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Preparing to study abroad

Studying abroad is a big bucks business. With no government or societal pressure to keep a lid on tuition and other fees payable by foreign students, institutional managements abroad have a few qualms about decreeing inflation-adjusted fees for overseas students who are increasingly being regarded as cash cows. Therefore it is vitally important for students opting to study abroad to make the most of their investment in superior offshore education.

“As a rule upper middle class children who constitute the majority of Indian students going abroad for study tend to be over-protected and mollycoddled in their home environment. Therefore it is important for them to be conditioned to live abroad where college students are regarded as adults and expected to be independent and fully responsible for their own lives,” says Dr. Monica Chib an alumna of the Armed Forces Medical College (Pune) and currently the senior psychiatrist of the Apollo Hospital, Delhi.

Among her conditioning recommendations to parents:

1. Encourage your child to become independent before he/she leaves home so that she learns to handle money and responsibility

2. Ensure she learns to rough things out – travelling by public transport, learning to choose cheap meals, sew buttons, clean bathrooms, use the washing machine, wash dishes, etc

3. Teach her some easy-to-cook meals and recipes

4. Keep in close touch with your child during the first few months; ensure she has enough money or a phone card for calling home without having to worry about the expense

5. Set up an e-mail link to ease the pain of separation

6. Arrange for friends and/or relations in the host country to keep an eye on your ward

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