For aspiring study abroad students, defining your WHY and deciding what type of program most interests you seem like the most significant hurdles. However, I can tell you from my experience advising hundreds of students worldwide that determining the key players in your journey and getting buy-in from them on your plans is often the MOST overlooked obstacle.
Who are Study Abroad Key Players?
Your study abroad/semester away key players are going to be those closest to you, who have an impact on your direction. As a student, there is typically a network, small or large, of people who you depend on for feedback, advice, and even financial support.
From your parents to other close family members, and school advisors, these are all individuals who will play a key role in your study abroad journey.
What Role Will My Key Players Play?
This is dependent on what your specific needs will be for your study abroad program of course. Since every journey to overseas studies is different, there is no single roadmap, but I will just say in my experience, here are a few key players that should not be overlooked:
Parents/Guardians – This is a no-brainer. Unless you are completely financially and otherwise independent as a student, you are going to need to have the conversation with them (download the FREEBIE below to help guide that chat!). While many parents are super supportive of the idea of studying abroad, others can be resistant for a variety of reasons. Regardless, they need to be included in the conversation.
Academic Advisor(s) – When you plan to embark on the pathway to overseas studies, your academic advisor is (hopefully) going to be a big cheerleader for you.
Before you even start filling out your application, have a deeper conversation with a trusted academic advisor or even an instructor on-campus who is a close mentor, to talk through your plans for study abroad.
This is not so much to “get approval”, but also to have a sounding board for understanding how studying abroad fits into the bigger picture of what you want to do with your life down the road. It also goes without saying that for students who have more resistant parents, this can be a nice counterbalance.
While an academic advisor should always be honest and forthcoming, they are usually very student-driven and work at your school because they want to help.
Learn How to Talk To Your Parents About Study Abroad
As you think through, who are the potential ‘Key Players’ on your road to studying abroad? Is there anyone who you think will have MAJOR concerns about your plans? Who would you tell about your plans first? LEAVE A COMMENT!
Until next time,
Known as The Study Abroad Specialist, Kimber Grayson is a serial-study abroader turned International Education coach and expert. Since 2014, she has helped 100+ students navigate their semester away journey from the coastal areas of Spain to China and every place in between. In 2018, she launched The LiveStudyLearn™ Abroad Association, a one-of-a-kind online membership platform for study abroad students worldwide.
She holds two Master's degrees from two well-respected London-based universities and has experience working in the US, UK & and Italy.
In her spare time (what's that again?), she enjoys leisure travel city breaks, any snow-based activity, skeet shooting, and attempting to learn new languages.