Last Updated on November 22, 2022 by AIFS Abroad
Students frequently ask us questions like “how do I talk to my family about wanting to study or intern abroad? Do you have any tips for getting my parents on board?” While you are ready to take that leap of faith and leave the comfort of your day-to-day routine, your parents or support network may have some reservations.
Here are some tips for talking to your parents about studying abroad or doing an international internship:
1. When Parents Have Questions, We Have Answers
Explain why you want to study or intern abroad and how the experience will positively impact your academic and career goals. Your parents might not have spent time overseas and thus may have questions about why you want to pursue going abroad in the first place.
It’s important that you allow your family to voice the concerns they have over you leaving the country. This allows you the opportunity to ease their minds and show them all of the benefits the experience will provide. Plus, sometimes your family needs to hear about it more than once to understand how important it is to you! They may develop new questions with each conversation, and that’s okay! Continue to bring the topic up so they know you’re serious about pursuing studying abroad or doing an international internship.
We’re here for your family each and every step of the way. Send an email or call your AIFS Program Consultant whenever a question comes to mind, no matter how trivial it may seem.
2. Highlight What You’ll Gain
Share with your family that spending time abroad means you’ll gain skills like independence, responsibility, accountability, self-confidence, self-awareness, appreciation of differences, tolerance of ambiguity, language acquisition, and more!
In addition, you may even gain time. Depending on which program you pick, you can stay on track for graduation — or even get ahead by earning extra college credits on your program!
3. Show Them You Can Handle This
Do your homework before talking to your parents or support network. Your family is likely to ask for details about your program of interest. Be prepared to answer why you want to study or intern abroad, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Have the details about program costs, scholarships, grants, and other financial aspects of studying abroad prior to talking to them. Research the city and surrounding area, revamp your resume and cover letter, and prepare questions to ask your program consultant. These are all ways to display your enthusiasm and commitment to going abroad, and will show you’re taking the opportunity seriously.
4. Promise to Stay in Touch
Help put their minds at ease by making plans with your family about communicating while you’re abroad. Whether it’s a weekly Zoom, emails, or an international phone call, set clear expectations about staying in touch during your program and navigating any time zone differences. Remember to follow through when you get there!
Bonus: More Resources
Our number one priority is ensuring that you have the best experience possible – safety included. An additional resource that may help you when talking to your parents about your plans to go abroad is the Parents and Family page of our website. Encourage your family to look at it with you or on their own time.
If you or your family have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!