You and your child should start to do this as soon as the words "study abroad" are mentioned. Learn about the host country, its local laws and customs, health information, safety tips, and travel advice or travel warnings.
Explore the campus and check out public transportation around the university. Find out where the embassy locations are and have fun familiarising yourselves with the city or local neighbourhoods, including the cafes and corner stores. Your child will feel more at home when it comes time to studying there, and it'll give you peace of mind. Not able to visit the school beforehand? See if your school offers virtual campus tours or information sessions over Zoom.
If your child is still under your health insurance plan, see if they'll still be covered in another country. The school may also offer student medical and travel insurance.
Some universities offer student housing, and this can be a good start for first-year students, especially. Renting is another popular option, or a home stay. Establish your budget and if you can, go and take a look at the accommodation in person.
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Some students choose to live by themselves or in the student dorms. If you'd prefer your child to live with a roommate, start looking for one as soon as you can. Organise a virtual chat. That way, they'll have a chance to get to know each other online before moving in together.
Visas depend on the host country but validity will almost always depend on adhering to local laws and university rules. Some visas allow students to work while they study, or to stay in the country after they finish studying, such as the UK post-study work visa. This visa came into effect in autumn 2020 and allows international students to stay in the UK for up to 2 years.
Talk to your bank about the move and find out what options you have to make it easier. They can help you set up automatic payments, or activate debit or credit cards for your child before departure. You may also be able to do this using online or mobile banking. If your child is leaving to study overseas, you may be able to open an HSBC bank account for them online before the move. This way, you can stay on top of their finances with our Global View Global Transfer service, even from afar.
Learn more about Global View Global Transfer in this video.
This is a good opportunity to teach your child about the importance of managing finances. If their studies allow it, encourage your child to take up a part-time job. They'll earn some pocket money while learning about the value of money.
There are a lot of forums online for students studying abroad, so get connected. The university is probably a good place to connect with other students, too. It's nice when you spot a familiar face.
If you're concerned about your child's safety or other dangers, such as drinking alcohol or staying safe, this is the time to talk. Your child will be going off to school and becoming more independent. Treat them like adults.
We can tell you the best way for you to apply for an overseas account. Simply select your current location and where you would like to open an account. We'll then walk you through the steps.
Moving abroad to study is a big step in your child's life and an opportunity for them to become more independent. There's a lot to think about to ensure they arrive safely in their new host country. With careful planning, it's bound to be a rewarding experience for everyone.
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