Dear mum and dad… here’s why you should fund my language study trip
So you’ve found a great language school in your dream location, checked out flights and accommodation, looked at the activities on offer and reviews from former students. Everything is good to go, until you do the maths. Spending time abroad costs money and you don’t have enough!
You run through various possibilities in your mind. Selling prized possessions on eBay? Let’s call that plan B. Giving up earthly pleasures, working like a dog and living like a monk? Plan C. Funding from “the bank of mum and dad” however…
There are some excellent reasons for parents to help you out with a language study trip. After all, the emphasis is on education and that’s partly what your parents are there for, isn’t it?
Here are some solid arguments that may win your parents around:
“This isn’t spending, it is investing”
Studying a language in immersion abroad is the fastest way to achieve fluency. We are living in a multilingual world and speaking more than one language is a huge advantage, whether in your education, work or social life. You will make much, much faster progress studying in immersion than you would studying a language at home.
The ability to speak another language makes you more employable, more interesting and more flexible. We’ve written about some of the other soft skills you will gain here.
Make it clear that you are happy to help out around the house! (And then actually do it.)
“It’s not a holiday”
While studying abroad has certain “holiday” elements, such as adventure, exploring new environments and meeting new people, education remains at the heart of the experience. If you need to convince parents of this (and perhaps help yourself focus) you can commit to taking an official language exam at the end of the trip. This is a rare chance to combine fun with something solid for your CV.
Some countries offer the chance to find a job when you are on-site. This has the three major benefits: you will use your language skills every day, you will earn some cash and you will gain some international work experience.
“Now is the right time”
Sooner or later you will need to study a language and there is no time like the present. When you have a combination of enthusiasm and free time, it is much easier than later in life, when commitments start piling up.
There are things you can do without in the future but language skills are not among them. And, although it can be hard to imagine, your parents were young once and, with their life experience, they would surely agree that the time to explore the world is when you have the energy.
“I will still be in touch”
Years ago, the only contact parents could expect during an extended stay abroad would be the occasional cryptic post card or brief phone call. Nowadays, tools like Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook mean there is no reason to lose contact, just because you are in another country.
There is nothing preventing your parents from coming to visit; choose a destination that they would like to visit and they have the perfect reason to book that holiday they have always wanted, with the benefit of an expert local guide.
If they visit you, your relationship can continue on a more adult level; it’s hard to comprehend before you have had the experience of living abroad, but you grow up quickly when you have to.
Your parents worry about you, it’s just what they do. Booking a study abroad trip through a reputable agency like ESL – Language Study Abroad means that you are protected.
Language schools are supportive communities. You be surrounded by students from all over the world, either living abroad for the first time or with some prior experience. The schools themselves are there to help you settle in and have an international experience.
The experience is a much gentler one than arriving in a different country and staying at a youth hostel full of strangers. When you meet people at a language school, many of them will be staying for a number of months – this is a chance to form real relationships with people who you would never meet in your everyday life at home.
Your parents might be reluctant to cut the umbilical cord, but a language study trip offers a great way to do it.
Already out there in the world of work? Find out how to pitch a language study trip to your boss later in the year.Images: Cash Register by Steve Snodgrass via CC, Flirty Phonecall by Nimble Photography via CC