We have written articles on the benefits of study abroad programs for students in the past. But how can your student stay safe during unfamiliar countries? Here are some tips for protecting your child, or even yourself, when you study abroad:
Children studying abroad
As parents, having your kids studying abroad can be both exciting and challenging. Exciting because you know your child is going to gain knowledge and new experiences but challenging since he or she will be in a different society “alone”. This should however not worry you especially if your child is responsible enough. However, if this does not serve to convince you that your child will be okay abroad, there are a number of safety tips that you can use to be sure they are safe at all times.
Safety tips for parents
• Research on the country your child will study in and educate yourself about their culture, laws and moral codes. Help your child learn some phrases of their local languages. Read all literature about their study program and confirm any unclear details from the program administrator.
• Learn to let go so that the child can make most decisions for himself or herself. Just provide them with guidance e.g. through giving them resources that will help them make right decisions. Interact with other parents whose children have studied or are studying abroad and know how they handled certain emotions.
• Help the child pack light but consider various important aspects like the weather. In case they have prescription glasses and medications, ensure you get them an extra pair and dose respectively. For the medication, ensure you get your child a doctor’s letter for confirmation at the customs.
• Communication with your child is an important aspect. Come up with a communication plan before their departure. Join social media platforms and blogs in which you can also get in touch with your child and if possible monitor their progress through checking out their posts and photos. Additionally, identify emergency numbers which both of you could use
• In terms of finances, come up with a financial plan for them. Encourage your child to use the ATMs to manage their expenditure and if possible, agree on the days he/she will be withdrawing the cash.
• The child should be made aware that while in abroad, they are responsible for all the social, academic and financial aspects. Encourage him/her to make wise decisions at all times and let them know you trust them.
• Encourage your child to eat freshly cooked foods in busy restaurants as opposed to the unpopular ones. In case one has to have dairy products, he/she should be keen on pasteurization. While abroad, they should be cautious when indulging in alcohol.
• Last and most important is their safety. Students should be “street smarts”, take precautions like back at home, avoid any demonstrations, use official taxis and keep their travel documents (passport) safe. He/she should also keep all socialising away from their living quarters.
These are some of the tips that will help you ensure your child is safe abroad. If they are studying in the UK, it is important to find out if they are eligible to EHIC cards. This medical card will help them get proper medication at any hospital in UK whenever the need arises.
Slayton Jacob lives in Bedford way, UK and is an avid reader and blogger. He is also fond of writing. Since his early years he’s had a passion for writing. His articles have been published in several Blogs. He works as a guest blogger on his chosen areas of interest and currently writes on behalf of EHIC which helps in medical emergencies.
Parents are suppose to send their children abroad only when they feel their children are responsible enough. My daughter have recently shifted to the UK for further studies. I will have to check and see if she has got the EHIC card or not. Thanks for making me aware about that card Slayton.