Talking to Your Parents

Convincing your parents that you should spend a summer, a semester, or a year abroad is not an easy task for some students. You might have to convince them of the value, or explain the cost, or assure them of your safety, or that you can still graduate on time. The following are a few tips to help you convince your parents to study abroad.


Show them you’re determined

What is most likely to turn your parents into allies is your unwavering commitment to your goals. It makes a difference if they've watched you coming to your decision over time. It may be harder to win them over when the idea of study abroad seems to arrive out of thin air.

Be able to enthusiastically and knowledgeably articulate your desire to go abroad to your parents. Convey to them your reasons for wanting to go abroad in a way that shows that you have thoroughly researched the idea.


Convince them

Research the study abroad programs that you like most and learn as much about your country of choice. Talk to your parents about all the benefits of studying abroad; how it can further enhance your learning, increase your future career options, and give you an irreplaceable understanding of the world around you and your place in that world.


Ease their worries

Be responsible and show your parents how grown up and responsible you have become. One of their main concerns will probably be your safety while abroad and if you can convince them that you will be careful and practical, they will feel enormously relieved.

Also, let them know that the majority of study abroad programs offer on-site support, which include airport pick-up, excursions and help orienting to your new environment.


Dispel myths

Many people base perceptions about other countries and its people from media sources, ultimately encouraging myths about social and safety climates abroad. Be informed about where you are going and to gain a realistic context around the risks that may concern you and your parents. 


Show them the money!

Study abroad program costs vary depending on the program and location in which you wish to study. Be sure to do your research and communicate the total projected cost of your desired program and how it compares the total projected cost of a semester here at GVSU. Then, detail your funding sources.


Invite them to contact PIC staff

PIC staff members are happy to speak with and/or meet with parents to answer questions.



Page last modified August 28, 2012