Parental Support: Getting Them to Say Yes to You Going Abroad
I was lucky in that I did not have to face this challenge (read a guest post my mother wrote regarding my travels at: https://williampennuniversitystudyabroad.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/the-parents-perspective-in-regards-to-studying-abroad-part-1/ and https://williampennuniversitystudyabroad.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/the-parents-perspective-in-regards-to-studying-abroad-part-2/). However, I can relate as some of my other family members were not too keen on me going abroad. One uncle thought I would go to South Africa and either hate it and return home in the middle of the semester or that I would be kidnapped and never return home. (I would like to point out that neither of those happened.)
Even with technology in today’s age, some parents are not comfortable with sending their child abroad. They may be afraid of something bad happening, their child not studying and wasting a semester’s costs to blow money quickly, or (insert your favorite parental concern). True, it is harder to be there for your child when they are abroad. When they face issues with teachers, you are less likely to be able to help. They will be traveling around parts of the world you will probably never see instead of coming home for a holiday. Just as it can be tough on a student’s perspective to study abroad, being a parent also has its implications.
If your parents are the type where they don’t want you to study abroad – but you do! – plan a family meeting so you can sit down and talk things through. Maybe the semester you are planning on going abroad is when a family member’s wedding will be held and you are expected to attend. Perhaps the money is a bit tight in the budget this year but will have more flexibility next school year.
Whatever the parent’s reason to not want you to study abroad – it is important to understand and respect those opinions. You can prepare responses such as a plan on how you will save up money while abroad and how much you will spend at a given time versus simply whine and say “But I wanna go!” (Because that will get you nowhere!)
To get some good ideas on how to get your parents to approve your decision of studying abroad, check out this cool blog post from StudyAbroadBlog.com: http://thestudyabroadblog.com/convince-parents-studying-abroad/#more-4515