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.
What needs to happen now?
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.
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.
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. Opening an account in your study destination will make your day-to-day banking much easier. Students studying in Canada or the US may even be able to open a bank account online before moving.
See if you're eligible to open an overseas HSBC account online
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.
HSBC Holdings plc has prepared this article based on publicly available information at the time of preparation from sources it believes to be reliable but it has not independently verified such information. HSBC Holdings plc and the HSBC Group (together, "HSBC") are not responsible for any loss, damage, liabilities or other consequences of any kind that you may incur or suffer as a result of, arising from or relating to your use of or reliance on this article. The contents of this article are subject to change without notice. HSBC gives no guarantee, representation or warranty as to the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of this article.
This article is not investment advice or a recommendation nor is it intended to sell investments or services or solicit purchases or subscriptions. This article should not be used as the basis for any decision on taxation, estate, trusts or legacy planning. You should not use or rely on this article in making any investment decision. HSBC is not responsible for such use or reliance by you. Any market information shown refers to the past and should not be seen as an indication of future market performance. You should always consider seeking professional advice when thinking about undertaking any form of prime residential or commercial property purchase, sale or rental. You should consult your professional advisor in your jurisdiction if you have any questions regarding the contents of this article.