How-to Keep Mom Sane when Studying Abroad

Written by Henry Young. Posted in Education & Training

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to study abroad. This combines learning and travel while surrounded by peers. It’s a wonderful experience to get outside your comfort zone, learn something new, and create life-long bonds with classmates & teachers.

Yet…

Mom doesn’t exactly like the idea, does she?

She’s in helicopter parent mode, checking in constantly to make sure you’re alright. Even going as far as dropping in for a “wellness check” because the “baby boy/girl” is so far away. What’s going to happen when you’re thousands of miles away, in a different country?!

Here are some ways to keep mom sane while you’re studying abroad:

  1. Have a video call routine

Give mom peace of mind by having regular check-ins through video calls using services like Skype, Facetime, or Facebook Messenger video. This could become a daily thing before winding down for the night. Or, whatever fits your busy, travel schedule. If she’s not available, leave a video message by recording and sending the file to her email or text message.

  1. Stream (once in a while)

Periscope and Facebook have easy-to-use live streaming options to keep your mom, friends, and family in-the-know. Most locations are pretty good with WiFi and the same for cell service. Document the process for personal reasons but use it as a touchpoint to keep your mom informed.

  1. Open the books

Providing access to your bank account & cards can protect you from financial woes like losing money or getting mugged. This also lets your mom look at transaction logs to get a general idea of where you are, and when. 

If something were to go wrong, she could forward that information to authorities. Or, if finances were in a bind, could turn to third-party services like Ria Money Transfer to send money online after noticing a lockout.

  1. Send back goodies

Do your contact old school with:

  • Postcards
  • Trinkets
  • Letters

These are great when you’re on that leg of the trip where cell/WiFi service is expected to be spotty. Nowadays, international mail takes about 7-21 days which isn’t too bad when you’re in another country for the semester. A constant stream of letters and mini-packages will keep mom in check while giving both of you something to gloss over when you’re back.

  1. Pass it along

Get to know your classmates — really well — before embarking on the journey. Provide their contact details to your mom so she has people to contact if you haven’t been in touch. This also lets your contact piggyback if your peer(s) are calling home. They could relay a message through their parent to mom.

  1. Blog it

There are a bunch of ways to blog your adventure:

  • Set up a blog on a free platform
  • Launch a personal blog you’ve created
  • Use social media as the platform
  • Record and upload videos on YouTube

WordPress offers a free blogging platform. Else, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube would do just fine. This activity is great for collecting memories. But, could also be included as a class project, note-taking, or even monetized to earn a few bucks for the effort.

Call Your Mom. It Doesn’t Take Long.

Leaving for college was probably stressful enough for your mom. Traveling overseas for a study abroad program? That can send her into shambles. Travel isn’t a constant go-go-go, so you’ll have downtime. Take the 5-minutes to call mom while abroad, give her peace of mind, and share the experience — you’ll feel better from the chat, too.