Advice For Parents

Studying abroad poses many questions for both students and parents. Sending your 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.

All international students must pay tuition and fees promptly at the beginning of each quarter. The tuition amount is based on the number of credits the student is registered for. Learn more about tuition and fees here. The average college level student takes 12-15 credit hours per quarter and students enrolled in our Intensive English Program (IEP) register for about 18 credits. All international students are required to register for full-time to be in compliance with the F-1 student SEVIS regulation. Despite the cost, parents are planning to send their children to study abroad because studying abroad is an investment for the students' future success and employment opportunity following graduation.

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 two of culture shock, but to understand what their children are going through. The best "cure" for phase two 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 options when their children are suffering from culture shock.

The transition to a new culture, language and educational system is far from easy for most international students. In addition to culture shock, students can experience difficulties adjusting to different educational systems. 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 to their new 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.

For questions or concerns regarding immigration, academic advising and the Intensive English Program, please refer students to cie@seattlecolleges.edu.

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South Seattle College: The Center for International Education

6000 16th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98106 | Phone: +1-206-934-5360 | Fax: +1-206-934-5836 | cie@seattlecolleges.edu | Office Hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm