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Mentor Advice

Question

I am afraid that my parents will not allow me to study and travel for such a long period of time. Any advice on how to convince my parents that study abroad is a worthwhile experience?

5 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Rae Rae
     
    Rae Rae
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    Don’t assume your parents will disapprove before you even try asking them. When I try to convince...
    Don’t assume your parents will disapprove before you even try asking them. When I try to convince my parents of anything, it’s important to outline all the points clearly and anticipate any objections they might have. Tell them that studying abroad will help you learn a new language, become more cultured, and give you an edge over the competition that will help you at school and further down your career path. If they are still set against you going away for so long, consider going for a summer trip only. The first time I left the country, I stayed with a host family for almost 2 months in France. This was not long as an entire year or semester but still gave me the opportunity to improve my French and learn about another culture. If financial issues are of concern, get a job and start saving early, even before you ask them. This will show that you have initiative and are serious about the endeavor.
  • mentor picture Yating Haller
     
    Yating Haller
    Assistant Director
    Global Engineering Program, Purdue University
    Before jumping to the conclusion that your parents would not allow it, at least try to bring up...
    Before jumping to the conclusion that your parents would not allow it, at least try to bring up the subject casually. Many parents are not against the idea of study abroad, but rather they are intimidated by it as you may be the first in the family attending college. So students actually play a big role in educating parents of the reason why they want to study abroad and what it is all about. Be prepared to answer questions that your family may have about it in a positive way. Discuss the details and ensure your parents that study abroad is beneficial for your future.
  • mentor picture Kimberly
     
    Kimberly
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    First, I would get as much information about the study abroad program from advisors and those who...
    First, I would get as much information about the study abroad program from advisors and those who did the program before you approach your parents. Once you do this, write down all the reasons why you want to study abroad, whether it is to travel, meet new people, or experience a different way of life. Tell them the benefits of studying abroad on your personal growth and career. Also, after speaking with your financial aid advisor, tell them the means of paying for studying abroad. Lay out the plan to them. In the end, let your parents know how studying abroad will make you a better person that how the skills you gain there will help you over your lifetime.
  • mentor picture Ashley
     
    Ashley
    Junior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    Parents have good reason to be skeptical about their children living in a foreign country for a...
    Parents have good reason to be skeptical about their children living in a foreign country for a long period of time. Their child will be far away, out of reach, and in a completely new culture and surroundings. Although these reasons are of concern, they also help the student to grow and become a more independent individual. It teaches students to adapt to new environments as they learn to work with new types of people at a level one can only receive when living in another country. When returning home, students will have a new outlook on life and realize how vast the world is. When I returned home, I was thankful that I went abroad because I viewed the world differently and it triggered an urge to continuously travel and learn more.
  • mentor picture Shannon Wilson
     
    Shannon Wilson
    Sales Representative
    Polymer Science, Inc.
    Show your parents of pictures of other minority students that have studied abroad, preferably,...
    Show your parents of pictures of other minority students that have studied abroad, preferably, students that your parents might know. Another helpful tip is to connect your parents with parents of returned study abroad students. This can be your greatest resource. In addition, information on financial aid and scholarships may help convince your parents to let you go. Ask your study abroad advisor for a cost comparison between a semester in the U.S. and a semester abroad. Sometimes, it is cheaper to study in another country than it is to study in the U.S. Keep in mind, however, that if your parents are not budging, take matters into your own hands. Study abroad is a once in a lifetime experience. If you want it, go for it!
 
 
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