Wednesday, September 01, 2021 / 10:00AM /
FBNQuest / Header Image Credit: FirstCry Parenting
Parenting is a full-time job no one prepares you for. First off, you are putting someone's life, cares and burdens over yours consistently for the reward that takes the form of an indescribable love you feel when you look at your child. That desperate desire to give this other human being everything that you never had and more, while always thinking about their best interests and preparing for their future. Such is the path of parenting which often leads you to make the move to prepare them for a study abroad in the first place.
Education is an investment that provides a firm foundation for the future and the better the quality of education, the higher the chances are of securing an enriching or fulfilling future, which is what you are probably looking to afford for your child or ward. Although, affording quality education for your child is easier said than done, especially if you are considering education in a foreign country. But it does get easier with the right plan and preparation ahead of time, so you don't have to worry about the next move to make for their progress. How exactly should you prepare to give your child this quality education abroad? Below are a few helpful tips for every parent preparing their child for education abroad.
1. Create a Checklist
Firstly, you will need to make a list of every requirement for your child's education abroad. From information about the school and region you are considering to requirements for the study and immigration, you would need to take everything into consideration before your child leaves and tick the boxes once each task is completed. This will help you keep track of your progress and serve as a record of your activities, so you would not miss anything important. This list should include timelines, deadlines, cost implications, long and short term steps.
2. Review the Region, School and Course of Study
The next step is to work with your child to determine what their plans and aspirations are and guide them through choosing courses as you prepare them mentally for the journey. Also, work with them to choose schools that offer courses related to their shared plans. Please note that Ivy league schools for example are not in the same financial category as state universities. These are factors that you should consider as a parent or guardian when you are making school choices with your child/ward.
3. Make Emotional and Physical Preparations
Once you decide to send your child abroad to study, you need to prepare them emotionally and physically. Prepare them to be independent, to be able to away from home, to be able to make spur of the moment decisions without consulting you. Also teach them how to be financially independent. They need to know how to budget, plan and spend without you looking over their shoulders. Prepare them emotionally to be goal-oriented and remember where they find themselves, there is a goal and their eyes should always be on the ball.
4. Register for External Examinations
A couple of external examinations are a prerequisite for admissions in most Western countries. These exams differ by country sometimes and by the school too. There is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test Of English as a Foreign Language(ToEFL), Test de connaissance du franÃ§ais (TCF) and Test d'Evaluation (TEF) for Francophone countries, International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) for the United Kingdom, American College Test (ACT) and Scholastic Assessment test (SAT) for the United States of America, Deutsche SprachprÃ¼fung fÃ¼r den Hochschulzugang (DSH) and German as a Foreign Language (TestDaF) for Germany just to mention a few. Ensure your child is prepared for these exams and that their results meet the criteria provided by the alternatives you have both decided on.
5. Get the Required Documentation
There is an extensive list of documents that cannot be obtained overnight.
6. Schedule a Health Check
Schedule doctor visits before your child leaves. Some schools and visa application process make health and medical checks mandatory. Ensure your child is in good health and can take care of themselves or manage a health condition on their own. In cases where the child has pre-existing medical conditions, be sure to inform the school and make accommodation choices based on proximity to clinics and or weather information and convenience. Ensure to also get a health insurance cover that will step in if they need it.
7. Make Funding Arrangements
Securing citizenships, visas, enabling environments via vacations are fantastic and being proactive. However, it would be prudent for you to start planning financially even before the child is born. Proactive planning will help you save money, take away the pressure, prepare you and your child for the future and generate dividends for the present. You can consider the products offered by FBNQuest that support children's education such as the FBN Children Education Trust and the FBN Education Endowment Plan.
Conclusively, Education on its own is an investment and giving your child the best is an investment into the future and this comes with a price. However, preparing and planning with a holistic strategy makes your child's experience whole and hassle-free.