The Iglu Guide | Blog

How to convince your parents about studying in Australia

So, you want to come and study in Australia? Whilst this is undoubtedly an amazing opportunity for any lucky student, the first people you will have to convince are your parents… Not only are they likely to be paying for this privilege, they are facing the prospect of having their much-loved offspring live thousands of miles away, with little idea of what that might look like. It’s definitely a scary time for the grown-ups, and if you’re going to get this idea across the parental line you need to have a game-plan sharpened and ready to go. Here’s what you need to know to get your parents on board, convinced and happy.

Do your research

Your parents’ most pressing concern will most likely be centred around your safety and wellbeing. They will need huge amounts of reassurance that you know what you are talking about when it comes to discussing course options, student accommodation and safety and security. They may also worry that you don’t know enough about the Australian education system – and how that might affect your future. The best way you can reassure them is to do lots of research, and know in your own mind exactly why Australia is the perfect place for you to study. Start by gathering information about universities and courses as well as getting a handle on the accommodation options. Your interest might be centred around the flexible learning opportunities, the student lifestyle, the employment prospects or the independent living skills you will acquire along the way. And of course, the weather is an added bonus! This will all help reassure your parents that you have done the hard work up front, and they will feel like you are taking control of the process in a mature and responsible way. This is a good sign of your independent thought – and signals to your parents you have considered the challenges ahead and are ready to live independently.

Understand the visa process

International students will need a special type of entry visa that allows them to come and study in Australia, and it carries with it certain conditions that have to be met. These include approved course acceptance, English language proficiency, health cover and proof of funds. Check out the Subclass 500 visa requirements well in advance to give confidence to your parents that your application will be made in a realistic time frame. Make sure your chosen course is carried by an eligible institution and meets all the criteria. The visa approval process time can be unpredictable, so it pays to be prepared – and your parents will be incredibly impressed by your organisation skills.

Check your finances

‘How much?’ tends to be the first question that most parents are likely to ask, and it’s far from unfair. Studying overseas is not cheap, and with the cost of living affecting families across the globe it certainly needs some consideration. Make sure you have accounted for tuition fees and living expenses as well as any study aids you may need. Present a budget plan that you can work to, and think about whether you are able to get a job to help contribute to the costs. Check with your university provider whether there are any scholarships available to international students.

Talk about the location benefits

There aren’t many locations around the world that beat Australia as a place to study. Whether you like city living, the beachy experience or the excitement of the bush, Australia has something for everyone. And with endless hours of sunshine on tap, your parents will be green with envy. Think about where suits you best as there are numerous benefits to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane alike. Each city has a world class range of education opportunities, with a blend of diversity, culture and environment that makes all international students feel right at home, wherever they come from.

Know the accommodation options

When you’ve decided on your perfect location, it’s time to think about the accommodation options. At this stage, your parents are likely to get utterly confused, especially as it might be very different to home. Make it easy for them and do all the heavy lifting up front. You can research the pros and cons of each student accommodation and work out which suits you best. Some students prefer shared accommodation options while others prefer to live alone. Some students will want to live on campus, while others prefer the freedom of independent rentals, often much further away. Many international students are drawn to purpose-built student accommodation as it combines the best of all worlds. With a student community on tap, you can choose to live alone or with others. And with just one all-inclusive bill to worry about, you can focus all your energies on getting great grades and making new friends! Well located for campus and with 24/7 security, these types of student accommodation options are very popular with parents living overseas. Whatever you decide, the clock is ticking so make sure you don’t miss out.

Discuss post-grad opportunities

Your parent would be very keen to hear about how studying in Australia can benefit you for the future. Studying in a diverse and multi-cultural environment can broaden perspectives and increase your employability factor. It shows strength, resilience and determination to head off across the world to study, and it can present new and different opportunities to those you would find at home such as internships and work experience. Research the employment rates for graduates, and what you would need to do to stay on in Australia after finishing your degree.

Staying connected

Your parents will be very keen to understand how they will stay in touch with you while you are away. And as much as you think you won’t miss home at all, when it comes to the crunch it’s completely normal to feel a little homesick after such a big change – especially when all your close friends and family are so far away. The good news is, there are heaps of ways to stay in touch, right from the high-end tech of social media and video calls to the old-fashioned postcard and beyond. And it’s definitely worth scheduling in some visits – your parents will be keen to see where and how you live –and what they are spending their money on!

Understand their safety concerns

Parents tend to worry most about keeping their children well out of harm’s way. And that can be hard to do if they are living over the other side of the world. As a student, your job is to be empathetic to that concern and think about ways to negate it. Iglu buildings are all deliberately located close to universities and transport links – which minimises your need to travel very far to uni, or back home again late at night alone. This type of purpose-built student accommodation is popular with the international parents’ cohort as it has 24/7 security, an onsite Resident Leader available at all times, and a large student community already there. Students are well located for all aspects of life, and can choose their level of sociability when at home. Additionally, Australia has a low crime rate and an excellent healthcare system.

Prepare to compromise

As much as you may be utterly convinced of all your decisions, prepare to let your parents have the last word and be sure to listen carefully to their concerns. You may want one type of student accommodation, and they may have their eye on another. Involve them in your search and discuss all the different options available. That way you can tailor the search appropriately in the early stages, knowing what to look for and what to avoid. Reassure them that you will stay in regular contact, and are very keen for them to visit you and experience the benefits of the Aussie lifestyle.

Put the work in!

Think about anything extra you can do to get this over the line….

  • Keep up your academic grades
  • Offer to contribute financially
  • Immerse yourself in the Australian culture
  • Find out the graduate employment rates
  • Seek guidance from trusted professionals like teachers to support your case

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