The Year Abroad: What to tell your parents
Doing a year abroad can be a long and difficult decision - one which is completely worth it. But what do you do if your parents don't want you to go? We've put together this list of potential questions and answers, together with some handy links to our articles, to help you reassure the 'rents.
1. Will you be safe?
Your parents will almost certainly be anxious about you moving abroad on your own and whilst you can't stop them worrying, you can address some of their concerns by taking the following vital steps before you jump on a flight.
- Insurance: Making sure you have insurance is one of the most important parts of preparing for a year abroad. A good insurance policy will cover you for those cancelled flights and accommodation costs in case something goes wrong. Make sure you buy your insurance as early as possible so that you have 'cancellation cover' in place.
- EHIC card: The EHIC card is a year abroad essential. It costs nothing to apply for yet entitles you to free or reduced cost medical care in the European Economic Area. If you do have an accident, the EHIC will stop you having to fork out for medical bills upfront.
- Foreign Travel Advice: It is SO important to read up about the country you'll be living in. By making sure that you're knowledgeable about the culture, laws customs of your new home, you minimise the chance of getting into trouble whilst you're there. On the Gov Travel Advice website, you can read about the likelihood of terrorism and natural disasters in a particular country, as well as getting advice about the legal, healthcare and travel systems. If you want an insider guide to coping with a medical emergency abroad, have a read of some of our articles written by students who've survived tricky situations abroad!
2. Where will you live?
The first question that many parents will ask is 'Where will you live?'. It's easy to worry about not finding anywhere to live and winding up living in a cardboard box outside a Carrefour, but try not to let panic get the better of you! Tips for finding accommodation vary depending on your year abroad location, but we have guides to a whole range of cities around the world to help you find a place to rest your head!
If you're stuck, try asking for help on our Q&A platform, TYA Answers. We will try our hardest to get an answer to your question from a student who has 'been there, done that'.
3. How will you cope financially?
Many students (and therefore their parents) are worried about the expense of doing a year abroad. Parents, especially, worry about the logistics of an overseas bank account and getting money to their children in an emergency. Luckily, there are some great ways of doing so!
- Transferwise - this fantastic business is a year abroader's dream. Using a clever new technique, they've figured out a way of allowing you to transfer money abroad with no bank charges! Perfect for when you get that student loan through.
- Caxton FX - If you can't be bothered with opening a bank account abroad, a Caxton FX card is for you. Top it up from your app (or ask your parents to do it for you!) and spend away!
- The Erasmus grant - yes, it the paperwork is a pain but it's SO worth it when that extra cash arrives in your bank account! For the majority of year abroad students, the Erasmus+ grant is the key to keeping a healthy bank account abroad. Read up and make sure you don't miss out.
- Need extra tips? If you are a low income student, you may be eligible for extra grants and scholarships. Check out our Money section for more advice.
4. What if you're miserable?
The greatest hope for any parent is that their child will be happy. A year abroad represents a big upheaval and with big upheavals sometimes comes emotional chaos. For the majority of year abroaders, the down days are outweighed 10:1 by the great times. If you are feeling a bit miserable, though, some of these articles may help.
- How to prevent homesickness on a year abroad
- It's the best year of your life - until the next one comes along!
- Dealing with the early stage wobbles
- 'Comparison is the thief of joy': Measuring year abroad success
Remember, if you're still feeling wobbly, there's loads of advice on our site and a whole community waiting to help you out if you ask a question.
Our insurance-related articles are in partnership with our friends over at YearAbroadInsurance.com!
For 20% off the booking fee for your accommodation abroad, visit UniPlaces.com and use code THIRDYEARABROAD :)