Children moving to study abroad in Australia brings out mixed feelings from parents. You must be excited and proud of your independent kid but also nervous for your baby leaving the nest. I know this from my Mum, because I left home when I was 18. Here are 11 tips from me and my parents on how to maintain a close relationship in the family and practical advice on how to continue supporting your child.
TIP#1 Open a shared bank account
Most banks allow multiple owners to a bank account. It’s incredibly useful when moving to study abroad in Australia. If you need to send money to your child immediately you can just go to the bank, place some money on the account and it’s available instantly. They won’t have to wait 4-5 days for international transfers, especially in case of emergency. You also save a lot of money on transfer fees.
TIP #2 Get a currency card
Currency cards are top-up bank cards that can hold multiple currencies and make your life a hell lot of easier. You can top up just as much as you need in an app on your phone, saving the stress of having to figure out how much money exactly you will need when moving to study abroad in Australia, carrying large amounts of cash or paying foreign transaction fees. I have been using Revolut for the past few years, but there are several different ones. Check out which one is available in your country that suits your needs.
TIP #3 Help them budget
No matter how much monthly allowance you send them, it’s going to be spent in the first 2 weeks. It’s a fact. In our late teens we have no idea how to handle money and we are used to having food in the fridge it’s going to take some time to pace it out.
It’s helpful to send money weekly instead of monthly when they first move to study abroad in Australia. But then again, that last 2 weeks of each month taught a lot to me about budgeting.
TIP #4 Set up a Skype subscription to call landlines and mobile
One of the most important things when a child is moving to study abroad in Australia is how you keep contact. The Skype subscription packages allow you to make unlimited calls to landlines and mobile in a specific country or continent for a small monthly fee. It’s really useful to have to keep in touch with not-so tech savvy relatives. Thanks to this service I stayed close to my grandparents, we chat on the phone every other week.
TIP #5 Use a widget to view multiple time zones on your phone
The time zone widget allows you to see what time it is for up to 2 additional cities. It’s really easy to have the actual time by hand instead of having to make calculations and thinking about summer saving movements. I currently have London for my best friend and Budapest for my family on my screen.
TIP #6 Be available
I have been living abroad for 10 years, I am nearly 30 and I still call my Mommy when I am upset. Sometimes I don’t even want to talk about the problem, but just want to hear her voice. It’s harder to pick up on these things when your child is moving to study abroad in Australia and 95% of your communication is over the phone from a thousand miles away. Make sure that you are present on phone conversations, call them back if you missed their call.
TIP #7 Help them when they visit home
Everyone I know who lives abroad finds going home extremely stressful. We appreciate the love, but trying to fit meeting about a 100 people in a week is exhausting. By the way this is our holiday, this is when we should rest off the exams. You can help by dropping us off here and there. It’s also great idea to organise the family together so we don’t have to catch up all the aunties and cousins separately really helps.
TIP #8 Visit them or meet on a holiday half way
Those who are moving to study abroad in Australia know the pain of being expected to use all our holidays going home. Us kids really appreciate the family coming to visit. We love showing you around; where we live and the time spend together will be much less stressful as well. My parents and 80 year old grandparents came from Hungary to spend 3 weeks in Australia, so no excuses!
It’s also a great idea to go on a holiday together somewhere half way.
TIP #9 Celebrate birthdays and include them in family rituals
When someone lives far from their parents, it’s extremely important to maintain family rituals and make sure that they are still part of them. Over the last 10 years I participated in the yearly family gathering, birthdays and even a Christmas Dinner over Skype.
Make sure that all events and birthdays are celebrated. In my family we usually call each other on the day itself and give gifts the next time we meet in person. Plan how you would like to do your rituals.
TIP #10 Embrace the change
Living in a different country will inevitably shape our views. It may be difficult to understand for parents who brought us up that we have a different perspective. It is important to to be open and embrace the experience of different cultures.
TIP #11 Don’t weep
I know that it’s YOUR BABY, but please don’t cry or hold their hands until border control separates you by force. They love you, they are not going away forever, they are not alone and they will call you. Inter-country families have a different dynamic but if the effort is made from both sides you will be just as close to each other as you were when they lived in your house.
Read more about Studying in Sydney.
LIVING GUIDE FOR SYDNEY |The e-book expats wish existed when they moved
- How to get a visa to Australia?
- Where to live in Sydney?
- What documents do I need for renting?
- How much tax do I pay in Australia?
- How to get around?
- What insurance do I need?
- Where are the best spots for dinner?
- What shops and supermarkets are there?
- How to apply for university?
- How to find schools and nurseries?