5 Tips to Help Your Son or Daughter Have a Better Study Abroad Experience
For students, studying abroad is an opportunity to become immersed in a new culture, gain independence and make life long friends. It is an experience that is highly recommended with new initiatives such as Generation Study Abroad, whose goal is to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. Some universities are even making studying abroad a graduation requirement. On the other hand, for parents, it can be unnerving thinking about sending your child to a foreign country.
Study Abroad Apartments helps students find apartments based on location, size, number of bedrooms, price and amenities. This makes it easy to find housing that meets your unique needs. They offer thousands of listings in ten major European cities, Tel Aviv and New York City. Study Abroad Apartments recognizes the importance of students having a safe, clean and comfortable place that they can call home when they are abroad. Check out their website and browse through all of the amazing options they have for your child looking to study abroad.
Cell Phone Plans:
There are a couple of different options for international calling plans. The most important step is to make sure that your carrier unlocks your child’s phone before they leave home so they are able to use a different carrier’s SIM card. Instead of paying your home carrier for an international plan we suggest buying the SIM card once your child arrives in their study abroad city. Cell phone companies will sell pay as you go SIM cards with texting, calling, and data. Calling is typically only within your country so we suggest using the platforms Skype, Whatsapp, or FaceTime audio.
Unfortunately, this is not uncommon in many European cities. The first tip we can suggest for our students is to try not to stand out as an American study abroad student. That will automatically make you an easy target. Pick pocketers will often come up to students in groups to try and distract them by asking for directions or asking if they want a deal they’re offering. Make sure your child brings a bag with a zip closure and never carries their belongings in their back pocket. If you have an old phone or even iPod touch at home it would be smart to send it with your child for a backup in case something happens to their phone.
Most programs will provide health insurance so that your child will be covered once they are out of the country. They will be able to direct your child to the appropriate doctor if they happen to need one. If your child takes medicine regularly, make sure that they leave home with enough doses to last their whole program. It can sometimes take a while to get this cleared with insurance; so don’t leave this until the last minute.
When packing for abroad you must always remember: less is more. It can be hard for your child not to pack every item in their closet but their apartment’s closet will not be the same size as their closet at home. They will be picking up souvenirs along the way so it is smart to leave extra room in their bags on the way there. Typically students will pack in 2 large suitcases or duffels and then a smaller bag that can be used for weekend trips. We suggest packing clothes that they can layer because the climate will vary in the different cities they are traveling to. Even if they are studying in a warner destination, keep in mind that some cities they travel to will be much colder. While you can get most toiletries once you arrive, if your child has certain products or brands that they need, be aware that they will probably not be available abroad.
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Parents play a big role in the study abroad process and we hope these tips help you to feel more prepared so you can help guide your child.