Being a Parent to an International Student
Studying abroad is scary, exciting, and full of emotions for every student. However, none of that can compare to what parents go through when sending their child away from home. Most parents never stop worrying about their children – even when they live in the same village as them. Sending them off to study in a foreign country means a whole new level of worry.
One of the main things in a parents mind is how safe their child will be. Of course no place in the world is 100% safe, but overall the Netherlands is a pretty safe country to live in. It ranks, 14th in the World’s Safest Country index. However, one of the most common crimes in the Netherlands is bike theft. Yes, you read it right, bike theft, no matter how silly it sounds is one of the most frequent crimes here in the Netherlands. Further, the famous winds of the Netherlands are sometimes dangerous and of course the lack of sun sometimes, but keep in mind that there are no such temperature amplitudes here like the ones we have in Bulgaria, thus the body is capable to adjust easier to the season change.
Moreover, parents tend to worry about their child’s expenses, partying, and even worry about the country’s progressive attitude. It is true that the standard of living in the Netherlands is pretty high, such as rent and transportation expenses, especially compared to Bulgaria. However, when it comes to food, in the Netherlands there is so much variety of supermarkets and places to eat, from 5- star restaurant prices to places where the food is even cheaper than it is in Bulgaria. Further, the partying and progressive attitude of the Netherlands is something that changes your perspective once you see it all around you. The basic law that when something is forbidden is more desirable is a proven fact here in the Netherlands because once expats see the freedom they have here, they are not that interested anymore. Therefore, by trusting your children and their common sense, and by giving them the benefit of the doubt you are protecting them more than you can even believe.
Overall, student life is pretty similar in every country and no matter if your child will study in a different city in Bulgaria or abroad, you as a parent will always worry. However, in the Netherlands your child will be able to enrich themselves because of the different cultures and traditions they will witness, become more responsible, self-sufficient, and grow as a human being.