You & Your Child

Is Study Abroad Right For Your Child?

After-school clubs can offer your child a chance to get involved and gain new skills.
March 2018

With mounting pressures and expectations, the high school years can feel overwhelming — for students and parents alike. Teens grapple with questions like: Which colleges should I apply to? What should I choose as a major? What do I really want to do with my life? What if I don’t have a clue? As a parent you naturally want to steer them in the right direction, but you also know it’s a tricky balance. So how can you help?

Encourage them to explore different interests, with no strings attached. Research extracurricular programs at your school, in your community, even overseas so they can see the breadth of what’s out there. Look for innovative programs that allow them to dig even deeper in real-world settings.

Most high schools offer a range of extracurricular opportunities to get involved in, from sports and theater to robotics and debate. After-school language clubs provide a chance to practice conversational skills and bonding with other language enthusiasts inspires many to want to travel to experience different cultures first-hand.

Studying abroad can transform the way a teen looks at fields of study — and life. More and more high school students are making the leap overseas for summer programs. Perhaps the ultimate opportunity for personal growth, studying abroad also expands communication skills and helps students understand different cultures and ways of living.

Surf the web for resources and get on mailing lists for brochures. CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange), a nonprofit that operates high school study abroad programs, is a good place to start.

Planning ahead is key. Involve a teacher or counselor in the discussion early on to ensure a smooth transition to and from the study abroad experience. That also gives you more time to plan finances and research scholarships. Do your research sooner rather than later and be sure to check the application deadlines so you don’t miss out— (BPT).


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