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  • Writer's pictureiris madeira

parent-student dynamics in study abroad

embarking on the journey of studying abroad is a significant milestone in a student's life. it opens doors to new opportunities, experiences, and personal growth. however, navigating this path can be both exhilarating and daunting for students and their families alike. as the lead counsellor at team madhavi desai, i have witnessed firsthand the importance of striking a delicate balance between parental involvement and student autonomy in the study abroad process.


student with her parents
parent-student dynamics in study abroad


  • the role of parents: parents play a crucial role in their child's study abroad journey. their support, guidance, and involvement can significantly influence the outcome. it's natural for parents to want the best for their children and to be concerned about their well-being, academic success, and future prospects. as such, they often take an active role in researching universities, programs, and destinations, and providing financial and emotional support.

  • encouraging student autonomy: while parental involvement is invaluable, it's equally important to empower students to make their own decisions. studying abroad is not just about academic pursuits but also about personal development and self-discovery. students should have the freedom to explore their interests, passions, and goals independently. it's through this process that they learn to take responsibility for their choices and develop essential life skills such as decision-making, adaptability, and resilience.

  • the counselor's role: as a counselor, my role is to bridge the gap between parents and students, ensuring that both perspectives are heard and respected. i serve as a trusted advisor, offering guidance, support, and expertise throughout the study abroad journey. one of the key responsibilities is to facilitate open communication between parents and students, helping them understand each other's concerns, aspirations, and expectations.

  • balancing perspectives: balancing parental concerns with student autonomy is often a delicate dance. on one hand, parents want assurance that their child is making the right decisions and is well-prepared for the challenges ahead. on the other hand, students crave independence and the opportunity to shape their own future. it's essential to find common ground where both parties feel heard and valued.

  • empowering students: empowering students to express their genuine interests and preferences is paramount. through personalized counseling sessions, i encourage students to reflect on their academic and personal goals, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and explore various study abroad options. by taking an active role in the decision-making process, students gain confidence in their abilities and feel a sense of ownership over their choices.

  • engaging parents: at the same time, it's crucial to involve parents in a constructive and meaningful way. i provide parents with accurate information about study abroad programs, university admissions processes, and financial considerations. i address their concerns with empathy and understanding, offering reassurance and practical solutions. by involving parents as partners in the journey, we create a supportive environment where students can thrive.

in conclusion, the study abroad process is a collaborative effort that requires balancing the perspectives of parents and students. while parental involvement is essential, it's equally important to empower students to take ownership of their decisions. at team madhavi desai, we are committed to facilitating open communication, fostering student autonomy, and supporting families every step of the way. together, we can ensure that every student achieves their academic and personal aspirations through the transformative experience of studying abroad.

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