Enrolling your child for overseas education is one of the best avenues for him or her to gain independence, knowledge and experience. Being able to learn a new language in a foreign country and being educated in a prestigious system will propel your child to be more qualified and successful in life. Describing this as rewarding is an understatement.
However, sending your child far away from home can be worrisome and more importantly, extremely costly. So, here are some tips on how to overcome challenges your family may face on this journey:
Start planning early
If you are planning or thinking about sending your child abroad for education, it is crucial that you start to research, make decisions and set money aside as soon as possible. School fees and living expenses are the obvious costs you have to prepare for, but there are other expenses such as plane tickets, insurance or emergency funds that will expand the required budget. So having more financial capacity will give you the necessary flexibility and options when you cross that bridge. To achieve this goal, it is important you set up an education fund and contribute to it regularly. With the adequate investment tools, you will be able to grow and compound this sum safely over time.
What should you consider when planning?
Needless to say, your budget determines your options. So understanding the average school fees of different countries can help you narrow your scope accordingly. Additionally, If your child is a passport holder of a certain country, it could mean that there are ways to lower your costs, be it studying in a public school or paying local school fees. However, the procedure for applying for these schemes will be different for every country and could take some long-term planning, so make sure you understand the requirements for these options that could save you a significant amount of money.
As mentioned above, school fees are only part of the total expenses of your child’s overseas experience. From school activities, meals out with friends to buying living necessities, expenses can add up. So striking a balance between affordability and opportunities of the location is also something to consider.
Lastly, you could look into scholarship programmes for your child. This would again take a lot of financial load off your shoulders, so having this conversation with your child to examine the options and letting him or her in on the whole planning process will always be beneficial. However, we believe that one should never put financial pressure on their child, and that getting a scholarship is only a bonus.
Schools and Qualifications
One of the main priorities of overseas education should be the quality of the School and how well they teach the specific subjects that your child studies. So, doing extensive research on potential programmes is a must. We believe this process should involve both you and your child, as it can often be difficult for a child to fully take accountability of something as impactful as their educational future.
Aside from the affordability of the location, there are many other aspects that will affect your child’s overseas experience. After all, your child will not spend all of his or her time on the school’s campus. Think about the things to do, the people, the weather, the environment or the culture of the location… These are all things that can affect your child’s happiness and arguably are as important as the school and qualification.
Last and definitely not least, it is clear that the safety of the location is one of the most important things to consider. You could look into how schools ensure your child’s safety, the local police system, and the country’s stability.
Also, think of ways of dealing with emergency situations when your child is abroad, be it through a guardian or friends & family that you may have abroad, or setting up an emergency fund that your child can access.
If you and your child do come to a consensus on where the potential destination is, it would be a good idea to visit the location and school together to get a better grasp of what the true picture is, if possible. Ensuring the fruition of your child’s full development is a well-worth-it investment, not to mention an amazing opportunity for a family trip.