When you’re preparing to study abroad for a year (or more!), your parents can be understandably nervous—especially if you’ve never lived far from home before. They’ll want to know that you’ll be safe and in good hands while you’re outside their care.
With the number of recent headlines about terrorist acts and civil unrest across the globe, your parents may be particularly nervous about letting you head out into the world right about now. But that’s no reason to put off your study-abroad adventure!
If your parents are feeling reluctant about the risks of studying abroad, here’s what you can tell them.
The risk of being affected by terrorist incidents is extremely low.
Studies have pinned the odds of death by terrorist attack at about 20 million to one. (To give you some perspective: 20 million is more than the entire population of Chile.)
Those are some extremely low odds. Compare that to the odds of death due to being struck by lightning (1 in 136,011), or being stung by a bee (1 in 76,000), or choking on food (1 in 3,500). All are much, much more likely to happen—and yet we’re not about to stop eating just because we’re afraid of choking to death. Rather than shy away from the (minimal) risks, we can learn to be smart about them. Just as you wouldn’t stand under a tall tree in a thunderstorm, put an entire ham in your mouth, or try to snuggle a bee, you can research travel advisories and warnings for any potential destinations in order to curb the risk of being affected by terrorism or unrest.
It’s okay, I have insurance!
Even if you’ve done all your research, there is always a small chance of something going wrong. That’s what travel insurance was invented for—to give you (and your parents!) the peace of mind to know that you’ll be well taken care of in the event of any emergencies abroad.
The right insurance plan can also help to bring you home to receive hospital care near your loved ones—a benefit called “repatriation.” See this post from the archives for more information on repatriation, along with other important things to keep in mind when you’re looking for travel insurance.
Finally—and most importantly…
Studying abroad is good for you.
Building your independence and expanding your horizons are important parts of anyone’s education—and there’s no quicker way to work on these qualities than heading on a study-abroad adventure to experience a new culture in an unfamiliar place.
Not only that, but research shows that living in another country makes you a better thinker. And the experiences you’ll have will be unforgettable—just browse the stories on our blog if you don’t believe us!
All this goes to show: studying abroad is an experience you can’t afford to miss out on.