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Parent Students 'Pardents' Applying for Exchange Programs: A Myth or a True Story?

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If you gather common people and make them simultaneously read this title you'd be surprised by the reaction featured in their facial expressions:

Is she for real? What about the child? - Feeling disgusted.

If only I was that lucky when I married that tart of a spouse, instead I ended up at home! Oh never mind, at least I get to spend my days the way I like it - Feeling jealous.

Such a courageous move! I sure hope this is one step closer to enlightenment- Feeling pride.

What an arrogant man? Leaving the wifey home alone with the child in order to chase over sluts down at some joint in the other part of the world with the excuse of building a career? Unforgivable! - Feeling annoyed.

He became a dad himself, and the parents still pay his bills? You can't be a student forever you know. Despicable.

Shall I continue?

As giving birth is still considered a miracle regardless of what science manages to explain, the opportunities of pursuing your studies once you've had a child have also been rather scarce, not to say miraculous; until nowadays. If it wasn't the guilt and the shame that kept you from realizing your academic dream, it was the lack of moral and financial support which would turn it into ashes.

An article caught my attention the other day, where a young mother determined to make a profesional women out of her after giving birth at young age, decided to share her own pains and struggles from the time she went abroad to continue her studies, alone with her little daughter. It got me thinking...

What does it mean to be a parent student?

If you look deeper in the both phenomena, parenting and studying, you will realize that among others, they both have something in common; they are both a severely engaging 24/7 job. Now imagine your daily schedule if you combine the two of them together as a lifestyle.

Not so many years ago, such a combination was a no go; and of course in the worst case scenario when young couples decided to have the baby against all odds, guess who had to give up on the career? The beloved mother. The daddy on the other hand was always the provider, and if he couldn't keep up a job along the studies, au revoir, university. Now rewind to the main issue that is being discussed here; student parents willing to enroll on a study abroad program and by study abroad we mean moving to another country for the purpose of getting an academic degree, or a semester only. Is that even possible?

YES. Nowadays you have hundreds of parent students who are determined to finish their studies hand-in-hand with the rest of their generation in order to serve up to their purpose and also provide for a better and safer future for their newborns.

The past decades are a living proof that jam-packed dedication to their children is not necessarily of a great benefit, especially if one chooses to sacrifice lifetime goals in order to do that. Most of the ambitious parents that had to give up on their career do to a momentary slip up confess to feeling incomplete and regretful after some years. The love for their children is never diminished, on the contrary because of the fact that you love them more every day, you want to give them the world; and the world however comes with a price.

Pursuing a career in the times of such a globalized market means you'd be tempted to travel during your studies in order to become an open-minded and accomplished professional ready for such an international job market. The sole purpose of studying abroad is the opportunity it gives the prospective students to expand their horizons beyond the local terrain and gets a grip of one bigger picture. Another very beneficial idea behind educational programs abroad is giving young students the chance to mature and befriend the concept of emancipation.

On the other hand, the cultural diversity is essential when discovering who you really are and what you want to become in the future.

Learning another language means getting a grip onto an entire culture different from your own, a lifelong asset that is of strong value in any domain you end up working for. It is however easier said than done, I'm afraid yet struggles have seldom killed someone, but they do make us stronger.

In order to succeed in being a successful certain someone and be the parent of the year you have to be really determined and follow a strict schedule.

Organizational skills are of essence if you want to succeed on this rollercoaster of responsibilities.

You will keep bumping into obstacles in this road;

  • Getting enough sleep and food down your throat in order to survive the perseverance.
  • Finding a nanny you will trust around your child in a foreign country you know no one.
  • Getting accommodated nearby the University building so you can be close to your child for any inconvenience.
  • Managing your funds so that you have always some money aside in case there is some medical emergency concerning you or your child (health insurance is thus obligatory for international students)
  • Keeping up with the positive attitude and avoiding anything that taunt this spiritual balance

The circumstances have changed up to this day which makes it possible for parent students to take such a courageous step into moving forward with their studies, in some other country.

Thousands of people fundraise or gather means to provide for scholarships and financial aids in order for students caught in such a sensitive matter not to quit their academic goals, and become a parasite in the eyes of such a demanding society like our own.

If not financially, there are thousands of people out there who've chosen this tough path and succeeded that will gladly share their experience with the needy parties. Tips, recommendation and guides do give one some common ground on what the difficulties will look like and how to succumb them. Moral support on such an emotional distress is never to be underestimated.

In all, we now live in times when everything seems to be possible thus parent students enrolling with their children in some study abroad program seems reasonable rather than mythical.