Are you about to finish high school and you really want to do a Bachelor’s abroad? Not sure how to get your parents on board with your plans? You don’t need to worry about it, because there are ways to help your parents see things from your perspective and to agree to your undergraduate studies abroad.
Here are a few tips of how to help them agree with you, as well as a few study options to consider when researching your Bachelor’s degree options.
1. Get solid info about international Bachelors and start dropping subtle hints
Parents know that teenage years are more about exploration than being reasonable, so they might not take you seriously if you tell them you want to go abroad out of the blue. To show them you mean business, you should seriously prepare in advance. Research programmes, costs, admission requirements, country and university options. If you don’t know where to start, here are some very popular country destinations for international students:
- Study in Canada
- Study in the U.S.
- Study in Germany
- Study in Australia
- Study in Denmark
- Study in the Netherlands
Once you have decided on a programme or country, take a language course, start reading books and watching movies related to that country. This will get your parent curious because it will show them that you are genuinely interested in that country’s culture and you are willing to put in the effort.
2. Present the option of studying abroad the right way
Once you decided to openly tell your parents you want to study abroad, you should do your best to present this decision as a result of thoughtful consideration. If you really want to impress your parents, why not consider making a slide show presenting the school, the country and the programme where you plan to do your Bachelor’s?
Make sure you explain that studying abroad is a great opportunity to grow and discover new cultures, which will have a truly positive impact on your personal and professional development.
Alternatively, you can try writing them an essay-like letter in which you argue for your choice so well that your parents will already be looking for plane tickets. If you’re not sure what discipline to pick here is a list of subjects leading to popular careers after graduation:
- Bachelors in Engineering in the U.S.
- Bachelors in Business Administration in Germany
- Bachelors in Hospitality in the Netherlands
- Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering in Canada
- Bachelors in Social Sciences in Australia
3. Focus on personal development
Your personal growth is a reason your parents will have a hard time dismissing. Tell them about how much an international experience will help you become a more responsible adult and how much you can learn from a new culture. Think of phrases like ‘expanding my horizons’, ‘becoming a global citizen’, ‘cultural awareness’ and ‘learning to be independent’.
Of course, you should find all these words inspiring yourself. If you don’t believe in them, maybe studying abroad is not for you and your parents will sense this as well.
4. Stress the academic advantages of studying abroad
One key aspect to cover should be the quality of the academic programmes abroad. Point out to your parents that universities abroad offer something better than those in your country and will help you have better academic results. Often, this argument is more convincing if you pick universities that are ranked in global education rankings like Times Higher Education Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. Some examples of top universities you can consider mentioning are:
- The University of Edinburgh, in the UK
- Uppsala University, in Sweden
- Utrecht University, in Netherlands
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in Germany
- Aalborg University, in Denmark
5. Mention great professional prospects if you study abroad
Your parents will most likely need to help you financially while you are studying abroad, so you have to present their help as an investment in your future. Mention that international graduates have better job prospects because their studies give them a competitive advantage. Furthermore, knowing two languages very well (you will do your Bachelor’s in English or in the language of the country) will lead to a higher salary. What does this mean to your parents? That an international degree will help you get off their heads faster.
6. Make a financial plan for covering your tuition and living costs
Doing your studies abroad will mean some extra costs even if you get a scholarship or find free-tuition universities. If you manage to get a scholarship that will definitely get your stock up in front of your parents. But this is not enough. To show them you have a broader vision and you don’t want to be a free rider, consider taking a part-time job to start saving money before your Bachelor’s. If you say you already have a draft budget for your studies, you’ll definitely sweep your parents over their feet.
7. Put your parents’ safety concerns to rest
A key counter argument your parents are likely to point out is that they don’t know how safe x country or city is or whether you will be able to take care of yourself. So, show them you know emergency numbers, insurance details as well as how the international university ensures student safety. Additionally, you can try and research safety info from different countries.
Read about safety in Germany, for example.
8. Get them involved and promise to stay in touch
Even if parents always say they want you to become more responsible they also fear that your independence might make them irrelevant. That’s why you have to aim to their hearts. After presenting all the info and the arguments of studying abroad, let them know that you value their opinion and that they can help you make the final decision. Also, talk about the many ways through which you can stay in contact with them: social networks, messaging apps, visiting often or letting them visit you.
There’s nothing you can’t achieve if you set your mind to it!
You can use these pointers or come up with other creative ways to get your parents to say yes to doing your studies abroad. Whatever means you try, remember to keep a positive mindset and give your parents credit. With the right arguments at the right time, they will understand this is your moment to leave the nest, study abroad, and build an exciting career.