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dad helping son pack moving boxes into car boot; image used for HSBC International Services Study abroad article planning the move

Planning the move

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.

If you're planning your child's move for their study abroad experience, then congratulations! This is the start of an exciting journey for both you and your child. What needs to happen now?

Start to research

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.

Make a trip together

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.

Buy insurance

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.

Secure accommodation

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.

Look for a roommate early

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. That way, they'll have a chance to get to know each other online before moving in together.

Apply for visas

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 will come into effect in autumn 2020 and allows international students to stay in the UK for up to 2 years.

Notify your bank

Let your bank and credit card company know of your move and set up automatic payments for expenses. Some cards need to be activated before you leave the country; other services can be done online or through mobile banking apps.

Give your child more responsibilities

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.

Get connected with other families

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.

Have a heart-to-heart

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. You child will be going off to school and becoming more independent. Treat them like adults.

Ready to open an overseas account?

Getting visas, accommodation and insurance are all part of preparing for your child's study abroad. One of the most important tasks, however, will be organising your international bank account ahead of time. We'll get this process started for you with a call back from a customer service member.

Still have a question? Chat with one of our advisers.