Previous Next



Studying abroad is one of the greatest and most beneficial experiences a person can go through. No matter which country your college aged child chooses, a whole host of new adventures await. However, as a parent, your thoughts have to be much more realistic than that of your idealistic child.


Worries about cost, logistics, and your child’s emotional wellbeing are at the forefront of your mind, and you might start to wonder if the good that comes from studying abroad is really worth it after all. This article will highlight the benefits and drawbacks of studying overseas, along with how you can support your child through HSBC Premier’s many international privileges.








Experience Culture


The biggest reason a person would like to study abroad is to experience new cultures in a foreign country1. Every country has its own customs, food, and outlook on the world, and living in a particular country is truly a different experience than just visiting it. Living abroad is valuable experience for a young person as it teaches them to become more understanding and tolerant of others who may be different from them1. As a bonus, they might also gain a new appreciation for another nation’s people and history.

Experience Growth


“For many young people, going away to college marks the first time that they will live apart from their parents or hometown2.” College life affords them a newfound freedom with a great opportunity to learn life skills and become more independent2. Things that have never crossed their minds reveal their true importance, and most of them will have their first foray into cooking, cleaning, and keeping themselves on schedule without parental assistance.


Fiscal responsibility is another major aspect of living abroad2. Even if as a parent you are fully funding your child’s education, they still have to figure out how to spend the money you have given. This elevates their understanding of monetary value by leaps and bounds. Providing what they need for themselves forces them to take responsibility for their actions, and the ability to balance these things while maintaining their grades is a great character building exercise2. This independence could become very useful – it can eventually help with job searches, living with a future partner, and other day-to-day routines.

Experience People


The people make the place, and going abroad is an amazing way for your children to meet new people and form new friendships2. There is a lot of stress involved when moving to another place, and forming relationships with the people around them is the best way to secure a support network in your absence. Their new friends are the first line of defense against homesickness, and who will accompany your child through many of their first experiences.


Furthermore, these friends can also turn into professional contacts for the future1,2. Interning or working part time is also a great way for your college student to gain work experience, and they are more likely to be hired after graduation if they already have some experience in their resume. Foreign experience is also looked highly upon as it demonstrates that your child is able to effectively communicate across cultures2.

College life affords them a newfound freedom with a great opportunity to learn life skills and become more independent2.








Culture Shock


Culture shock is defined as “a sense of disorientation or confusion from being immersed in a new culture, way of life, or set of attitudes”3. When studying abroad, your child will be exposed to many unfamiliar things. Even the most basic of things like how to wait in line, speaking in the right tone, and appropriate levels of interaction could be different in a foreign country. We tend to ignore these social cues in our home countries because we have become used to the way things are done. Culture shock can usually be overcome in time, and your child can take certain steps to speed up the adjustment process. It is important to learn as much about the host country as possible, try to make local friends, and get involved with the community they are living in3.

Homesickness and Loneliness


Most students who choose to go overseas will experience homesickness and loneliness no matter how many friends they have. Homesickness, at its core, is just a longing for the familiar4. It is not really a longing for home per se, but when we are put in an unfamiliar situation we have an urge to revert to what we know. This is a very normal reaction to periods of rapid change and adjustment4. Loneliness can strike during the festive seasons or when your child hits certain milestones like getting their first job. Not being able to share these moments can be difficult5. It is important for you to reassure your child that what they are going through is normal and that accepting it is the best way to move past it. Encourage them to stay positive and focus on all the great new experiences they are having while abroad.

Fees and Living Costs


Last but not least, finances are probably the biggest concern when it comes to studying abroad. There are numerous costs including school fees and high living expenses. For example, Australian cities are frequently ranked as some of the world’s most livable but it comes with a very high price tag5. The annual cost of living for an international student in Australia is AUD$18,0126. With the inclusion of school fees, parents should be prepared to fork out about AUD 35,000 – 45,000 per year6. Depending on the exchange rate, this can turn out to be a huge cost. Parents can potentially save on foreign exchange rates with HSBC Premier’s benefits and transfer funds easily through HSBC’s Telegraphic Transfer.


It is crucial to instill the importance of spending wisely before your child heads overseas to give them a head start on financial management. Little things like picking the best value at the grocery store, taking public transport instead of taxis, and always paying your credit card bills on time encourages good spending behavior and saves some money while they’re at it6. Also, opening a bank account before heading overseas can help your child transition more easily while letting them travel without carrying a large sum of cash. HSBC Premier allows you to open a foreign HSBC account in Malaysia before they leave, and they will have immediate access to cash through any HSBC ATM. Your child also has access to emergency encashment abroad of USD2,000 on the spot. Additional emergency encashment up to USD8,000 is also available subject to the Account Holding Country approval.








As a parent, it is instinctual to want to protect your child from the dangers of the world while preparing them for life.

Here are a few different ways you can support them while they are away.

Help them, but not too much


It is important to be available whenever your child is facing difficulties, but “rescuing” them from the situation can actually make things worse7. The college experience is in some ways preparing them for the challenges of real life – things like anxiety and the ability to manage multiple different classes with minimal supervision are mirrors of what will happen in the future. Instead of jumping in to solve their problems, you can do a few other things.


Tell them that you understand what a difficult time they are having, but remind them that they will be able to overcome it with your support8. Encourage them to acknowledge their emotions and address them without judging themselves for feeling a certain way8. A study has found that students who practice self-compassion (instead of criticism) are significantly less prone to homesickness and depression8. If they are having a hard time managing their finances, guide them on preparing a budget. Your child is also eligible for HSBC Premier benefits and can contact your Relationship Manager for financial assistance. As a parent, it is important to express your unconditional support of your child to encourage this behavior.

Cover their finances


Education is a huge priority, and if possible, parents should try to finance their child’s education. It is an investment in your child’s future, and by extension in your own9. Paying for college sends a strong message to your child that college is important to you, so please do the best they can. It also lets your child start their working life debt free and allows them to focus on important things like adjusting to the corporate world without additional stressors9. As a parent, it’s important to start planning these finances as early as possible. Currency awareness and constant monitoring of the markets are good places to start when you plan for your child’s education.



HSBC Premier’s international privileges can be a great help in this area due to its convenient and accessible nature. You may also take advantage of currency exchange rate fluctuations to potentially enhance your yield and accumulate foreign currencies to meet your future needs with HSBC’s Dual Currency Investment.



The Premier hotline is also available for round the clock emergency assistance to support you if any issues arise and your Relationship Manager is also available if you have further questions about your Premier privileges.



Sources: 1, “10 Benefits to Studying Abroad”, June 28, 2013. 2, “10 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad in College –

Benefits & Challenges”, February 2, 2012. 3, “How to Deal with Culture Shock while Studying Abroad”, February 19, 2015. 4, “How to Deal with Homesickness Freshman Year”, August 9, 2016. 5, “Studying Abroad: Pros and Cons”, March 16, 2015. 6, “How Much Does it Cost to Study in Australia?”, June 24, 2015. 7, “How to Help Kids Adjust to College”, October 28, 2013. 8, “Self-Compassion for Freshmen”, October 8, 2013. 9, “Should Parents Pay for Their Children’s College Education?”, March 16, 2014.