The basics
Study abroad : Before you leave

How to convince your parents to let you study abroad

How do you persuade your parents to let you study abroad? Read our guide to convincing them to let you move away to another country, including how to approach the subject, what to say and more.

8329

We see it on Twitter everyday:  ‘I want to study abroad, but my parents won’t let me! #MyLifeSucks’ etc.

 

While you may be super enthusiastic to study abroad, your parents or guardians may not share the same sentiments. However it’s not because they want to dash your dreams or upset you; simply, they care about you and would worry about you being so far away from them for the first time. In some cases, it might be a matter of finances and they won’t be able to support you.

 

If you’re under 18 years old, you’ll need their permission to study abroad as they will have to sign documentation during the application process pertaining to your visa etc. Plus, it’s always nice to know that while your parents support your decisions, they are also comfortable with them too.

 

So to help you, we’re suggesting a few ways to help twist your parents’ arm and persuade them to let you move abroad for your studies:

 

Introduce the idea early on

If you come out with the idea of studying abroad spontaneously one day, it hardly sounds like you have given the idea much thought. Your parents will merely see this as a passing fad or fantasy which you'll forget about in a few days or weeks. Introduce the topic early on, say two or three years before you intend to commence study; this way they’ll have some time to adjust to the idea themselves and it won’t seem so foreign. Do this gradually too. Practically, if your parents will be supporting you financially, they’ll need to consider this when they plan their own finances for the period up to, during and after you study. Remember, it’s not all about you, especially if you have a large family with siblings also hoping to go to university.

 

Be on your best behaviour

Your parents will be less open to the idea of you going abroad if they have any doubts about your maturity and ability to be responsible. If you're staying out beyond your curfew or getting into trouble at school, they won't exactly bend over backwards to send you abroad (especially if they're paying for it). However, if they trust you as a person, they can at least be safe in the knowledge that you have a good head on your shoulders. Demonstrate that you posses these positive qualities and can handle juggling several commitments. This might be through a part-time job, keeping up your school grades, looking after a pet or volunteering for a significant period leading up to your studies. Some parents are concerned that study abroad is just one big party or holiday (which it’s not), so this is one obstacle to overcome.

 

Be informed

Don’t approach your parents and simply say, ‘I want to study abroad!’ Not only does it sound like a demand, but it doesn’t exactly scream of having been given a lot of thought.  Do your research so you can show that you’re serious and can answer any initial queries they bring up. Show them documents which you have printed out/collected or online resources with key sections highlighted/bookmarked (this is a lot better than simply handing over a long document for your parents to work through). Having put the work in yourself, it will be clear that you’re passionate about studying abroad and you’re willing to take on the responsibility of planning this yourself.

 

Emphasise the career benefits

There are many positives to studying abroad, but the impact it can have on your career prospects is one which your parents will respond to particularly. After all, they will want you to do as well as you can in life. Once again, showing that you have considered your future and career plans is a sign of maturity, and if you have a route in mind, even better! Using your career prospects to argue for studying abroad also suggests that this time abroad is more of an investment in your future, rather than a trip purely for pleasure which they may be concerned about.

 

Try these tips; and once your parents have said 'Yes', come back and search for a course.

 

 

Have a look...

Search for a course

Choose a country
Undergraduate
About Author

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.

Must read

10 Study abroad struggles you’ll face (and WILL overcome)

1. First night panic attack You’ve arrived in the country and are slowly unpacking in your new accommodation when it hits you: ‘I’m an actual international student....and I’m so, so far away from home. Why didn’t I just stay at home to study?’     Solution : Go and meet new people! Everyone will be away from their friends and family on the first night, so you’ve already got something in common. You’ll likely be the most

34245

8 Mistakes students make when packing to move abroad

‘Moving overseas for your studies will probably be the biggest event of your life so far. There’s so much to plan for and so much to do. Luckily, I’ve been in the student removals business for a number of years (and I was also once a student in the dim and distant past), so I’ve picked up a few tips on what to do and what not to do when packing your things before shipping off and embarking on a big adventure abroad.   If you’re moving home in pursuit

10970

An introduction to travel insurance: Q&A w/ USI Affinity Insurance

Every year, thousands of college students embark on the adventure of studying abroad. With so many things to keep in mind such as where and what you will study, how much it costs, and how you will get there, a question that is frequently overlooked revolves around student health insurance (also known as study abroad insurance).   If you are a student or scholar planning on traveling outside your home country to pursue your education, health insurance

1126