How to Convince Your Parents that Studying Overseas is a Great Idea!

How to Convince Your Parents that Studying Overseas is a Great Idea!

So you have decided that you would like to study overseas! Fantastic! The next challenge is to convince your parents that it is a terrific idea!

For many students, the biggest hurdle to studying overseas is not getting accepted into an international university or even raising the money to finance your studies. The biggest challenge is getting your parents on board with the idea.

The first thing you need to realize is that your parents love and adore you and have spent years protecting and nurturing you. For many parents, the thought of putting their child on a plane and sending him or her off to a foreign country…far away from them… is terrifying!

Before we get into what you can do to convince them that studying overseas will be good for you, let’s start with everything your parents may be thinking when you approach them:

  • This sounds expensive, how much is all of this going to cost?
  • How will I know that my child will be safe?
  • Is my child emotionally prepared and ready to travel to a foreign country?
  • Is my child mature enough to be responsible and safe while in a foreign country?
  • Will the excitement wear off once my child gets there?
  • Will my child want come home after we’ve invested time and money to get them there!
  • What happens if you have a medical emergency?
  • Who will be there to look after you being so far away?
  • Where will you live? Will you be safe?
  • Will the education overseas be transferrable back home?
  • How will studying overseas be good for you?
  • How often will you want to come home to visit and can we afford the cost of travel?
  • How often will we want to visit you and can we afford the cost of travel?
  • Will you want to stay and work in the country after you graduate?
  • What if you meet the love of your life and stay? How often will we see you?

All of these questions may run through your parent’s minds as they process the idea of you studying abroad!  You should be prepared when they start asking them!

So how do you go about convincing your parents that studying overseas is the best option for you exactly? Keep reading… we have some great suggestions to help you:

 Plant the Seed as Soon as Possible

Ideally, the earlier you start discussing your thoughts with your parents about studying abroad the better! This will give your parents plenty of time to get used to the idea.  They will also come to realize that you are passionate and will not change your mind.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

This is the time to show your parents that you are responsible, independent, and most importantly emotionally prepared to study in a foreign country.  If your parents see you as conscientious, mature and confident, they will be more likely to trust you and know that you will be safe.

Preparation is key!

The first step is to prove to your parents that you can take on the challenge of studying overseas. You must begin by showing them that you have thought through your plan and that you are prepared! What better way than have all of the information they will need to make an informed and thorough decision.  Your parents may also not take you seriously if you leave them to do all of the research on their own! Be sure to have all of the information ready for them!

Suggestions for items to research before approaching your parents:

  • Your top choice schools
  • Your top choice academic programs
  • Entry requirements
  • Required documents needed to apply
  • Application fees for all programs
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statements of purpose
  • Cost of tuition
  • Housing options and costs
  • Food plan options
  • Additional living costs
  • University support for international students
  • Will you be automatically enrolled in the universal healthcare system of your host country or will you need to buy your own international health insurance policy.
  • Is your university eligible under the William D. Ford Federal Student Loan program.
  • If so, find out how to apply and the forms you will need.
  • Research scholarships and grants available to you through the university, organizations, etc.
  • Required documentation needed for your student visa.
  • Research the cost of flights from your local airport and other airports near you.

Now that you have all of your information prepared and ready to go, use the following points to start discussing your options with your parents!

 Explain that it may be more economical to study overseas!

Your parents may be unaware that it is actually less expensive to study overseas than in the United States.  You will want to tell them that the US has the most expensive higher education system in the world.  In many countries throughout Europe higher education is actually subsidized by the government and can be free or very low compared to the US, even for international students.  

Depending on where you study, you may be able to pay for your education without taking out any loans.  You may want to show your parents how low tuition is in certain countries, such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria, where foreign students pay around $6,000 a year in tuition and housing overall (this figure does not include living costs such as food, utilities, travel money, etc.)

Show them you can apply for Financial Aid at participating universities!

Depending on the institution, you may also be able to use financial aid at participating universities around the world.  Use our article to find universities that are eligible for Federal Student Loans.

Explain that Study Abroad Scholarships and Grants are available to help offset the costs!

There are thousands of scholarships and grants available to students interested in studying overseas.  In fact, many of these scholarships go unawarded every year due to students failing to apply for them.  Take a look at our list of full scholarships that pay for both tuition and housing.  You can also find numerous scholarship portals on the internet.  We also recommend checking with the university to see if they offer scholarships and grants to students.

Explain that higher education overseas rivals the United States.

If your parents are concerned that an overseas degree may not be transferrable back home, you can show them the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Help them understand that many global universities located all over the world rival the quality of a college education in the United States.  For example, in the 2018 World University Rankings, Britain’s Oxford University and Cambridge University are ranked as the #1 and #2 best universities in the world, above many Ivy League universities in the states.

Explain that an international degree will be transferable back home!

Depending on what you are planning to study, you should have no problem finding a job with your international degree.  However, if you will be studying medicine, law, education or any other type of licensed profession, you may have to take some additional courses or exams before you can start working. 

Prepare a budget to show that you will be responsible with your money!

Your parents may be concerned as to how you will budget your money while overseas.  Show them how you will manage your money. Explain to them, if the option is available in your host country, there may be jobs available for students.  However, if you plan to finance your adventure a big part of the journey will be managing your money for the entirety of your educational experience.  Your parents will want to know how you will manage this responsibility.

Tell them it will be good for your career!

If you are worried that your parents may not see the benefit of you going abroad to study, you can tell them that numerous studies have proven that international experience gained through studying abroad makes you more marketable to employers.  In fact, having a study abroad experience on your resume will set you apart from other job applicants and very well may increase your job prospects.  You can also tell them that as the world becomes more globalized employers will be looking for students who can stand out from other job applicants. International experience is a great way to stand out!

Explain that you are interested in an experience that only an international degree can provide!

Studying in a different country will expose you to a new way of thinking and learning, different class structures and teaching styles. You will also spend less time in school as Bachelor’s degrees in Europe are generally only three years long. International degrees are also more focused and specialized, so if you know what you want to study this may appeal to you. Help your parents understand how an international degree fits into your overall plan.  The more they understand your goals, they more more likely they are to support you in this endeavor.

Show them how affordable international travel can be with a little preparation!

If your parents are concerned about the cost of travel, show them how to find affordable flights online. Teach them the tips and tricks to finding cheap airfare.  Explain to them that there are a lot of  ways to travel internationally while staying on a budget.  Mention low cost air carriers that make traveling to Europe more affordable nowadays, like Norwegian Airlines, WOW and Iceland Air.

Show them how you will be able to stay in regular contact with them!

For many students, scheduling one day a week to connect with family and friends back home is a great way of managing homesickness! It’s also a way for your parents to see that you are settling in and enjoying yourself.  If your parents are concerned about the costs of calling regularly, show them how technology has changed everything!  Download Skype onto their phone or home PC and show them how you can regularly chat without breaking the bank!

Now we are not promising that the suggestions provided above will convince your parents right away to let you study overseas! They may need some time to think over everything and do their own research. However, you now have all of the information prepared and ready to start having some mature discussions with your parents.  You have also shown them that you are passionate and committed to your decision!

Comments are closed.