A recent survey conducted by a local bank in Hong Kong in 2023 revealed that 30% of the respondents planning their children’s overseas study prefer to begin between the fourth and sixth forms in secondary school. Meanwhile, 32% aim to send their teenagers abroad for university study. Furthermore, one-third anticipated their teens completing a post-graduate degree or higher.
As a parent, you may have been considering overseas study for your children. What are the necessary steps and critical factors to consider in bringing this plan into action?
Self-funding for overseas study may come first, but there are some other options to consider. In the UK, UCAS suggests several finance options for international students considering studying in the UK. Some UK universities offer various loan schemes, such as tuition fee loans and maintenance support for talented students from low-income backgrounds. Furthermore, various full and partial scholarships, grants and bursaries are available for international students with merits. The notable ones include the Chevening Scholarship, Commonwealth Scholarships, and GREAT Scholarships. These are competitive and have strict eligibility criteria, with more options available for postgraduate and research students.
Choose a Program
While pursuing a bachelor’s degree is convenient, some UK universities offer accelerated programs that allow students to complete more quickly. In contrast, taught master’s programs in the UK generally take one year on a full-time basis to complete.
It is important to choose a study program that aligns with your teens’ interests and passion to drive them to excel. Whether it is liberal or STEM, the chosen program should inspire and challenge your children. If they are uncertain about their interests, tools like the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) can help them determine their true passions, guiding them towards the most suitable academic programs.
Selecting a University
University rankings offer a perspective into a university’s reputation and performance, yet you should also examine what matters most: career prospects in the country, support for international students, and a robust alumni network. Countries like the UK, the US, Canada and Australia are popular for their welcoming environments and quality education. Some countries in the EU such as France, Germany and Switzerland can also be options, especially for specific disciplines such as MBA in France, science and engineering study in Germany, and hotel management in Switzerland.
Deciding When to Go
When considering sending your teens abroad for their studies, it is important to assess not just the timing but also their adaptability to a foreign study environment, considering their age, and academic and personal development. Summer internships and international student exchanges can offer a taste of global education before making a firm decision. Allowing your children to start a gap year after completing their undergraduate studies at home, or to start their postgraduate studies abroad can offer considerable flexibility in your planning.
Professional Support on Your Journey
You are not in this alone. Professional help from overseas education consultants can be the difference between a good choice and a great one. Our professional consultants at Bearing Academy can offer a multifaceted view and individualized recommendations for your planning.
Sources: eDigestHK, UCAS
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