What are parents to do if their child decides he or she wants to study abroad? It is a challenging decision both for the parents and the child and various aspects have to be taken into consideration.
First of all it is important to choose the right program that will give your child the best possible educational and cultural experience. To do this you should ask yourself the following questions:
Where is it your child would like to go? What is his or her goal? Does your child want to improve a foreign language? Will he or she be staying in a dormitory, host family or apartment? How long will the period last for and how much will the costs sum up to?
Once youve got these key facts clear you can then proceed in choosing the country and area your child would like to study in, be it in a city or smaller town. Cities obviously offer a wider selection of cultural possibilities as well as entertainment, though they can be more expensive to smaller towns. Larger cities offer a multicultural social environment, which can be useful if your child will be living in a non-English speaking country.
It is also important you choose the right program provider, for many are sponsored by schools or by external agencies. Check carefully before you choose the program, for some actually include fees such as transportation, housing and insurance, which could be a considerable advantage when adding up the costs.
The curriculum must also be scrutinized; to check whether it provides your child with the subjects he or she is interested in. Some programs are foreign language-based, while others give choices of different majors. Some programs offer the possibility to study with other fellow citizens, for those who want to feel at home when abroad, while programs will offer a full immersion into the countrys culture and language.
If you do choose to plunge into the foreign countrys culture you should consider any language barrier he or she may have. If your child is already fluent in that language then the problem will not arise, but if they are not you should consider extra language classes in order for them to feel more comfortable in the foreign environment.
You will then have to choose your childs housing. Some programs include housing, though others dont. You might prefer to opt for a host family, where your child may feel more at home. If your child is already independent you may wish to get an apartment, though he or she may need a deeper understanding of the countrys culture to do so. Whatever option you choose, make sure you look into all the above points before making a final choice.