One of the main impediments to a semester or degree abroad is often the people who love us most: our parents. Many parents cannot bear the prospect of a child moving overseas, whether for a short period or for several years, and may worry about expenses, safety, healthcare, and the many factors that they can no longer control when their child is living on the other side of the world.
Your parents want what is best for you, and college is often the first time that they let you go into the real world. Your parents may not understand the importance of study abroad because it was uncommon when they were your age, but the number of American undergraduates who study abroad has quadrupled over the last 25 years and is likely to continue growing. Studying in another country is a life-changing experience, and at John Cabot University we have seen time and time again how an international experience allows students to grow into independent, mature professionals who thrive in the real world.
When discussing your interest in studying abroad with your parents, we recommend that you reassure them on the following topics:
Studying abroad doesn’t need to result in years of debt, and earning a degree abroad can even be more affordable than studying in the United States. John Cabot University is an American university overseas, meaning that you can still apply for federal financial aid to pay your tuition. Over 90% of American degree-seeking students at John Cabot University receive additional institutional aid, including merit and financial need-based scholarships. There are countless of external scholarships dedicated to students who study abroad, and the number of private scholarships continues to grow every year. There are numerous ways to make studying abroad affordable: learn more in our recent blog post.
It is understandable that parents worry about safety when their child is far away, in a country with which they are not familiar. However, even the most “safe” American college campuses unfortunately are subjected to campus violence, alcohol abuse, date rape, and other local crimes. While studying overseas, students gain street-smarts and a worldly view that allows them to navigate any challenging or unfamiliar situation. Rome in particular is considered quite safe in comparison to large American cities, with much lower rates of violent crime and a different alcohol culture with which American students become accustomed. Learn more about safety at John Cabot University.
While healthcare in a different country may seem daunting, John Cabot University’s Office for Health and Wellbeing makes it easy. Our bilingual doctor sees students on-campus for free twice each week, and students have 24/7 access to an on-call doctor and the country’s most respected hospitals and medical institutions. JCU also offers students an excellent health insurance plan that covers a wide spectrum of medical issues, and even pays for your parents to fly to Italy should any serious medical issues take place.
In previous generations, a high school or college degree was all that was needed to find a job. Nowadays the job market is increasingly competitive, and students are finding that a college degree is not enough. Even students who graduate with honors, participate in clubs and organizations, and hold numerous internships are facing challenges with finding a job following graduation. Studies show that students who study overseas are more likely to go to graduate school, embark upon high-paying careers, and find employment more quickly than students who remain in their home countries, and employers are increasingly interested in hiring college graduates with international experience for their cross-cultural communication skills, creativity, and flexibility.
With the advent of Skype, FaceTime, and other communication technologies, parents will find that communication with a child who is living overseas is just as easy as communicating with a child who is living away at college in the US. While being located abroad, JCU provides an American atmosphere and intimate campus community that helps students deal with homesickness. Plus, a child living abroad is a great excuse for a European vacation!
Living in another country allows young adults to become savvy travelers and independent thinkers who can thrive in any environment. Studying abroad prepares students for the real world while equipping them with confidence and a more vast perspective of the world. If you are considering studying abroad and are trying to convince your parents of the benefits, our US-based admissions staff would be happy to meet with you and your parents at an upcoming event and discuss the benefits of studying in Italy.