Mature Students & Students with Families

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

Summary

For mature students and/or students with families, participating in a study abroad program can offer great opportunities and unique challenges. You may be a parent, have responsibilities to other family members or have a full-time job, and fitting classes in when you have time. However, with some additional research and consideration, participating in education abroad is possible. There are a variety of programs to research and choose from.  After deciding which program works best for you, there will be some additional planning to ensure that your unique needs are met.

Here are some considerations and additional resources to assist you in your education abroad journey!

Information was resourced and adapted from: Ryerson University- Go Abroad page, GoAbroad.com website, and Transitions Abroad page. 

Questions to Consider When Preparing to Study Abroad

  • What length of program would work best for me?
    Short-term global learning programs may work better for students with multiple commitments. There are many short-term programs available at VIU (Field Schools) throughout the year, ranging from 2 – 6 weeks .However, don’t automatically discount longer, semester based programs. Advanced planning and commitment to identify options that work for your unique situation are possible and essential to feasibility.
  • What type of living situation are you comfortable in? It’s important to know what works for you.
  • What would be the costs associated with going abroad?
  • Does your work allow you to take time off, as either vacation, sabbatical or unpaid leave? Will you be able to go back to work when you return?
  • Is there an expat community or cultural centre that you can connect with? Is there a mature student support office or community to connect with?

Resources

Questions to Consider When Preparing to Study Abroad

  • What length of program would work best for me?
  • What length of program would work best for me?
    Short-term global learning programs may work better for students with multiple commitments. There are many short-term programs available at VIU (Field Schools) throughout the year, ranging from 2 – 6 weeks .However, don’t automatically discount longer, semester based programs. Advanced planning and commitment to identify options that work for your unique situation are possible and essential to feasibility.
  • What type of living situation are you comfortable in? It’s important to know what works for you.
  • What would be the costs associated with going abroad?
  • Can I bring my child abroad with me? What additional costs do I need to account for this?
  • Am I going to be traveling abroad with a spouse or partner that will be able to care for our child while I am in class? If not, what childcare options are available at my host university/study abroad destination or in my host city that will work for my budget?
  • What childcare or schools are available and accessible to me?
  • Will my study abroad program provide housing options to accommodate my family? Are there off campus housing options that are accessible to me?
  • What are the immigration rules surrounding bringing my family with me to study, work or do research abroad? Would they require separate visas? Would their visas allow them to enroll in school or to work? If they are on a tourist visa, would they need to leave the country and re-enter with a new visa while I am studying? How much will additional visas cost?
  • What are the local and cultural norms around raising a family? How will your unique family structure be perceived in your destination of choice?
  • What are the local and cultural norms around parenting and childcare? (e.g. daycare services, how to deal with misbehavior, notions of discipline).
  • Is there an expat community or cultural centre that you and/or your family can connect with? Is there a mature student support office or community to connect with?

Resources

     What length of program would work best for me?

     What length of program would work best for me?
Short-term global learning programs may work better for students with multiple commitments. There are many short-term programs available at VIU (Field Schools) throughout the year, ranging from 2 – 6 weeks .However, don’t automatically discount longer, semester based programs. Advanced planning and commitment to identify options that work for your unique situation are possible and essential to feasibility.

     What type of living situation are you comfortable in? It’s important to know what works for you.

     What would be the costs associated with going abroad?

     Can I bring my child abroad with me? What additional costs do I need to account for this?

     Am I going to be traveling abroad with a spouse or partner that will be able to care for our child while I am in class? If not, what childcare options are available at my host university/study abroad destination or in my host city that will work for my budget?

     What childcare or schools are available and accessible to me?

     Will my study abroad program provide housing options to accommodate my family? Are there off campus housing options that are accessible to me?

     What are the immigration rules surrounding bringing my family with me to study, work or do research abroad? Would they require separate visas? Would their visas allow them to enroll in school or to work? If they are on a tourist visa, would they need to leave the country and re-enter with a new visa while I am studying? How much will additional visas cost?

     What are the local and cultural norms around raising a family? How will your unique family structure be perceived in your destination of choice?

     What are the local and cultural norms around parenting and childcare? (e.g. daycare services, how to deal with misbehavior, notions of discipline).

     Is there an expat community or cultural centre that you and/or your family can connect with? Is there a mature student support office or community to connect with?