, which can generate income not just for the student but also for their family. Hotels and restaurants are both excellent options when it comes to passive business investing.
It’s Time to Start Planning
Parents shouldn’t wait until their children are already of an age to be considering study abroad programs to begin the planning process. Start looking into schools, programs, and target countries now, and don’t forget to consider the three factors described above. Having a solid plan in place is the best way to reduce parents’ stress and set students up for success.