US is top country for parents considering university study abroad for their children

by Ray Clancy on September 1, 2016

The United States is the top country in the world that parents are most likely to consider for their offspring to study abroad, followed by the UK, Australia and Canada, according to new research.

But they are also among the most expensive in the world with average annual tuition fees for overseas university students amounting to £21,730 in the US, £19,966 in Canada and £19,402 in the UK, the Value of Education survey from HSBS shows.

UK StudentsIt also reveals that overall 22% of parents would consider a university education abroad for their child and younger parents aged 34 and under are more likely to consider such a move along with those who have saved in advance for their childrens’ education.

The majority, some 84%, believe that studying abroad is beneficial but many also recognise there are barriers. Some 52% believe the benefits include being exposed to new ideas and cultures, 51% believe it helps gain independence, 50% thinks it means an increased confidence, while 27% believe it will lead to better job prospects and 25% improved income potential.

When it comes to the downside, some 43% said they are concerned about homesickness, 43% worry about the long travelling distances involved, 41% about the cost, 30% will miss their child, and 20% are concerned about managing finances in a different country with a different currency.

Parents from Indonesia are most likely to consider an overseas education with 60% saying so, followed by 58% in the United Arab Emirates, 54% in Hong Kong, 47% in India, 44% in China and 43% in both Singapore and Malaysia. Just 29% of parents in the US would consider and education abroad, 22% in the UK, 21% in Canada and 16% in Australia and France.

Other international experiences parents would consider include 51% supporting the idea of a work placement overseas, 42% a study abroad programme, 27% a gap year and 20% their child living in another country with family or close friends.

The research also found that 47% of parents think that funding their child’s education is more important than contributing to their own retirement savings. Overall some 72% are funding their child’s education and 77% do so from their day to day income.

‘For many parents, supporting their children through education is a priority, but for some this can be a significant financial commitment,’ said Caroline Connellan, head of UK Premier and Wealth at HSBC.

‘By understanding the options and taking action early, parents can be more prepared. Even saving small amounts can help fund their child’s education and potentially reduce the need to borrow,’ she added.

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