Thousands of international students go through their university experience safely every year. However, it is always good to keep some safety basics in mind as well as considering the many different ways in which your child can stay healthy and enjoy the study abroad adventure to the fullest.
There are some things that your child can consider before leaving to the study destination that will make their life easier upon arrival. Try to get to know some basic cultural norms so you can make sure your child will always come across as polite and won’t have to deal with any misunderstandings related to cultural differences. If you are lucky to know someone who has lived in that country try and ask, and if not, Facebook groups or online blogs can be very useful.
Arriving in a new country can be a bit daunting but a good way of becoming more confident is by exploring and getting to know their new home. Students should try to to explore these new places with friends and remember to follow common sense by not walking alone after dark; getting a bus or taxi won’t cost much, and it is completely worth it.
Out and about
Make sure that your child always has some cash or bank cards at hand to pay for their lunch, transport to university and some other daily purchases. Important documents, such as passports, and valuable items should be kept at home. However, it is recommended that your child carries a copy of their passport in case they need it.
Registering with a GP or arrange a health insurance is essential to guarantee that your child will be well looked after in case of an emergency or illness. Read all the information you can beforehand and familiarise yourself with the local Health Care system by visiting the government websites.
If your child ever feels like they need to talk to someone, there is plenty of help available. They should understand that it is completely normal to feel a bit homesick sometimes and they will find that there are lots of students going through the same as they are.
If your child suggests that they are struggling, make sure you give them the right support and encourage them to speak to friends and the university services. Universities abroad have great Student Support services and they are experts in helping students with all sorts of issues such as mental health, financial difficulties, course related concerns and many others. It is also a good idea to encourage your child to join a university society and to make sure they socialise so they don’t isolate themselves.
It is recommended that your child does some research about the gyms in the area and outdoor activities available at their study destination. You can help them by searching online together and finding student deals; some of these places offer student discount, which will allow your child to have access to sports and exercise at a cheaper fare. Staying fit and healthy is the key to excel at university and create a safe network of friends and a healthy social life.
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