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Doodle Nandi
02 Mar 2018 2.9K 6 mins Share

Common questions that parents must ask when planning to send their children abroad for education

There are a few common and important questions that most parents or guardian ask about higher education abroad, for their children

02 Mar 2018 2.9K 6 mins Share
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Questions asked by parents about their children's overseas education

We have said this earlier – ‘studying abroad is not easy’! The entire process needs to be meticulously planned, and it is as much difficult for parents or guardian as for students.

Parents are bound to get worried when planning to send their children abroad for studies. There are many questions that keep erupting in their mind, related either to university or college applications abroad or study visas. Most of the times, parents do not know how and where to get those questions answered.

Fortunately, our counsellors help parents find answers to any questions or doubts that they might have regarding overseas education.

Our counsellors can not only assist students with the general procedure of applying for admissions at universities abroad, but also talk to the parents or guardian and brief the entire process – be it applications criteria, study visas, work opportunities, university rankings or academic benefits. This helps the parents to understand what could possibly go wrong and how certain choices should be made when planning to send their daughter or son abroad.

So the common questions that parents ask [or must ask] when planning to send their children abroad for education are as follows:

Why should I send my children abroad for a degree?

A degree abroad or an international degree for your children will help them look beyond the concrete understanding of domestic education. A degree abroad will give them the much-needed practical exposure. Most universities and colleges abroad work in partnership with several organisations and industries around the world. This means that a majority of curricula are designed keeping industry needs in mind, which help students gain adequate knowledge and skills required to adapt at any workplace.

As a parent, you can always search for the ‘graduate employability’ record of an institute abroad (on their websites), if you are keen about knowing the job options for students after graduation. You can also check for the university rankings and awards to figure out the academic achievements of the institutes.

When is the ideal time to ask my daughter or son to start planning for an education abroad?

When you know you are willing to send your child abroad for his/her studies, why wait? Being a parent, you can start the groundwork 1 year in advance, like looking for suitable colleges that match with your child’s profile or looking for suitable countries that have good post-study work options or options to settle in easily. This will help the child and you plan things ahead of time and avoid unnecessary last-minute rush.

How can I make things easier for my son or daughter who wants to study abroad?

As a parent or guardian, you can help your son or daughter by doing some groundwork about overseas education.

You can talk to your daughter or son to understand what exactly they want to do in life, though it may take time to figure out. If the child is clear with what he/she wants to do and where to go in life, good for them! However, if they are doubtful about their choices, find out what interests them most.

You can always speak to us and ask us any questions on overseas education. We can evaluate the profile of the student and suggest best courses and institutes in different countries. 

How do we send the applications to institutions abroad?

Once you fill out all the forms and gather all necessary documents, you can send out the applications either online or offline. At Hotcourses, our counsellors take the responsibility of counselling students and sending over the applications to universities abroad, and following up with the admissions team till they send a confirmation.

What are the deadlines to apply at institutions abroad?

Application deadlines will be specified by the provider. So you need to comply with that!

How many universities should be shortlisted? 

You can help your daughter or son choose maximum five institutions abroad.

What are the basic academic requirements to apply at institutes abroad?

The basic academic or eligibility requirements would include: language requirements (be it English or preliminary knowledge of any other language) for which you need to take up exams like the IELTS or TOEFL or PTE, course- or subject-specific requirements and any other standardised tests scores (GMAT or GRE).

What are the documents that we need?

Here is a complete list of documents that you need to get ready when applying to institutes abroad. There are primarily four document categories that you must have:

  1. Application – SOP/LOR, I20, academic documents, work experience (if any) and resume or CV.
  2. Supporting – passport photograph, photo ID, residence proof and income proof (if needed).
  3. Travel – age proof, passport, health insurance and vaccination records and international student ID card.
  4. Financial – university fees, living expenses, sponsorship proof, visa fee receipts and bank account statements (if availed for an education loan).

How long should my children stay abroad?

Your daughter or son needs to stay abroad as long as the study programme lasts. If the programme that your daughter or son wants to study lasts for 2 years, then he/she needs to stay for 2 or more years because the time required to complete a thesis or internship or any other projects should also be factored in.

And if your children want to settle in the country, then you should probably let them decide where and how long they would like to settle in.

How do I support the tuition and living costs abroad? Or how do I know the exact cost of studying abroad?

You can speak to us! Or you can visit the university website where your child has applied, to know about the education cost. Still better you can contact the admissions team of the University through us.

We can help you calculate the average tuition and living cost and also suggest study destinations that fit into your budget.

What is the best way to remain in touch with my children?

Since we are living in an increasingly fast-paced world filled with digital innovations, parents have plenty of ways to communicate with their children abroad.

We have grown in numbers from saying Wassup! to using WhatsApp! Your daughter or son will possibly know about more number of apps and tools that will help them getting in touch with you, in no time, at an affordable cost.

What if my children feel homesick and stressed in a different country?

If you feel that your children feel homesick or stressed, then you can always have a word with them and understand why they feel stressed. The first thing that you should do , as a parent, in such cases is ‘never panic’.

Most students on their departure are given Emergency Information Card that lists all the names of important personnel that students might need to contact during an unforeseen situation.

In case, your daughter or son is wary or suspicious of something or someone, ask them to contact someone from the list who you think can be helpful.

Or if the child feels pressurised with course credits, ask him/her to speak to someone from the faculty or talk to his/her friends to get a better understanding about what could be done in such circumstances.

Whenever your daughter or son feels that nothing seems to be working, the key thing to remember is, ‘they should not leave everything and return in the next flight!’

Do I need to get any insurance for my children?

Yes, you will definitely need to have a global student health cover because most institutes abroad demand that students should be covered under medical benefits, to deal with certain unforeseen circumstances or medical emergency.

Where can my daughter or son exchange money?

Once your daughter or son reaches their study destination, they can exchange money at the following places:

  1. Currency exchange offices at major airports.
  2. Banks and ATMs.
  3. Stores and restaurants

Do my children need to know any second language to study overseas?

No. Unless your child is keen about languages and wants to learn additional languages out of curiosity, there is no point in coercing him/her to learn an additional language or second language.

However, countries like Germany have courses that are taught partially in English (for the first two semesters) and partially in German. In such cases, it’s imperative that the child needs to have a preliminary understanding of the German language.

Is the academic environment abroad really good?

Most universities and colleges abroad have an all-inclusive conducive environment. The student population at institutes abroad comprises people from all walks of life.

Since the institutes abroad are filled with multi-cultural people, your children will imbibe an academic environment that goes beyond classrooms and libraries.

We see a lot of incidents of rampant shooting and killing… so will the university where my child takes admissions follow adequate safety protocols?

Most universities and colleges abroad follow safety protocols on campus. They have their dedicated security personnel or team who overlooks these tasks. It’s the duty of each institute to authorise safety measures for students and staff. Any institute that doesn’t comply with the minimum safety measures are always scrutinised.

When sending your children abroad, a parent or a guardian doesn’t need to be guarded all the time. It’s also the responsibility of your daughter or son to take care of themselves so that they become responsible adults in the long run. For example, students need to be extremely careful with their valuables since minor incidents like pickpocketing happens everywhere in the world, even in broad daylight. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Conclusion

There are families who strongly believe that international education is must for children to learn about the world and about themselves. However, there are families who have had their generations studying in foreign countries.

An HSBC survey conducted in 16 different countries revealed that 77% of parents would want their children to study abroad. The primary reason why those 77% of parents supported international education is because they think it’s necessary to ‘stand out in the competitive job market in today’s world’.

As per the survey, parents in India (88%) were most likely to consider postgraduate study abroad for their children, followed by Turkey (83%), Malaysia (82%) and China (82%).

Still have more questions? Are you a parent? Is your child studying abroad or planning to? What are your common fears or questions about higher education abroad? You can ask us! 

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