You may be a little apprehensive about studying in a foreign country but your worries don’t compare to what your parents are going through. Take a look at this list of 13 worries all parents of international students have and find out how you can deal with them.
There are lots of other great articles on Student.com such as 39 Reasons Why Studying In Britain Will Ruin Your Life – so be sure to take a look around!
Most parents never stop worrying about their children – even when they live in the same village as them. Sending them off to study in a foreign country means a whole new level of worry.
If your parents fall in to this category – and they almost definitely will – take a look at this list of things all parents of international students worry about and try out the tips to help ease their fears.
1. That you party too much
If you often go out to parties and are Facebook friends with your parents, it’s high time to change your privacy settings. Activate the review feature so incriminating photos from the latest birthday bash or pub crawl won’t unexpectedly pop up on your timeline. Instead, post a picture of yourself engrossed in a book every once in a while and your parents’ worries should disappear…
2. That you neglect your studies
Most parents want you to succeed in your studies, especially if they’ve paid a lot of money to send you abroad. Many worry that you’ll forget about studying amid all the fun stuff that’s happening on campus. Pay them back by doing your best to get good grades and focussing on school despite all the other things you’d sometimes rather be doing.
3. That you eat too much
If your parents worry you’re only wolfing down greasy pizzas and burgers, cook yourself a healthy meal every once in a while and send them an Instagram-worthy picture of it.
4. That you eat too little
Now, if your parents are convinced you’ll starve to death because you’re left to your own culinary devices, why not suggest they regularly send you a parcel filled with your favourite treats from home. You get free food, they get to feel better. Win win.
* Also, never tell them the urban legend about the students who got scurvy, it’ll freak them out.
5. That they won’t hear from you
Even if it’s a bit over the top, your parents are secretly a little worried you’ll forget about them. If you’ve got a good relationship, staying in touch is easy and will come naturally. But even if you’re not best friends with your parents, try to give them a call every now and then to let them know you’re doing okay.
6. That you’ll stay abroad
Maybe your parents worry you’ll enjoy your new life and surroundings so much you won’t ever return to your home country. If that’s the case, tell them about the upsides of you living abroad. It’s a great excuse for them to travel and they have their very own personal guide at their disposal.
7. That you’ll run out of money
At university, you’re probably in charge of managing your own money for the first time in your life, and it’s only natural for parents to freak out a little about how you’re going to handle it. Before you leave for university, sit down with them and draw up a budget together. It’ll give them some sense of control and they’ll be less worried that you’ll blow through all your savings.
8. That you’ll have trouble settling in
Sending your child off to a foreign country is a scary thought, and your parents will worry about how you’re adjusting. It’s completely normal to feel a little overwhelmed in a new place and maybe even a little homesick.
When you start to get to know people, introduce them to your parents over video call or even hand your phone over to your friends in the middle of a call home to say ‘hi’ . Your parents will love having a little window into your world and it’ll make them feel really reassured having even a small chat with the people that are a part of it.
9. That you won’t be safe
Parents are always concerned about your safety, even more so when you’re far away from home. While some things are just out of anybody’s control, you can take certain safety measures to make your parents feel better. When going out with your friends at night take care of each other, don’t let anybody walk home alone and never get unlicensed taxis. Letting your parents know you have these rules in place will reassure them.
10. That you’re not clean enough
Now that you’re at university, your parents can’t make you tidy your room anymore and may think you live in a flat resembling a pigsty. There’s nothing they can do if that is indeed the case, but you can be nice and try to ease their worries: talk to them on a video call and strategically place the computer facing the tidiest corner of the house.
11. That you’re running with the wrong crowd
For the first time in your life, your parents have absolutely no idea who your friends are and may start worrying you’re hanging out with people that have a bad influence on you. Let your parents be part of your new life and tell them in detail about the people you’ve met. Once they get a clearer picture of your new social circle, they won’t worry as much. Introducing them as mentioned above is also a great way of putting your parents’ minds at ease.
12. That you’ll drop out
Scoring a place to study abroad probably involved a lot of time and planning for both you and your parents. Now that you’ve achieved your goal, worrying whether everything will go ahead as planned is normal. It’s not uncommon for students to throw in the towel when university doesn’t live up to their expectations. So, if you do feel unhappy and contemplate dropping out, talk to your parents and try to find a solution together.
13. And lastly, that you’re not dressing warmly enough
Most of us have probably been scolded by our mothers at some point in our lives for not dressing warmly enough. And even though you’re now at university, she’ll still be worrying whether you put on enough layers when going out. But what can you do? Unfortunately there really is no way to help with this worry.
You could try moving to a warmer country and hiding all photographic evidence of you in non-weather-appropriate clothing. But it won’t help. The question will still be asked… ‘Are you dressing warmly enough dear?’.