I didn’t need to convince my parents when I came to them at 16 wanting to go on exchange. Though, through all my time spent on the Internet, I’ve realised not everyone has that same experience. I’ve seen many videos and blogs talking about convincing parents to let you go on exchange and decided to put my two cents in on the topic. So while I can’t tell you what I did to convince them (because I didn’t need to), I can tell you why I think my parents were so cool with the idea of me going abroad.
First thing, and I think the main reason, is that an exchange is educational. Push the point that it would be a valuable educational experience. Education is priority number one in my family. My parents are very aware of the importance of education and what would be considered a good education. They knew right away that going on exchange as a teenager would be one of the best educational experiences I could get at that age. I believe that every parent wants their children to be well educated but they may not be consciously aware of how educational an exchange can be so if you need to convince your parents, really focus on that and I think they will have a hard time disagreeing.
Second is safety. Never EVER fault your parents or get mad at them for caring about your safety. Instead, talk to your parents about the country if they think it’s an unsafe location. Your parents might just not know much about the country you want to go to and it’s up to you to tell them about it and show them that it is a safe country. Also talk about the organisation and what they do to make sure you’re taken care of. This is especially true if you want to go to a country that might not have the best reputation for being safe. I did a Rotary Youth Exchange as a teenager and I knew that no matter what country I went to I would be safe and taken care of because of Rotary and everything they do for their exchange students.
Finally, if cost is the problem, don’t let it get you down. 10 years ago when I was looking at the different exchange programs available to me, I noticed the cost can vary A LOT! If the first one you find is a bit too expensive for you, keep looking. Also remember that there are some exchange programs that offer scholarships. So, if you are from a low income family try to find a program with a scholarship option that will help you financially. Be resourceful and remember that there are lots of options.
If you are having trouble convincing your parents to let you go on exchange, maybe these points will help you out. Good luck!
Let me know if you have any other suggestions for convincing parents to let you go abroad.