Our cookies

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience with personalized content, relevant ads and enhanced functionalities. By allowing all you agree to the use of cookies as per the cookie policy and remember you can manage your preferences anytime.
Guidance for parents sending their kids to study abroad
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Sending your child to study abroad? Here's what parents should know
Ashwin Sriram

Ashwin Sriram, a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, has been a part of the journalism circuit for nearly five years. He is a fan of the conversational writing style and loves exploring good human-interest stories from around the world. In his free time, he is often found travelling, reading, writing or meditating.


12 Sep 2022 21K Book icon 10 mins Share

Sending your child to study abroad? Here's what parents should know

Worried about your kid's safety and comfort in a foreign land? Hotcourses India is here to empower parents to give the right guidance to kids.

12 Sep 2022 21K Book icon 10 mins Share
Guidance for parents sending their kids to study abroad

What’s covered in this article?

Aspects for parents to consider when kids plan to study abroad:

  1. Do your research, stay informed
  2. Freely communicate and support them
  3. Seek advice if needed
  4. Focus on safety
  5. Figure out the finances
  6. Teach them about responsibilities
  7. Encourage them to adjust and adapt
  8. Help them pack
  9. Support your child when they are abroad
  10. Visits

Returning home

Being a parent, it is natural that you focus a lot on your child’s education. You would want to give them the right guidance at every step as long as they are ready to take it and then a little more. Studying abroad is still not so common in Indian households. Are you feeling stuck not knowing the right advice to give your child when they decide to pursue education in a foreign country? You are likely to have a lot of questions related to overseas education. That’s why we can come up with this quick article on the right aspects that a parent should focus on, as their child plans to study abroad.

Tough decisions about when, where and what to study are usually made by the students, but as a parent, you may want to be involved in the decision-making process. We believe by being well informed, you can play a wonderful role as a supportive parent and mentor for your child, as they begin their long study abroad journey with us.

It’s quite natural to have dozens of fears and apprehensions in your mind while you plan your child’s future abroad, but it is highly unlikely you would want to shatter his/her dreams for the sake of your fears. Below you’ll find a list of helpful suggestions on how you can assist your child through the 3 major steps of the entire study abroad process – right from when they reveal their plans, as they get ready for the big move and after they leave to a foreign country.


Guidance for parents as your child plans their studies abroad

1.    Do your research, stay informed

In today’s world, teenagers spend a lot of time on the internet. If your child decided to study abroad, they would have already started researching about it or at least begun their research. Here’s our first tip for parents – you too should start researching.

You’re likely to feel a lot more secure about your child’s education abroad once you do some effective research. Start by gathering information on your child’s chosen study destination. Look into the course curriculum, campus life abroad and the accommodation options available for international students. Look for alternative destinations and course options too, just in case.

Check out our article on Common questions that parents must ask when sending their kids abroad to study.

At a later stage, once your child receives an acceptance letter, you may also want to contact the admissions committee of the university. Education abroad can pose a lot of challenges and potential difficulties for you and your child. So be prepared to ask the right questions to college representatives using all the information you’ve gathered.

If you don’t know how to reach or write to the university, we can surely help you.

The next question you might have is – how can you do the research effectively? You can use our online resources to gather all the information you need. We have an extensive list of institutions and courses. We have a special tool to help you filter through the thousands of options to find the right one for you. Sit with your child and try out our course matcher tool.

Learn how the Course Matcher tool can help

Check out the amazing ideas that make studying abroad simpler

2.    As a parent, freely communicate with your child and support them

A key guidance to parents sending their kids abroad is to communicate

If you had no plans of sending your kid to study abroad, you might vehemently oppose their decision and even yell at them. It is not going to help either of the parties. What is ideal would be to sit with your child and try to understand their point of view. Check with them whether they have carefully thought about the decision they made and why they want to study abroad. Knowing your child’s reasons will help you manage the situation effectively and guide them in the right direction.

3.    Seek advice if needed

It is okay to not know everything. If you don’t have a clear idea about the prospect of pursuing education overseas, the pros and cons of studying abroad, and whether studying in India or abroad is better – it is better to seek advice. You can connect with students abroad through Facebook groups, contact people in your circle with kids who studied abroad or speak to experts from the industry. Hotcourses India can help you gather the much-needed details about every aspect of studying abroad. Remember that every year, thousands of students from India go abroad to study. Not all of them had everything working in their favour. But they persevered and made it to their dream destination. Your child will also be able to do the same.

If you have any questions about studying in the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland – just fill out the form on this page and our counsellors will get in touch with you. You will get to speak to our expert counsellors who have experience sending thousands of kids abroad.

4.    Focus on their safety

Every other aspect aside, safety might be your biggest concern. As a parent, you might have premonitions about sending your child for overseas education. Here’s a question to ask yourself and get over this worry - how safe is your own country? Won’t you worry about your child’s safety no matter where they study? Also, remember that students’ safety is one of the main concerns of any reputed institutions abroad. So most universities abroad will have their own safety protocols to ensure the well-being of international students. Parents especially worry for the safety of girl students. Here are some safety tips for girls studying abroad, that you can share with them.

As the departure date of your child nears, you can have a lot of anxiety and second thoughts creeping up in your head. We know how difficult it can be to part with a loved one, but it’s important to understand just how much the student benefits from independent living and foreign exposure.

Being supportive and learning to let them go is the key here. It will let them know that you stand by their decisions. Give your child the information and resources he/she needs to make better decisions and educate them on how to be safe and cautious once they reach their study destination.

You should encourage your child to cultivate and utilise their "street smart" skills while living abroad.

5.    Figure out the finances

Understand the expenses involved in studying abroad. The cost of studying abroad might concern you. Come up with a plan to tackle the financial hurdles. There are different ways to fund your child’s studies - through scholarships, sponsorship arrangements or educational loans. Whatever it is, include your child in the discussions. It will not only give them a clear picture but will also remind them to be accountable and responsible for their studies. However, do not overly scare them to the point that they are under perpetual stress. Instead, give them confidence and courage to face the future.

Once they get enrolled in any university abroad, you should also help your child by devising a sound financial plan, to manage their monthly expenses well. Use your experience and knowledge to guide your child on all issues related to money.

To limit spending and avoid needless expenditures, make a list detailing expenses that are mandatory and expenses that can be avoided. Try to find out various ways of studying abroad with less money, for example, by getting your kid an international calling card.

6.    Teach your child about responsibilities

A guidance for parents is that they should teach kids about responsibilities

Children have different maturity levels. Give it some time for your child to settle down until she/he starts making plans on their own. Have open conversations about the financial, social and academic responsibilities with your child. It cannot be done overnight. The steps involved in the study-abroad process begin way ahead of the actual move to the foreign country. So, you have the time to handle this nice and slow.

Encourage your child to solve on their own, the issues that may arise while studying abroad. Get them to do the bulk of research on matters related to overseas education. This will not only empower your child but will also help them face any challenges that may emerge during their stay abroad. Place your trust in your child and give them the confidence needed to make their own decisions while studying abroad.

Ultimately, your child will grow into an adult who must live their life the way they plan to. Keeping a tab at every step and assessing their movements may not help them much. It does not help you either. Don’t overthink that your child will be influenced by the Western culture, because, ultimately, it’s we who create our own culture.

7.    Encourage them to adjust and adapt

As a parent, you can teach your child to be more adaptive to different cuisines abroad, though they might be used to home-cooked food. It is a nice idea to learn about the destination country’s cuisines and explore their food if there is an opportunity to do so.

More importantly, you should teach your child to cook some basic food, which will in turn help them to save up on restaurant bills and safeguard themselves from tummy upsets, by being exposed to new food styles.

Perhaps you can also do some homework and find some local restaurants in the country that serve Indian food. And when it comes to the question of finding the right accommodation, you can follow up with university representatives to find a suitable place for your child to stay.

8.    Help them pack

Guidance for parents also include tips to help them pack for their study abroad

We hope you will not be holding on to your hesitation this long. Your child will need help with packing for the big move. It is emotionally and physically draining for the kids too and the last thing they want is an unsupportive parent! Based on your experience and knowledge, help your child with their packing.

It’s important to pack light, but wisely. Draw up a checklist detailing all the things that they will need for their life abroad. Research to understand whether it is best to pack certain items or buy them at the study destination – for example, winter clothes.

Check the weight of the luggage, and see if your child can move around with it. Your child will have to carry that luggage around for a while, so it’s important to make sure they can handle the load.

9.    Support your child when they are abroad

Work out a plan of communication before the departure date. It is important to be flexible with your plan because it may not always work out the way you expect. Your child may have Internet issues or phone connection delays — so be prepared for such instances.

Don’t be over-demanding and expect them to call you every day. Try and understand their difficulties and make arrangements to connect at a time, which is favourable for your child as well as you.

Make an effort to connect with other parents whose children have previously studied abroad and learn about their experiences.

Students and parents should both always have a set of emergency contacts with them. You should note down the contact details of your child’s college representatives or classmates.

Lisette Miranda, CEO of PINC International, started a program on Snapchat to give both parents and prospective program participants an up-close look at day-to-day life with a PINC programme. According to her: “It’s our primary job as program providers to ensure parents that their children are safe and this investment is worthwhile. Once parents are on board though, we’ve noticed how supportive and encouraging they are of their children to make the most of their time abroad.”

It is best to avoid calling them every minute, asking what he/she had for lunch or dinner. Your child may not be in the mood to eat or might be busy with their studies. So, make sure you give them some space.

10. Visits

This might not be a possibility for all parents. But if you have the option, you may want to visit your child while they are living abroad. Plan a visit only at a time that is convenient for your child. You don’t want to be showing up with your luggage during their exam time.

Remember that while it may be a vacation for you, your child still has responsibilities. You may miss your child a lot, but they need to spend some quality time immersed in a foreign culture and engage with a new company to grow as an individual.

Returning home

And just like that, it will be time for your child to complete their education, post-study work and finally return home! Just as you must prepare your child for their chosen study destination, you must also be mindful of the fact that on their return to India, they may encounter a ‘reverse culture shock’.

Allow your child a period of adjustment when they first return home. Encourage your child to keep in touch with the people they met while studying abroad. These connections can last a lifetime. Listen to what your child has to say — they probably might have a lot of experiences to share with you.

Frequently asked questions

Should I send my child to study abroad?

The best way to approach this question is to ask your child to provide their reasons and convince you. You can also be ready with your set of questions on how they intend to face the hurdles involved in studying in a foreign country, away from their family. If your child is keen on studying abroad, their points will convince you.

What age is appropriate for studying abroad?

Several colleges and universities abroad require that the candidate applying to undergraduate courses is at least 18 years of age. Go through the institution’s website to understand its requirements. If you are concerned about the upper limit – there is no age limit to studying abroad. A lot of people complete several years of employment before studying their postgraduate courses abroad.

Can you study abroad as a parent?

The short answer is – Yes, you can study abroad as a parent. If you would like to bring your child abroad, you must get a dependent visa. For example, to study in the USA with your child as a dependent, you will be given an I-20 form with which your dependents can apply for F-2, M-2 or J-2 status.

We hope you found our suggestions useful. Why don’t you share your experiences with us? Or tell us your plans for your child’s career.

Remember that you can have a detailed conversation with our advisors. They will answer all your questions related to overseas admissions and provide additional information that might help you and your child plan their studies better. 

Looking to study abroad?

Himanshi Satyarathi Himanshi Satyarathi,
IDP Expert
We can help you. Request a call from us and get FREE advice to study abroad.