The health and safety of your child is probably one of your biggest concerns. Before you can even think about your child being abroad, you need to make sure that your child is going to be okay.
There are many ways to guarantee personal safety.
Once your child decides where he wants to study, he needs to learn the customs and culture of the country he is going to. This will help ensure that he knows when things are acceptable and unacceptable. All laws of the country that the student is going into must be obeyed.
For instance, if the student is under 21 and going to the United States, drinking may be out of the question. Perhaps an even more pertinent point is researching medications that may be illegal in the country that your student is setting off for and should not take with him. He may end up in serious trouble if he is found with illegal drugs!
Create an 'in case of emergency' plan
Emergencies are just that: emergencies. They aren't welcome, but as long as you make a plan for them and are prepared to deal with them, you should be able to navigate them. It's important that you have a way to contact your child and the contact information of his friends or flatmates if you need to get in touch with him urgently. It's really important that you have all the information necessary to deal with an emergency, including a landline if possible, a number to reach the university on and a main contact at the institution.
Read up on the country your child is going to
Sending your child off to study abroad can be worrying, even when you have a plan and you trust him to ensure his personal safety. To calm your fears, you can read up on the country that your child is going to study in. That way, you'll know what to expect, and you can even help guide your child as he gets ready to leave. You can also talk to parents going through the same process on our forum here.
Make sure your child has health insurance
Ensuring that your child's medical needs are protected is of absolute importance when she goes abroad. It may be that the foreign country has a national health service that provides everyone with medical care or that your child needs to buy health insurance.
The good news? You can take care of this while you also take care of other expenses.
The StuCard, for example, offers many discounts and also offers accident and health insurance for students. While your child can use it to get into world renown museums for cheap, you can rest easy in the knowledge that she would be able to cover her health costs if something happened.
Don't forget to think about the weather
The weather can greatly affect a person's health. If your child is going to somewhere with a different climate, you may have to think about things that you have never thought of before. For instance, if your child has never been around snow, he needs to know the precautions that need to be taken in this weather. Why?
Well, he needs to know that he should take his gloves off if he has been playing in the snow. He needs to know that he should avoid black ice to avoid a fall. These are simple precautions that he may not take simply because he doesn't know about them. That's why it is so important to your child's health to research the weather and what he can do to deal with it.
Scouting out Accommodation
We have already discussed accommodation in this section. One big part of making sure that your child has a good time while he is abroad is that he is safe. To ensure his safety, he should stay in a part of town or the city that is safe. Local universities can usually provide your child with ideas for the right neighbourhood.
If the student is going to fly out and sort accommodation by himself, then it may be a good idea for him to check his desired area out both during the day and during the night. It may be a totally different place - or just what he needed. At the end, everyone will be calmer knowing he did his research before jumping into a lease in a not-so-safe part of town.