Parents’ dilemma when children go abroad for higher studies

Raman Pruthi

When Ashish got admission for MBA in Imperial College London, he was jumping with joy. So did his parents. But, after a while, many questions started haunting them and they started bombarding Ashish with their queries. He had a tough time convincing his parents and clearing their apprehensions.

This is a very common scene in majority of the Indian families with an ambitious child wanting to study for higher studies abroad. Getting an admission in a reputed foreign university is a moment of pride for both students and parents. But after the initial excitement and joy, parents start worrying, and they have plenty of reasons to do so.

While the major concerns of the students revolve around selecting the best university for higher studies and getting into their dream institute, parents worry about many other things.

 “When my daughter said that she got admission in a foreign university, my first question was about the finances. Then she told me that she would be able to manage the finances to a great extend as the university was providing a few good scholarships.”

Sushma Dhar

The first question that comes to the mind of the parents is “How will my child finance his education abroad?”

For many Indians, studying abroad means shelling out a huge amount of money. It’s true that studying in a foreign country will cost you a bomb as there is a difference in the value of currency. This difference changes according to the country one chooses. The student will have to consider various factors such as flight tickets, college fees, accommodation expenses and maintenance expenses. However, managing the finances while studying abroad is not as tough as one thinks to be.                 

Safety of the children going to study abroad is another major concern of the parents. After the series of attacks on Indian students in Australia in 2009 and a few random stories on the mishaps happening to Indian students abroad, many parents think twice before sending their children to a foreign country. 

Many parents supervise their children from the very initial stage of researching for good institutes abroad for higher studies. Apart from the basic research conducted by the students on the universities, most of the parents do indepth research on the safety and security of the country their children wish to go. While the parents feel very proud of the fact that their children want to get global exposure and explore various opportunities, they always make sure that the country they prefer is safe.
There are many parents who prefer sending children to the countries where they have relatives or close acquaintances.

 “I was really proud when my son said he wants to pursue his studies abroad. But when he came up with his universities of preference, I had apprehensions about the safety in certain countries. I chose a few countries for him after surfing the net and asking a few friends. I want my son to be safe and at the same time, I don’t want to stop him chasing his dreams just because of my worries about him.”

MK Aggarwal

Surviving in a foreign country is not that easy. Survival means much more than getting adjusted to the culture of a country. It means getting accustomed to the food, climate and the peers in the host country. When the parents send their children away from home, they always worry about their survival in a foreign land. The parents also get tensed about how successful their children would be in leading an independent and self sufficient life in a foreign country.

Even though most of the worries and concerns are genuine, the parents must let go off certain things and give enough chances to the children to take their own decisions. After all, it’s their decision to study abroad and they have the right to take the final call. 

First Published On : 03 Jun 2013 12:00 AM IST
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