As parents we worry, it’s just part of the job. We know we will, our children know we will and, secretly, they like it. Maybe. Now, as they get older its different things like cars, relationships and traveling half way across the world to study that keep us awake at night.
Staying safe abroad is a combination of good judgement and preparation. So, as the parent of a child that is going overseas to study the best thing you can do for them is to arm them with practical knowledge. Things they need to know to stay safe AND enjoy the experience without feeling like you’re cramping their style or suffocating their new found independence.
Travel and health INSURANCE
It’s extremely important that you make sure your children have insurances that will cover them for any eventuality in the country that they will be studying in. There are such a dizzying amount of insurance plans to choose from, you may even worry you’ve not chosen the correct cover. If you make sure your children are insured against EVACUATION ie being flown home and EMERGENCY treatment they will be fine. Make sure your children are familiar with the insurance documents AND know how to make a claim.
What to do in an EMERGENCY
In the UK dial 999 and you will be able to get in touch with the Police, Ambulance Service and Fire Brigade. This number is for emergency calls only. Additionally you can get health advice from NHS direct on 111 and the Police in a non-emergency on 101. International callers wishing to speak to London Metropolitan Police on non-emergency matters should call +44 20 7230 1212.
The Consulate will of course be able to help them in an emergency, medical or otherwise. So, if they have lost their passports, money, been arrested (heaven forbid!) or need legal resources these are the people they need to speak to. Make sure they have the address, day time and out of hours telephone numbers. Also, register their trip with the Embassy so at least they’ll know that they are there.
EXTEND their support network
Is there someone you know that will be in the country when your children will be? Perhaps you have a friend, a friend of a friend, a relative, someone you met on holiday once that lives there too – maybe not close by but in the same time zone at least. Reach out to them and let know them that your child will be there and ask if they wouldn’t mind you child having their number… giving them a little safety net and you peace of mind that another ‘Adult’ is available at the end of the phone!
18 year olds think that they know EVERYTHING right…! But just encourage your children to think about how they are presenting themselves in public. To be aware of the diversionary strategies that pick pockets employ, not carry too much cash, not walk around at night with expensive tech lit up like a Christmas tree and to make sure their bags are zipped up. Simple things that in the excitement of being parent free in a new country could easily be forgotten.
At the HUB we have 24/7 security and CCTV so you know that your children will always feel safe and have someone on hand – whatever the time – to speak to should they need to. And, as all entry is controlled with secure key fob access you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your children will be as safe as they can be while they are on site.
The Hub provides secure student accommodation in central London. For more information please call us on +44 (0) 3770 9120 or book your viewing here.