How to tell your family you want to study in Australia

You may already be a university graduate, but that doesn’t mean your parents won’t mind if you move, say, to the other side of the planet, and this is especially true for anyone who has just graduated high school!

You’d like to study in Australia, but knowing how to communicate this desire with your parents and family members may prove to be a bit tricky, especially if you’ve never been abroad for long periods of time. While some parents may be completely supportive of your adventures, others may be hesitant to wave at you from the tarmac. Whether you’re on either side of the spectrum, or fall somewhere in between, OzTREKK has some advice when it comes to approaching your parents and family members about the idea of studying in Australia.

How to tell your family you want to study in Australia
Some former OzTREKK students now studying dentistry at JCU

Determine the why

Yes, Australia is a beautiful country with lots of beaches, kangaroos, koalas, and a casual lifestyle. What else does it have to offer? For students, Australia pretty much has it all, which is why it currently hosts more than 490,000 international students, making it one of world’s most popular foreign study destinations.

Besides being a great experience, studying at an Australian university is a great way to gain an edge in an increasingly globalized economy. No matter which university or program you choose, international study in Australia will give you access to unique academic, professional and personal opportunities.

This is all fine and dandy, but what’s your reason? Once you determine that, you’re ahead of the game!

Research, research, research

What do you plan to study? Which Australian universities do you have in mind? Why is that? What makes this university better than that university? Simply slurring a “So I was thinking of going to Australia for school” while you’re visiting probably will result in a barrage of questions. Have your arsenal fully stocked, and make sure they’re not duds. Be sure to research the university and program, your accommodation and financial options, and all the pros and cons. Check university rankings, student reviews, graduate reviews, etc. Providing a plan to your parents will allow them to take your idea more seriously.

Listen to your parents/family

This is a two-way street. Though it may be tempting to dismiss any parental concerns, listening to their point of view will earn respect between both parties. If they know you’re listening to their opinion and considering their feedback, they’ll be more likely to reciprocate by lending an ear.

Outline expectations

If you intend to complete a four-year degree medical degree in Brisbane, how will you pay for it? How often would you come home to visit? Where will you live following graduation? Having these discussions before filling out application forms will put your parents at ease as they’ll know what to expect should you go down this avenue.

Attend OzTREKK events

OzTREKK provides multiple opportunities throughout the application and pre-departure phases to call, email, and meet with us in person so we can answer any questions you, or your parents, may have. Our pre-departure sessions are held across Canada and via webinar, giving you and your family an outline of how to best plan for your time in Australia.


After all, your family is your roots, and your education is your wings. Up, up, and away!


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