Why Your High School Graduate Should Study Abroad & What To Expect

The high school graduate who lives rent-free in your home is finally ready for college.

Besides having ultimate freedom and the occasional worry of your precious baby aside, there is another problem that needs solving first:

How do you make sure that your child gets the best of their higher education after graduating high school?

If you ask me, the answer is simple: study abroad!

Before you berate me for suggesting something so risky due to the pandemic, hear me out!

Man focusing to listen. Image source: Pexels

Your High School Graduate Will Benefit From The Global Challenges

I’ll be completely honest – there will be risks when your child moves overseas to further their studies, especially amidst a pandemic.

However, apart from the challenges and uncertainties, your teen will be experiencing firsthand how another country handles a global health crisis. This is an eye-opener to a child who has never been exposed to the lifestyles of their peers from other countries.

High school graduate with friends in nature. Image source: Pexels

For example, they could meet and get to know the struggles of Covid-19 survivors in their host country. Besides, they can join groups and societies in their university to help others get through the pandemic!

They Will Learn To Survive In A Competitive Work Environment

What’s worse than a pandemic? Watching your child struggle to get a job despite having a string of A’s.

The job market is getting more competitive each year. To make things worse, employers can have baffling expectations at times – multilingual and international work experience from a fresh graduate? Come on!

But no worries – graduates who had studied abroad tend to have a higher rate of employment. In fact, a study from the University of California, Merced showed that 97% of students with a study abroad experience secured a job within 12 months of graduation, while only 49% of local graduates were hired in the same period.

Students who had studied abroad tend to complete their internships overseas and pick up a new language. This gives them a head-start on their language skills and work experience they need to kickstart a global career.

Also, 80% of students with an overseas experience adapt better in different work environments. Speak of killing two birds with a stone!

Increased Maturity & Growth In Personality

When one shows up to an interview confident, they are already halfway there to getting the job.

A high school graduate may be unprepared when they step into a different country alone, but give them a few years and they will return wiser, better-equipped, and mature. Exploring their late teens and early adulthood independently in an international setting also exposes them to effective and cross-cultural communication. These experiences will shape them to be confident and mature individuals capable of taking on any challenge. They will eventually contribute to a better quality of work and life!

For more reasons as to why you should let your child study abroad amidst the pandemic, check out this article: Why It’s Best For Your Child To Study Abroad Amidst Covid-19

And now, to my next point..

What To Expect When Sending Your High School Graduate Abroad 

1) Your Child’s Safety Is A Concern, And Rightfully So

There are many reasons to be concerned with your child’s safety. In an era of terrorist attacks, the word ‘terrorism’ easily sends shudders down anyone’s spine. I can only imagine how it’s like for parents sending their children abroad! Your child will also be exposed to many other factors that may jeopardize their safety, such as fraud, assaults of any kind, alcohol, and drugs.

There are a few steps to ensure the safety of your child and to give yourself a peace of mind when they’re abroad:

  • Choose a country with a lower crime rate.
  • Research about the host country with your child. Not only does it help you both understand the local customs and laws better, but it can be a great bonding moment too!
  • Make a university checklist with your child and make sure that the short-listed schools are well-known for their safety measures and protocols.
  • Talk to your child about responsible drinking and the dangers of drugs.
  • Educate your child about the use of their debit and credit cards to avoid theft and fraud.

2) Estimate Your Expenses Wisely – It’s At Least A 3-Year Investment!

Every parent wants the best for their child, and that includes sending them abroad if that’s what they want.

However, you should be aware that studying abroad can easily cost two to three times more than the fees of a local university. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable programs abroad that will suit your child’s education goals and your budget.

Sending a high school graduate abroad requires more expenses. Image source: Pexels

Universities abroad tend to offer scholarships to international students. If research seems tedious, you can always seek help from a counsellor such as Eduloco. Virtual consultations are available and the counsellors will look for universities and countries that best fit your budget.

Keep in mind that the cost of living and accommodation is also a heavy weight to carry. A good way to manage these expenses is by encouraging your child to take up a part-time job to earn some pocket money for themselves. They will understand the value of money and learn to be self-sufficient at a young age!

3) Keeping In Touch Is Vital For A Healthy Family Relationship

Gen Z can be individualistic and more independent than you think.

While you worry about how they adapt to their new environments out of concern, they could find it frustrating to have someone constantly checking on them.

So, how to keep in touch with your child without suffocating them? Technology!

Your child, a Gen Z, is a digital native. Instead of texting them every now and then, try utilizing mobile applications that align with what they are comfortable with. For example, you and your child can set a time and date every month to have a video call using Skype, Whatsapp, or even Facebook! This way, your child won’t feel pressured to reply to your constant texts when they’re occupied with activities. They will even look forward to a fun video call to give an update about their life overseas.

As independent as they may be, your child will still long for home. A video call every once in a while will surely be a good homesick-reliever!

You may think that your child, a mere high school graduate, is not ready for an overseas adventure alone. But trust me, this experience will be a life-changer for them that can shape them to be mature, confident, and independent individuals.

So, are you ready for your child’s next big adventure?

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Jocelyn Cheng

Jocelyn Cheng

Jocelyn Cheng (JC) is an INFP writer seeking to spread inspiration and spark connections through her words. Her dedication to writing has gifted her with an ability to write for multiple platforms (e.g., website, social media, newspaper, magazine, etc) in different fields, namely Education, Travel, and Lifestyle. JC personalizes her works by adding a touch of her own experience into the mix whenever she can to relate to her readers. A self-proclaimed poet and currently a freelance writer, she's working on an untitled poetry book at home while juggling between writing for Eduloco, dancing, and keeping her only plant alive.

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