5 Valuable Lessons in Independence Your High Schooler Can Learn While Studying Overseas

Sending your child overseas for their high school education is a move that requires significant preparation and investment, but it’s also one that offers a lot of long-term benefits. Spending some of their formative years living in a country other than their own by themselves can help high school-aged children expand their horizons. This experience can inspire them to dream bigger, put more effort into finding their place in the world, and fully apply themselves to subject matters that they are deeply interested in. 

At the same time, gaining admission to a reputable Singapore international boarding school, for example, will enable your high schooler to learn how to be independent in a safe environment. Their time overseas will give your child every chance to learn how to live on their own and practice the following lessons on self-reliance in full. 


How to Make an Efficient Schedule and Manage Time

Time is a finite resource, so people should start learning how to manage their time well at a young age. Your high schooler may have already learned the basics of time management in your home, so it is perhaps  a no-brainer for them to put together a schedule and stick to it. Their time overseas, however, will put these time management skills to test. With no one to tell them what to do and when, they’ll be wholly in charge of scheduling their time between their academic activities and practical concerns like shopping and cleaning. They’ll learn how to put together an efficient schedule that will enable them to transition smoothly from one activity or errand to the next. If things don’t go according to plan, they’ll need to learn how to adjust to the situation. These skills, once mastered, will make it possible for a highly independent person to accomplish a lot of things in their everyday and professional lives.

How to Become Self-Directed Individuals

The ability to show initiative does not come naturally to many people, but it’s essential to living an independent life. Self-direction is another lesson that high schoolers can hone once they are studying overseas. Perhaps at home, teens can count on their parents to tell them what to do or how to evaluate their choices. No one will consistently do this for them once they are studying in a different country. A high school student who is intent on making the most of their time overseas will need to learn to choose and set goals all on their own. Aside from that, they’ll also learn how to break down their big assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks so that they can slowly but surely accomplish their projects and obligations. It’s a skill that high school students will find to be quite useful as they pursue higher education or work on their career goals. 


How to Allocate Their Financial Resources

Part of living an independent life is becoming responsible for one’s own finances. This is an experience that every overseas student will learn during their time in high school. While living in a boarding facility, teens will be in charge not only of their allowances but also of their funds for food, hygiene supplies, cleaning materials, and other daily necessities. Essentially, they’ll have to understand how to budget for a household with only one member. Such an experience can help them appreciate the value of money and determine their priorities when it comes to spending. These are very valuable lessons to learn, and especially because many people don’t get the opportunity to learn them until after they leave the homes where they grew up. 


How to Maintain Relationships as an Individual

Living far away from one’s home can be somewhat isolating, and this is true even in the digital age. There’s still a difference to seeing a person face-to-face and video calling them, for example. During their time in an overseas boarding school, high schoolers will need to understand that relationships take time and effort. They might be living independently, but this doesn’t mean that they can cut themselves off from everybody. 


Since they’re living far away for a good portion of the year, high schoolers will learn how to make an effort to reach out and respond to the people that they love and care about. They can’t just expect to run into their friends and family members overseas. Rather, they have to make a conscious effort to maintain their familial and social ties using digital tools. Learning how to do these things during this period in their life will help them feel right at home even if their dreams take them to different places around the world. 


How to Navigate Differing Opinions and Perspectives

Learning how to think independently and formulate their own opinions is also a lesson that your high schooler will pick up during their time overseas. Living in another country will expose your child to plenty of new experiences, people, and perspectives. If they study in a multicultural nation like Singapore, especially, they have every chance to meet people from all walks of life. Some of the ideas that they’ll encounter might be fundamentally different from the ones they were raised to believe. It can be a challenge to reconcile these opposing opinions and perspectives on their own in a healthy manner, but your child will have all the practice they need to develop this essential skill while studying abroad. 


Of course, sending a child to an overseas high school doesn’t mean that you’re leaving them to their own devices. Your child will still be under the care of the academic community you chose, and students still have to follow the rules set by their schools. Plus, you can still provide guidance and advice to your high schooler from afar. Be aware, though, that your child will inevitably grow more independent during their time overseas. It’s a rapid transformation that both of you should be ready for.