You’ve made it! Holding an offer letter in a hand trembling with excitement you inform your parents that you have been admitted into a university abroad. Even though your parents are excited for you they might also feel pressured unless they have planned their finances accordingly. Very often this precipitates last minute decisions which either leaves a student heartbroken or the family paying for something that they could not afford. This heartbreak is avoidable with proper financial discussion and planning.
A lot of this can be prevented if families come together before application and develop a viable financial budget for education of all their children. Parents, very often, view the whole domain of international education with jaundiced eyes as it can put a strain on family resources. So my advice to students when they come for counselling is to come with their parents at least a year before they plan to go abroad. Thus even before we apply to universities abroad we collaborate and set a realistic budget that parents can afford. Costs involved are not just related to the tuition fee but also towards the application and the cost of standardized tests. Parents therefore need to know both the cost of applying and the cost of studying in different countries. Considering the costs of studying abroad can vary from Rs 15-40 lakhs a year, it is possible with judicious planning to make international education viable on varying budgets without compromising on quality.
Shivani Manchanda, a post-graduate in Counselling from the USA, is a warm and vibrant counsellor. Her expertise lies in counselling students on career development, stress prevention and international education. She is an enthusiastic speaker with over two decades of experience.