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My parents want to study abroad with me...

endless67endless67 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
So, I applied to study abroad in Tokyo and I got in. My major is Asian Studies (Japanese Language Concentration) and Psychology. I'm set to go next Spring for three months, but there's a bit of a problem... my parents want to go with me. I'm 20, by the way.

Originally, the plan was to live in student dorms, suite-style--so I'd have three roommates. I'd also be flying over alone, but the program coordinators would pick me up at the Narita airport.

My parents really don't want me to leave. Now all we do is argue about it. They think that it's too dangerous and I'm only going to get away, because for college I commute and live at home. Until a family friend suggested that they go with me for a few weeks to help me settle in. This is really starting to freak me out--I kind of don't want to go anymore. I might hold off and travel after college.

I don't know if I'm just being impulsive or what.
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Replies to: My parents want to study abroad with me...

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,543 Senior Member
    I went with D1 ahead of time, but left a day or so after she got registered for classes. We went on vacation in the region for about a week ahead of time. I was able to help her with a few things like banking, internet, and phone setup, too. Maybe you could suggest that to your parents. Travel to the city where you will be studying if you can make arrangements to drop off most of your stuff. Take a week of vacation with your parents until your program starts, then they can leave.
  • endless67endless67 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    @twoinanddone Thanks. I needed to hear a voice of reason. This has just been stressing me out, but I guess I won't see them anyway since I'll be living in a dorm and going to school a day or two after I arrive.
  • powercropperpowercropper Registered User Posts: 1,410 Senior Member
    Could you give some family background? Are you an only child, or the oldest child?

    Are there cultural, religious, ethnic traditions that would bother your parents? Are you female? Have you given your parents any reason not to trust you?

    Do they currently monitor your everyday life, suspect you if you come home late from college, forbid you to have friends?

    Have you been to sleepovers and summer camp?

    Or are we talking about parents who normally give you freedom to come and go as you like, and they are just nervous about international travel?
  • endless67endless67 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    @powercropper I'm a female, I have an older brother, and there is nothing religious or ethnic holding them back. I really haven't done anything to make them distrust me; in high school, I studied pretty much all the time and never went out (to parties), did drugs, drank, or had romantic partners. They track my phone (bc the same family friend suggested it) but don't forbid me from having friends. I've had sleepovers but I've never been to summer camp--I've worked over the summers since I was 13.

    I don't really think there's freedom to give, since I really just go to college, work, or run errands like grocery shopping. The times that I do go out with friends, my parents are fine with as long as I'm home by 10 (weekdays) or 12 (weekends).
  • endless67endless67 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    @intparent Thank you! That's a good idea!
  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 2,981 Senior Member
    Do some research about safety in Japan. It is incredibly safe, even in Tokyo. Share this information with your parents. There's a lot of time to work out a compromise.
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,097 Senior Member
    I also agree about a "vacation" with your parents BEFORE the program starts, even with them in the city where the program will be. Once the program officially starts, though, they need to leave. You benefit the most from foreign studies (personal growth, language skills) by integrating with the locals--not your parents. Trust me, I've done it.
  • FinalForFinalFor Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    As a parent my job is to prepare my children for the world. As much as I don't like it, part of that is letting go when the child is ready. I like the idea of going over to help get set up if my child wants but if not I won't. They will figure it out as they go and will be better for it.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,475 Senior Member
    Echoing that Japan is a very safe country.

    Study abroad should be about as much immersion as possible to maximize your cultural and language learning in 3-4 short months. Having your parents tag along will interfere with that process. Let them know that.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,543 Senior Member
    It is pretty common, though, for parents to take advantage of study abroad for a family trip somehow woven into the start or end or a program break. I know lots of families that have done that. It is a different story if they want to hang around while the program and classes are in process, though.
  • powercropperpowercropper Registered User Posts: 1,410 Senior Member
    edited July 24
    My question is, can you trust your parents to go back home after the pre-program vacation? Or will they find Excuses to linger on and stalk you during your program?

    Do they both have full time jobs working for companies they do not own, with employers that are not related to them? In other words, if they can set their own schedule (or if at least one parent has lots of flexibility) is there any possibility one or both parents would decide once they are in Japan to just stay on for all or part of your program time?

    Think about their personalities and past experiences. Will they say one thing but do another?

    Also, this friend who is influencing them....is this a good, kind person who is supportive of you in general? Or is this friend a negative, pessimistic person who can fuel the flames of insecurity for your parents as the trip approaches?

    You might want to spend time talking details with this friend, building up the safety net of how the program is set up to watch out for you, chaperone you on outings, etc.
  • momcincomomcinco Registered User Posts: 981 Member
    I have visited our two kids who did study abroad programs. I purposely went at the end of their trips. By then the kids knew their ways around and had things they want to show me. They got to be the ones who were more acclimated in the setting. Yet...by the end of their trips they were out of money -- which means they were very happy to accompany Mom to restaurants. :) Down side is that at the end of the program, students have final projects to prepare so they warned me that we would not be able to spend whole days together.

    Sounds like your parents will do it the other way around, by joining you at the beginning. As noted above...you may find yourself glad to have their help getting settled. They cannot expect you however to take off from orientation or classes. I would suggest you try to make the most of it and don't let this deter you from the experience. You could tell them you prefer their coming at the end? But if they insist on joining you for the beginning, keep in mind that nothing can ruin this experience for you, and try to be patient.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,543 Senior Member
    One reason I went in the beginning was because my kid was doing fall term in a Nordic country. 6 hours of daylight a day and winter at the end, so beginning made a lot more sense.
  • momcincomomcinco Registered User Posts: 981 Member
    Good reason to go earlier rather than later :)
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