You have made the exhilarating decision to study abroad – but, filled with adrenaline and plans for the future, you forgot one tiny little detail: your parents.
For many lucky students, their parents are as excited at the prospect of their child studying abroad as they are; however, for many others, this is not the case. Some parents take some nudging in the right direction (toward the country of your choice).
It is only natural your parents may be unsure about the plan – it is a big decision, after all. But where there are worries, there are ways to dispel them.
1. Have a financial plan
Even if you were going to study in your home country, money is always going to be a factor when deciding to go to university. Have a look into feasible ways of funding your studies. Would your parents be able to (and willing to) support you? Do you have your own savings? Could you get a scholarship?
did I just create an entire PowerPoint presentation in order to convince my parents to let me study abroad? u betcha
— rachel 🐱 (@rachel_morris02) October 2, 2017
However, you intend to support yourself, make it clear it is something you have considered and you are serious enough about your education that you are willing to work for it.
2. Show some patriotism
Reassure your parents you don’t want to escape your home country but rather you are seeking X, Y and Z in another country. Explain you love home and intend to come back with a wealth of knowledge and experiences you would just not have been able to gather if you stayed put.
3. Prove yourself at home first
Share examples of when you were allowed to do things independently and how you followed through and succeeded. Your parents might still think of you as their baby boy or girl but remind them you are an adult now and can handle things yourself – or are at least ready to learn!
Even if you are not given much independence at home, think of times when you were able to prove yourself. Maybe you cooked a huge meal for your entire family and didn’t break a sweat, or you took your younger brother to school on the train on your own and picked him up safely afterwards. Even what might seem like a small accomplishment could be the deal-breaker so use all your persuasive skills to show your parents how mature you can be.
4. Understand their concerns…
… and do your best to put them at bay. It is no surprise your parents have some concerns about you being so far away from home. There are numerous things they could be worried about so try to show you care how they are feeling and acknowledge their concerns.
Don’t dismiss their concerns but listen to them and try to address them together… Plus, that is a mature way to handle the situation so hopefully, they will be willing to talk to you as an adult.
If you can avoid talking all about me, me, me and go for a more us, us, us angle, your argument is less likely to come across as a selfish one.
5. Explain to them how important it is to you
Be honest. Explain why you want to go and your enthusiasm is bound to shine through. Show them your plans, detail your ideas and tell them how much it means to you. They are your parents and only want what’s best for you – so all you have to do is show them.
Fingers crossed they will be on board (hopefully, not literally) in no time.