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The basics
Study abroad : Career Prospects

How to tell your parents you want to stay abroad

Making the personal decision to stay in your chosen country after graduating can be full of excitement but you may be worried about telling your parents. We look at the best way to approach this potentially sensitive subject.

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Getting your degree is an incredible feeling for both the sense of accomplishment it provides and the doors it can open. Many families who have members studying abroad expect their return shortly after graduation. This can put you in a difficult situation as you feel stuck between staying abroad and disappointing loved ones.


If you’ve graduated abroad, you likely have years of fond memories behind you and could want to stay in the country for a little longer. Whether it’s a postgraduate degree or find a graduate career, staying in the country you studied in is often an option for postgraduates depending on where you studied.


However, while the country itself may be more than happy for you to stay, you may be worried about whether your parents will be. If this is you, and the conversation with your parents is something looming over your head, it can be easy to feel a bit lost when it comes to how to deal with it.


In this case, making this chat with your family successful is a matter of giving them the right information. We've got the top three things you should tell your parents when talking about staying abroad.


1. Tell them how much you love it


This may sound a bit obvious. You probably wouldn’t want to stay if you didn’t like the country. However, it’s the detail that’s important here. Your parents likely love your home country and will wonder why you don’t want to come back. It’s for this reason that telling them just why you love the country you’ve been calling home for the past few years is so important.


Let them know more about the friends you’ve made, the places you love to visit and your plans for the future there. If your parents see that you are somewhat settled and have found a second home in your new country, they may feel more comfortable about you not returning so soon.


Discover the top 10 reasons to study abroad. This may help your conversation with your parents.


2. Tell them about the opportunities


While your personal feelings towards your study abroad destination are very important, you did go to university for a reason. Your parents will want to know what you plan to do going forward in terms of your education and career.


If you’ve decided to continue your education, let them know what you plan to study next and why it will benefit you. Remember the discussion you had about wanting to study abroad. Let them know why extending your study abroad journey is important.


You may not be looking at continuing your education and want to follow a certain career path in your new country. Give your parents examples of what field or role you’re looking to go into and the reasons, if any, this may not be an option in your home country.


Letting your parents know the legal situation surrounding the visas you need and how much longer you can stay may also put their minds at ease a bit.


You may need to have a conversation with your parents about finances too.


3. Tell them you can visit more


This point is more relevant if you a looking to go straight into the world of work and can be a great way to bring this conversation to a positive close. While students are known for having a lot of free time, there is no denying how limiting your yearly schedule can be, especially if you’re an international student.


If you’re moving from student life to work life, you may have both the financial means and time available for more trips back home. Your parents will probably be happy about this, especially if you have only made a few trips back since starting university.


For example, if you have just graduated in the UK and are fortunate enough to land a graduate career there, you will have access to the 33.5 average holiday days the UK offers (including public holidays). That’s almost seven whole weeks off a year, plenty of time for a trip home no matter where that may be.


Graduating is exciting and can be even more so if you decide to stay in the country you studied in. Your parents, understandably, may want you home though and might not take the news that you won’t be returning well.


However, by letting them know why you want to stay and that you may have the ability to see them a little more than you previously have, you can make this conversation much easier for both you and them.


Not sure what to do now you’ve graduated? Take a look at our articles on post-study life.


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