Advice For Parents

with students studying abroad

So your child has decided to study abroad and there is so much to know. Studying abroad poses many questions for students, but quite a few for parents as well. Sending a child abroad to study is a huge family investment, so here are a few tips to get you through this exciting, and sometimes overwhelming, time

What it takes to study in the USA...


All international students are expected to pay tuition and fees promptly at the beginning of each quarter or soon after they have registered for classes. The tuition amount is based on number of credits. The average student takes 12-15 credit hours per quarter. All international students are required to register for at least 12 credit hours per quarter for three consecutive quarters during their study in the United States to be in compliance with the F-1 student SEVIS regulation. Unless scholarships are available, it will cost the family between $150,000 and $400,000, depending on the schools and programs. Despite the cost, more and more parents have sent or are planning to send their children to study abroad because naturally parents want to make sure their children will be safe, successful, and get a good job after they graduate. Learn more about tuition and fees here.


Most people living abroad experience culture shock at first, so expect your child will also. Culture shock has three phases:

  • Initial excitement in the new environment
  • Depression from difficulties in adjusting to a new country
  • Long-term happiness in mastering life abroad

It is important for parents not to overreact in phase 2 of culture shock, but to understand what their children are going through. The best "cure" for phase 2 of culture shock is for students to be active socially, academically and physically, and not withdraw into their rooms or skip classes. Parents should recommend these cures when their children are suffering from culture shock.

Educational System

The transition to a new culture, language and educational system is far from easy for most international students. Children often become homesick as they adjust to a very different society, having to make new friends, learn the language, and figure out how to get even the simplest things done. There are huge differences in the learning styles, grading and study approaches that vary from culture to culture.

This is a time for parents to be understanding, and not expect too much at first. Your child needs to take time to adjust himself/herself in the new living and studying environment. At the same time, all parents should expect their children to work hard, go to class every day, and get help from school advisors and counselors when they need it.

Where are we located?

South Seattle College (South) is located in beautiful West Seattle, just minutes from Alki Beach and downtown Seattle. South Seattle offers a panoramic view of the city skyline, Puget Sound waterfront and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges.

Often referred to as the "other" Washington, Seattle, voted most "dynamic city" by U.S. Fortune and Money Magazine, has become a leader in culture, cuisine and music. Nestled between two mountain ranges and surrounded by water, you will discover why Seattle is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

About West Seattle

West Seattle is a dozen or so neighborhoods in one, all located in the hilly district of Seattle just west of the Duwamish River and across Elliott Bay from downtown. Alki Beach itself is perhaps Seattle’s favorite beach, resembling the true laid-back Pacific Northwest style with gorgeous views, plentiful people watching and a great shoreline path perfect for a day out on a bicycle or a leisurely view-filled stroll.

There are plenty of other recreational opportunities nearby, too, including the heated saltwater pool in Lincoln Park; Schmitz Preserve Park, which features an old-growth forest and plenty of hiking and nature trails; and a four-mile trail running the length of Longfellow Creek.

The heart of West Seattle, however, is often considered The Junction, the intersection of California Avenue and Alaska Street. Here, more than a dozen restaurants feature a number of ethnic options.

Around Seattle

Nearby Seattle is a major international city, home to Microsoft, and Starbucks Coffee, Boeing, and RealNetworks. Major Seattle area attractions include: