Giving your kids the opportunity to study abroad is one of the best investments you can make for their future. But as we all know, college admissions are getting increasingly competitive these days. Getting acquainted with studying abroad early on in high school will be a unique experience that prepares your child for what lies ahead.
Like the idea, but still have some doubts? In this article, we’ve put together a list of the advantages of getting your child to study abroad in high school and the things to watch out for if this is something you’re considering. We hope it will be informative and help guide you in your decision-making process. We wish your little student a bright and successful future.
The Benefits of Getting Your Child to Study Abroad in High School
They Learn to be Independent
Children who study high school abroad learn how to make decisions for themselves and find their own way in life. In the process of trying to adapt to a new culture they are not accustomed to, they will face daily challenges they have to overcome on their own, which builds their problem-solving skills.
It Gives Them a Chance to Meet People From Different Backgrounds
Children who grow up surrounded by a social circle of the same cultural upbringing as theirs can end up having a limited worldview. Attending high school abroad will give your child the opportunity to meet people from various backgrounds who look at the world from different perspectives. They will be able to develop friendships with people who have lifestyles and beliefs different from their own and have conversations with them, which will contribute to their personal growth. Not to mention the added benefit of having a friend to call on in various places abroad should your child want to live there in the future.
It Builds Their Confidence
It’s a big adjustment for a child in high school to build a new life for themselves in another country. Dealing with the day-to-day intricacies of being in a country where people don’t speak your native language, meeting new people, keeping up with classes and adapting to a new way of life can be a struggle. But overcoming those obstacles will cultivate a sense of self-assurance and instill a ‘can do’ mentality in your child which they will use for the rest of their lives when faced with challenges.
It Allows Them to Discover Their Passions
Nothing helps a person discover who they truly are like leaving the country they were born and raised in. Making their own decisions and exploring their options in a different and unfamiliar environment can open your child up to new horizons. They might try their hand at artistic or athletic disciplines not available in their country, uncover passions they didn’t know they had, and develop hobbies that give them a sense of meaning in life.
It Teaches Them Initiative
Children who learn to adapt to a change as big as this at a young age are bolder when it comes to taking risks later in life. They tend to be more enterprising and are more inclined to take on leadership roles in comparison with their peers. They are not afraid to step out of their comfort zones and don’t shy away from exploring undiscovered places and experiences.
It Sets Them Apart in College Applications
We’re sure you knew this already, but we wanted to go over it just in case. Studying high school abroad will definitely put your child ahead in the college admissions process, especially if they will be applying to international schools. It will be an invaluable part of their personal background that shows schools that they are fast learners and possess the ability to overcome challenges and adapt to new environments.
They Will Make Wonderful Memories
Who amongst us doesn’t remember high school? I’m sure we all have some crazy and hilarious memories of when we were young adults trying to find ourselves while navigating our way through school! Now imagine your child having those memories set in a whole other country, surrounded by people from all different backgrounds. There is no doubt that this is a unique opportunity for your child to make memories that they will be able to share as anecdotes around dinner tables for a lifetime.
They Will Get to Experience a New Culture
There’s no telling what life will bring. Sometimes we can find ourselves settled down in our home country, bound by responsibilities that make it difficult to move elsewhere. This might be the only opportunity for your child to experience what it’s like to live in another country and explore new cultures before the responsibilities that come later in life anchor them to one place. Even if that ends up not being the case, this will still be an invaluable experience that they learn and grow from. They will have taken their first step into becoming world citizens.
Things to Be Mindful of If You’re Considering Getting Your Child to Study Abroad in High School
Getting your child to study abroad in high school is not a decision you can make at the last minute. It takes time to think things over and start preparing. We can assure you, however, that the arduous process ahead will be worth it in the end. Let’s take a look at the main points to consider to ensure that your child’s high school experience abroad goes smoothly and is as worthwhile as possible.
Set Your Goals
First and foremost, you should determine what you hope to achieve by getting your child to study abroad in high school. There’s no doubt that this is an experience that will benefit your child in many ways but specifying what you wish to get out of this opportunity will help you in your decision-making process.
Start from the beginning. Why do you want your child to study in high school abroad? What kind of skills do you hope they will learn? Is there a specific area your child is particularly gifted at, or wants to develop in? What are your plans for after high school? What options are you considering for college?
Once you’ve asked yourself those questions, you can start to think about practical aspects. How many years do you intend for your child to study abroad? What is your budget like? How far away would you be willing to send your child? What kind of living arrangement would you be okay with? After determining the answers to these questions, you can start doing research as part of your decision-making process.
Do Your Research
You have a budget in mind, you’ve decided which special skills and talents your child wants to develop in school, and you even have an overall idea of what they might pursue later on. Now it’s time to decide where you will apply.
First, it’s important to realize that you have a variety of options when it comes to programs. Having your child study high school abroad doesn’t necessarily mean they have to spend the entire four years there. There are short-term programs that offer two-week, or one-semester stays, summer school options, as well as one-year exchange programs. You might consider a short-term, project-based program. You could even send your child to a language immersion program so they can really absorb a foreign language and become fluent speakers.
Once you decide on a program, you can weigh your options in terms of schools and locations. It’s important not to only research the school, but the area it’s situated in. Make sure you know the details down to the smallest one: weather and living conditions, major cities in close proximity, places to visit, and even grocery stores. Those details will shape your child’s day-to-day life abroad, which is why they’re an important part of the decision-making process.
Start Planning Your Budget Early On
Getting your child to study abroad might be more expensive than having them stay in their hometown. But it will all be well worth it in terms of the experiences they will gain, memories they will make, and benefits it will have for their future.
Do your research when it comes to the scholarship opportunities offered by countries, foundations, and schools. If you have time, start saving. Remember, you will not only be covering school expenses, but also your child’s living expenses.
Plan Ahead for the Application Process
The application process might vary depending on the school and program you choose. Some schools might prioritize the grade point average of the student or have a minimum grade requirement for certain classes, while others look at special skills (playing an athletic sport professionally, having an artistic talent or playing an instrument, for instance) or language-speaking abilities. It’s important to plan ahead for these types of prerequisites. If the school has a language speaking requirement, you will need to schedule language lessons.
Are you planning on sending your child to an English-speaking school? If the answer is yes, the sooner your child starts learning and improving their English, the better. With Cambly Kids, children of all English-speaking competency levels from age 4 to 15 can learn English in a fun and practical way. If you want to invest in your child’s future, now is the time. With Cambly Kids, your child can have one-on-one online lessons with teachers who are native English speakers at a time of your choosing. They can learn grammar step-by-step, improve their English writing skills and vocabulary, and start speaking English with more confidence. Not only can the lessons be customized to cater to your child’s learning needs and interests, but they can also be arranged to suit your schedule and budget!
Look into it now to invest in your child’s future!