How to talk to your parents about going abroad
Traveling abroad is a wonderful way to learn more about the world. It can be especially beneficial while students are young and impressionable as they build their roots with an international boarding school. However, some parents have a hard time picturing their child traveling so far on their own. For students who feel like this is their next step, it can take some time to convince their parents they’re ready. If that’s you, here are some important steps to take when trying to convince your parents to send you abroad.
Do your research
Asking your parents for permission to study away from home is a big deal. It’s not going to be as simple as asking for cash to go to the movies or borrowing the car for the evening. So prepare yourself for the talk. It’s important to do your research. You’ll not only be better prepared for the discussion, but you’ll also demonstrate to your parents how serious you are about this decision and how well-suited you are for it.
Assure your safety
Safety is the first concern your parents might have when they think about sending you somewhere that they won’t be present. This goes hand-in-hand with the research you’ll need to do before talking with your family. Find out what the school’s policies are on safety and security.
Explain the benefits
Studying abroad comes with plenty of benefits, including the chance to learn about new cultures and make lasting friendships. Take time to outline all the ways that studying abroad in high school could give you a head start. Sometimes all a parent needs from their child is the assurance that they understand the significance of what they’re doing. If you make it clear that you understand the benefits, it will help them know that you’re ready for the decision.
Show how responsible you are
A big concern about sending a teenager to study abroad is whether or not they’re responsible enough to handle taking care of themselves. This is a big test of trust for your parents and some might need more convincing than others. They’ll need to know they can trust you to make good decisions and look after yourself.
One of the best ways to do this is to start taking on more responsibilities at home. Is your room normally a mess? Start keeping it clean. Do you often forget about school quizzes or sometimes turn in homework assignments late? How about remembering to feed the dog or taking it for a walk without complaining? These are all the sort of responsibilities that help show your parents where your priorities and your maturity is. If you’re having trouble keeping up with tasks at home, it might be harder for your parents to picture you going abroad.
And own up to what can use improvement
If you don’t feel confident about the level of responsibility you’ve shown at home up to this point, don’t worry! This could actually work in your favor as one of the benefits of living and studying abroad is that many students gain maturity and a sense of self-aware responsibility in the process.
Discuss this with your parents. Own up to all of the areas that you know you need to improve. Open a conversation with your parents about this and how you feel this situation could help you be a stronger version of yourself. Most parents would appreciate this honestly and self-awareness and this could help them be more inclined to accept this educational option for you.
Understand that your parents might need some time to process what you’re asking of them. While it might not be a definite ‘no’, there’s no promise you’ll get an immediate yes either. This isn’t a reason to pout or be concerned, just give it some time. Look at it as an exercise in understanding one of life’s greatest truths – sometimes all you need is time.