The transition from primary school to secondary school is one that parents take very seriously. Parents play the important role of guiding a child as to what field they should study in preparation for their future.
When making plans for the secondary school a child should attend, many parents are often faced with the big question ‘Should my child study at an international school abroad or remain here?’
Advantages of your child attending an international school abroad
Simply put, an opportunity to study abroad is one with many advantages. Some of these said advantages are :
- It is a great opportunity to learn a foreign language: If your child leaves to study abroad, it means they will be exposed to the speaking language of that country they chose to study in. Most international schools have English as their first language. By using that language daily in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, your child will gradually absorb and become better at conversing in the said language.
- Studying abroad helps create new life experiences for your child. They have the opportunity to learn from different cultures and meet several people from different backgrounds and statuses. This aids in better socialization and creates great friend groups.
- Letting your child study abroad helps them practice living alone. This helps them embrace the concept of being independent and responsible. They grow up to be quality adults who know how to care for themselves.
The cost of sending a child to study abroad may vary according to the institution and other factors. However, a preliminary estimate for tuition fees and maintenance costs is about 100,000 baht (it could be more).
This means that parents need to have a reasonable financial plan that allows their child to study until graduation with peace of mind.
How to maintain a good relationship with your child studying abroad
Although sending a child to study abroad is usually a great choice with numerous benefits, parents must remember that this means less time to spend with their child. More times than not, children who study abroad settle there and hardly come back home to live.
Hence parents must learn to adjust to this new reality of a distant relationship and make the most out of it. Here are a few things to do that help maintain a close relationship with your child studying abroad:
- Try talking with them in English (or the new foreign language they are exposed to). This shows that you are making efforts to connect with them and helps them not feel like they have abandoned you.
- Try doing activities together regularly. Simple things like regular video calls or watching a movie at the same time on streaming platforms help you feel closer to them and help them feel better.
- Make sure to explain to your child why you sent them to study abroad, ensure they understand perfectly, and hold no resentment.
- While it is easy to visit your child regularly if they study here in Thailand, it may not be so if your child studies abroad. Thus, always video call your child abroad to make them feel close to you. Also, if you can afford it, try to visit a few times during their stay in school up until graduation.
As a parent, if your goal is to send your child to study abroad, you need to be prepared. You should have a lengthy and impactful discussion on why you are sending them to study abroad and what is expected of them. Meanwhile, try not to put too much pressure on your child.
Also, you must be financially prepared and make good financial decisions. Lastly, do not let the physical distance create an emotional distance between you and your child. Make sure you call regularly and be there for your child, as studying alone in a foreign country may get overwhelming sometimes.