When your child is preparing to study abroad, there’s a lot to do. And if you’re like most parents in this situation, you’ve got the worrying part covered.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about that. But you should know that it’s not going to help your child prepare to study in the US and abroad.
Gather All Documents in Advance
You should have a list of the documents you’ll need to get your child approved and on his or her way to studying abroad. But if you don’t have the list yet, you can bet you’ll need a certified copy of a birth certificate for your child in order to get a passport.
Create a Communication Plan
When your child is overseas, phone calls are going to be quite expensive. So, it’s a good idea to come up with a plan for communication that doesn’t involve international minutes. What’s App is an popular app for international video calling, but there are others as well. It may be a good idea to have more than one in case one app isn’t working well.
Additionally, agree on a time that works well for you both. Because of the time difference, communication may be challenging to begin with. But if you know what times work for both time zones, you can avoid those middle-of-the-night phone calls.
Get Your Child a Physical
Your child should be up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations before leaving the country, and there’s a chance he or she may need extra vaccinations depending on where the study program resides. You can ask your doctor while you’re there, but it’s also a good idea to get a thorough physical to ensure your child has a clean bill of health. If nothing else, it’s one less thing for you to worry about while they’re there.
Also, be sure he or she is well-stocked on any medications that will be necessary while they’re there. This includes any regular prescriptions your child may take.
It’s a great idea to look into insurance at this point too. At the very least, explore what happens if your child gets sick or injured abroad. It’s always best to have a contingency plan.
Learn About the Host Country
If you don’t know much about local customs, now is the best time for you and your child to learn. If it’s a Western country, you won’t have as much to learn and your child will find it easier to acclimate to the local culture. But there are always things you can learn about how to behave in a specific country that you may not already know. For example, if you’re at a restaurant in the U.S., waving a waiter or waitress down for the check is commonplace. In France, it’s considered incredibly rude. It’s subtle nuances like this that can impact your child’s experience.
And the differences only get greater when your child is visiting a country with vastly different cultures and customs. Not only will your kid have a better experience abroad by studying in advance, but you’ll have more peace of mind knowing that they know how to behave.