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The basics
Study abroad : Student Finances

How to talk to your parents about finances

Talking to your parents about finance can be difficult, especially when it comes to a big decision like going to university abroad. Find out how to make this conversation as easy as possible.

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Money and finance are often taboo topics and talking to your parents about them is no exception. Regardless of where an individual or family sits on the financial spectrum, it is often a deeply personal topic for them, making it difficult to discuss. 


For this reason, many students delay talking to their parents about the cost of studying abroad. The finances surrounding university can be confusing, with slightly more to consider if you are want to study abroad


Speaking to your parents isn’t something to delay until the last minute. It's best to tell your parents that you want to study abroad as soon as possible. That way you'll all have a better understanding of what it's likely to cost and whether it will be possible to study abroad.  


While there may be nothing specific that you can do to make this discussion easy, having the relevant and most important information is essential.  


Being prepared 


When you start looking into studying at university, you may not have a complete understanding of all the costs. This is probably the case for your parents too, especially if you’re their first child planning to go to university.  


By considering the questions they may ask and having the information to hand, you could make the situation much clearer for them straight away.  

This can include getting the overall figures together and what the costs cover, such as tuition and accommodation.  


Depending on a combination of your home situation and your study plans, the financial commitment can differ. You may be financing most of your studies with student loans or a scholarship, and only need a little financial support from your parents. Or you could require a much higher contribution to make your university dream possible. This should be clear, so make sure to explore all the funding options.  


If you have more information, it means they will have more information and can make a truly informed decision with you. 


Having several options 


You may have a subject, university or location in mind. Maybe you don’t want to deviate at all from this potential path. However, it can be a good idea to have one or two more options that you would be happy with. 


Perhaps you can find a similar course in a different country with a much cheaper cost of living or have a higher chance of getting a scholarship at another university. Having more than one option gives you and your parents a choice in selecting an option that is the most suitable, both academically and financially.  


Giving your parents time 


As stated above, the topic of finances can be a difficult one. Making a big decision relating to money may not be as straightforward as just one conversation with you. 


Your parents may think it’s a possibility on the surface but later realise that it’s too much of a stretch. Alternatively, they may say no at first but then change their minds once going over the information you’ve given them. It’s important to give them the time and space to think about what you’re asking of them.  


Talking about money with anyone, including your parents, is rarely simple. However, when it comes to a huge financial decision, like choosing to study abroad, having these conversations can be the difference between attending your dream university and ideal course or not. 


Find several universities and courses that might be right for you with our course matcher tool. You may also find our advice on the types of student financial aid, the cost of studying in the UK vs Australia and student medical insurance, helpful.  

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