Plan for the Study Abroad Experience

With the various means of communication available nowadays, it’s not surprising that children dream of studying in far-off corners of the world. With the world at their fingertips and the desire for adventure, many see their post-secondary education as an opportunity to open the door to new cultures. So ask yourself, do your kids have the travel bug? Maybe they already see themselves pursuing their dreams abroad. With a little planning, you can help them in this grand endeavour.

Talk to Your Child about it Early On
Obviously, planning this trip won’t happen overnight. First, the best thing to do is to ask your kids about their dreams and ambitions. Who knows, the perspective of studying abroad might even motivate your child to work extra hard in school. Help your kids set their goals and understand the different steps to undergo to pursue their dreams and achieve these goals.

Plan for Extra Costs
While an education in Canada is already quite the investment, it pales in comparison to the cost of international studies. In addition to tuition fees, your child will also have several other education-related expenses, such as those for transportation and housing. Furthermore, expenses will vary from year to year depending on the exchange rate for the Canadian dollar.

A great solution is to set up a registered education savings plan. This savings vehicle entitles children to government grants and provides educational assistance payments to help fund their education in foreign institutions, provided these are recognized by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur du Québec.

Learn What Scholarships Are Out There
Depending on the educational program chosen, your son or daughter may be eligible for scholarships or mobility awards to help pay for this project. Apply for all the grants out there to maximize chances of financial aid. Some scholarships are even offered to students pursuing vocational training, while others are exclusive to university students. Moreover, keep in mind that students who wish to complete student projects or internships abroad may also be eligible to receive loans.

Use the Expertise at Your Disposal
Many educational institutions in Quebec have already taken part in student exchange programs or granted advanced standing. As these schools are already familiar with the procedure to study abroad, they represent a great resource when it comes to learning all the necessary requirements for an international education and which options are available to students. You’ll be better prepared to plan for that first semester abroad and understand all the specifics involved.

Make Sure your Child’s Program will be Recognized
Before things are set in stone, make sure your children’s classes will be recognized by his or her current school. Also, some Quebec institutions have entered into cooperation agreements with other abroad schools, meaning that the student could pay the Quebec tuition fees even if he or she studies abroad. More often than not, tuition fees are much higher when studying outside the province or country.

Start Planning Early
As soon as the decision’s been made, start organizing your child’s stay. Some legal procedures might take longer than you think so don’t wait until the last minute to apply! All the necessary documents should be ready before the big day (passport, visa, study permit, vaccines, proof of insurance, etc.). To find out exactly what documentation you need, contact the embassy or consulate in Canada of the country where your child plans to study.

Furthermore, you may also want to learn more about the housing possibilities available. Dorms often involve long waiting lists and renting an apartment from afar can prove to be a complicated task. Go over all options and ask for references before entering into an agreement which might be hard to get out of.

For further information, you can refer to the following websites:
Portail jeunesse du gouvernement du Québec
Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (Expérience hors Québec)
Youth portal of the Government of Canada (Study Abroad)

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