Student life
Posted on: Mar 27, 2018

Dear parents don't panic if your child goes abroad to study or work


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So, it’s time for your child to go far away from the country he/she was born and raised in order to study or work. Many consolation posts including pieces of advice have been written and we can be sure about one thing: Most of the parents will freak out when they will have to say goodbye to their children, especially if their children are moving thousands of kilometers away.

As they are getting closer to the goodbye moment, most of the parents may start wondering if agreeing to their children’s leave was a good decision. Moreover, they will be probably worried about the difficulties their children are going to experience abroad as they are going to be far from the security system of their own people.

Dear parents please remember in order to stay calm and positive: In the past, many parents have been experiencing the same stress as you. Additionally, in the past, many children had to go far away from their home to another country to fulfill their goals. Keep in mind that if those children were able to survive and succeed their goals sooner or later, then likewise your children are going to do the same.

However, it’s understandable if you experience some difficulty to manage your stress regarding “the goodbye moment” or if you think that your children may experience some challenges which will be crucial for their mental health. Please remember that there are always some solutions:

Talk to a mental health specialist

Before or after of the departure of your children you could ask some professional advice by a mental health specialist. A professional could help you to manage your emotions or to deal with the new facts. Whether your children feel a new type stress about their new life in a foreign country, they should contact a mental health specialist in order to realize – through a process – that their feelings are normal, quite expected and of course manageable.

You could choose a mental health specialist who speaks your mother tongue and you will work with face to face or through online sessions. Alternatively, your children should check the possibility of arranging an appointment with the psychological support department of the university they are currently studying. Almost every university provides this type of services to their students who experience stress about their studies and their new lives far from their countries and their own people.

Working people in a foreign country could contact a mental health specialist who will speak the local language or very good English through their family doctor. However, if they wish to meet a specialist who speaks their mother tongue they may have to follow the searching process which was mentioned above.

Contact the local communities - groups of your compatriots

Your children are nor the first or the last immigrants of your homeland. There is a high possibility of finding compatriots in the place they will be in order to study or to work. Those compatriots would have similar experiences, they have already dealt with difficulties some years ago and they know exactly how demanding is the change of and the adjustment to a foreign country.

It may be positive for your children to contact similar groups, to talk to people who have years of experience and they voluntarily help immigrants, to meet these people.

Get informed about compatriots’ events or in expatriates events

For sure many of your compatriots or other expatriates organize events which are open to the public. This is the chance of your children to meet people, to make friends, to learn useful things about the new country in which they plan to stay for a while. Networking is a good way to decrease their stress by being a part of a new promising environment.

One last piece of advice and some encouragement

Please encourage your children to be informed through the internet and especially through social media about any events or activities may happen around. They should not be afraid to ask about unknown things, otherwise, they will never learn any new things. They should not stay so much inside and be spending so much time alone. Encourage them to go out, meet some people and build new relationships with them. However, if you understand that your children are feeling loneliness, sadness or nostalgia, it’s better to tell them that these emotions are completely normal and they generally appear to people who live far from the place they were born and raised. If these unpleasant emotions of your children keep coming up and become quite annoying, then please contact a mental health specialist to receive the help you need.

Keep in mind that every beginning is difficult but solutions exist for those who want to find them!

Mike Klianis

I am a psychologist who loves travelling, reading books, listening to music, watching movies and theatre, tasting different cuisines but especially writing (almost about anything) when I don’t coach and I don’t read stuff regarding Psychology. I am passionate and I always tell the truth. By the age of 50 I will be an owner of a bookshop (I hate e-readers!) and I will have a small house with a big garden in Chalkidiki!

Read more by me at:
Tis fanis tis fanike oraio
Harmonia Coaching
Ms Psyche blog