The most important way of support is to be there for your child
Beata Pnieuwska from Poland encouraged her daughter Klaudia to study in the Netherlands. And after her arrival at Windesheim she is still supporting her on a regular basis.
How do you support your child studying abroad?
In my case it is a bit different compared to other parents; I have been in the Netherlands for almost 10 years now. I encouraged Klaudia to come here after high school and get her degree in the Netherlands. For her it is a new situation because she was used to the Polish education system. I try to give her the best possible support. For example, once a week we have an evening all to ourselves and we talk about what was hard or easy during that week, what gave her lots of satisfaction or what might make her lose motivation. She is highly self-motivated but occasionally there are situations that affect her. Another way of support is of course finance. I know that it is not common that a foreign student gets support from DUO (the Dutch student finance system), but she gets it nevertheless, and I also try to give her something – sometimes I will buy her shoes, or clothes – simple parenting stuff. She doesn’t like this but I know it makes her happy deep down. However, in my opinion the most important way of support is to be there for your child. We are lucky enough to be together here, but there are parents and children that are far away from each other. The best way to show and give them support is simply by talking. That gives so much power to our children.
How was your experience with letting your child study abroad?
I advised Klaudia to come and study in the Netherlands. I think a Dutch diploma gets more recognition in the world than a Polish one. When she was admitted to International Business at Windesheim, I was very happy but also nervous. Especially on her first day, and I saw she was nervous too. It is because of the different educational system and the new environment. Klaudia was more or less thrown in at the deep end. I was excited that she got a multi-cultural class, and I taught Klaudia to respect everyone regardless of their skin colour, beliefs, gender etc. It is a perfect opportunity for Klaudia and her classmates to learn a lot from each other, and as far as I have noticed she has become more direct thanks to her Dutch friends. I’m glad that I can be in the same country with her, so whenever she has a problem or something she can’t get off her chest she can come to me and I can help. Letting your child study abroad is a big decision but it has a lot of benefits. It’s a great experience for children to get to know the world better, meet amazing people and learn from each other.
What is your advice for future parents of children studying abroad?
I would suggest first to make sure if your child is really certain about making such decision. If so, I would let them go. It’s a perfect opportunity to travel the world, get insight into how things work in different countries, get to know other cultures. It is a bit of a scary experience for parents to let your child go away thousands of kilometres but it will bring only benefits to their lives.