Not long ago, a favorable combination of circumstances, time and place allowed me to send my oldest daughter to study abroad. She was only five-years-old but so eager to explore and learn. I was excited for her to have the opportunity to attend school in a foreign country, especially because it was going to be in my home country.
Five-year-olds in Ecuador attend “Jardín de Infantes,” which is the U.S version of Kindergarten. They wear uniforms, get to school in “expreso” (school van) and love having “Tony Mix” (yogurt and corn flakes) in their lunch. I couldn’t wait to see my daughter experiencing school as her peers in Ecuador. Moreover, there were 4 specific reasons why I sent her to study abroad.
4 Reasons To Send Your Children To Study Abroad
- LEARN THE LANGUAGE
Learning a new language is one of the benefits of sending your children to study abroad. In my case, I wanted my daughter to be exposed to Spanish. She already spoke the language but attending school in Ecuador helped her with fluency and more than anything, confidence. At the beginning I was so nervous about how much she would actually understand her peers. Luckily, she had a caring teacher who was patient and provided safe moments for her to overcome her shyness.
- EXPERIENCE A NEW CULTURE
Despite the fact that it is possible to teach my children about the Latino culture where we live, it doesn’t compare with the chance to be in the country where the culture is lived. Attending school in a foreign country allowed my daughter to understand better a few things about the Ecuadorean customs. She enjoyed trying new flavors and learning about exotic animals. But, it was not always easy. I remember how frustrating it was for her to be asked for permission all the time to touch her hair. She didn’t understand why her peers were so fascinated about her blond hair. After I explained her that it is not very usual to see children in Ecuador with blond hair like hers, she was more willing “to share it.”
- MAKE FRIENDS
Although she missed home and was so ready to come back to normality, she was very heartbroken about leaving her new friends in Ecuador. It was my goal for her to learn to love the people and the place, but I forgot that it also implied to feel sad for leaving them. I think the experience taught her to better understand the joy that a letter brings, the anticipation for the mail truck to arrive and… the anxiousness for the flight tickets to get cheaper!
- PERSONAL GROWTH
Many times I wondered if the experience of sending my young child to a school in a foreign country was going to be more traumatic than beneficial for my daughter.I am glad I did it because she grew tremendously. I was especially proud how she learned to be more appreciative about the things she had in her life. And, I am grateful how the challenging times helped us to connect in a way that we hadn’t before.
I hope we can do this again in the future!
Have You Ever Considered Sending Your Children To Study Abroad?