How to help your child during the university search and application process
If your child is planning to head off to a university in another country, it?s natural that you will have a lot of questions. How should they choose where to study, for example? How should they go about the application process? And will there be the support services available to them as an international student?
To alleviate any concerns that you might have, it?s important to be as involved in the application process as possible. Here are some suggestions on how you can support your child as they go through the exciting process of applying to a university overseas.
Support their travel plans. It might seem that a university on the other side of the world is incredibly far away, but if your child has fully researched and knows that the university, course and culture will be beneficial to them they?re likely to have made the correct decision. So as long as they?ve looked into the details, considered all the contributing factors carefully and made an informed choice, the best course of action for you is to be enthusiastic about their plans. Without your support and positivity their experience of application and studying abroad is likely to be far less valuable.
Do your own research. Despite the above, don?t be afraid to look into the proposed country, city, university and course yourself ? two sets of eyes are always better than one, and you might notice details or be able to raise questions that your child wouldn?t consider.
Provide financial assistance, for example looking into the possibly complex legal aid system with them, as well as efficiently providing all the necessary income details that may determine whether or not grants or extra loans are available.
Make sure they fully research their course, and that it is relevant for their skillset and career aspirations. It could be easy for a prospective international student to have their plans momentarily altered when they see the wide variety of opportunities that are available to them, but a university course overseas is likely to be a much bigger commitment than one closer to home. That?s not to say that your child should be put off trying new things whilst they?re abroad (they definitely shouldn?t!) ? just that decisions should be considered carefully and they should be completely sure that the course they?re applying for is right for them.
Be aware of the things that they might put off ? for example visa applications, which might accidentally be left to the last minute amongst the excitement of acceptance letters and researching life in a new country. Although your child might not put administrative or immigration-related tasks at the top of their list (they?re likely to want to confirm a university place as a top priority), you should be aware of these important tasks ? keep them as a high priority, because without them your child?s entire plans could be thrown into disarray!
Make sure they are aware of the support services for international students that are available at their university, for both the application process and when they?re registered as a student. Once your child knows that there will be a clear support network available to them, any nerves that they do have are likely to be eased a little. Knowing that there a dedicated staff on hand at all times is likely to set your mind at ease, too!