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Has anyone sent their college aged child abroad for a year of study?

Has anyone sent their college aged child abroad for a year of study?

Sep 18th, 2005, 01:05 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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Just a quick note in response to DejaVu's post - going to a local college and then transferring to a big school does not always yield more scholarships/financial aid; in some cases it can yield less. Sometimes transfer students are not eligible for all of the scholarships that students coming in as freshmen are. I started out at University of Florida and then tried to transfer to University of Miami after one semester for family reasons. UM offered me the maximum scholarship they could b/c I had a 4.0 at UF, but it was only 50% of tuition b/c that was all they could give transfer students; incoming freshmen have the possibility of 100%+. Not necessarily true with Purdue, but something to look into.
audreyleigh99 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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My sister's daughter went directly from secondary in Minneapolis to the University of Paris - she is now in her last (undergraduate) year.
mikemo is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 01:46 PM
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If studying language does not appeal to him, would something like the peace corps..etc??

i am sure they could use a healthy computer literate fellow in their offices or abroad.

i have not had time to read all the threads completey, but i did see the request for hosting a surly computer game kid for some time.

i know many camps in the USA offer computers as a subject.. maybe he can land a job in a computer camp for the summer, applying now, check into overseas and charity programs, and vocational schools offering computers, web design , etc.

i know of some in england ( was just at a three day conference..) so maybe a vocational course elsewhere would get him into the mood. no language barrier there..
lincasanova is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 02:01 PM
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Good point, audreyleigh. Not all schools operate the same way vis-a-vis transfer students.

But it sounds like the OP doesn't want to do that anyway...
DejaVu is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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amwosu, I have just read this entire thread with interest and can really relate to what you are going through.

A grandson who is so intelligent. He did excellent in HS but was bored out of him mind. Lived for his computor games. And built more then one computor.

Attended the the local community college in the area where his father lived. Bored with that also. Dropped out in spring. Then got partime jobs that barely covered his day to day expenses.

Moved back in with his mother and family. Because he is so intelligent he "thought" he could get a job making big money. And he did. Only to have the employer lay off all the newely hired employees about 60 days later including my grandson. Think without knowing for a fact that this employer does this from time to time to avoid having to put the employees on their health insurance plan.

So grandson has been out looking for work again. Got another job that was not as described when he was hired. Quit that job (with our blessings btw).

Out pounding the pavement again. It looks like he will get the job he has decided he wants. He will know next week.

In the meantime his checking account has a very low balance. And he is expected to pay monthly rent to his mother. I concur with that decision.

If he gets this job he will be alright financially but he will learn that he has made some bad decisions and without a proper education he will have to forego some pleasures he enjoys tremendously (like retaurants and travel). Oh, btw, he had to sell all his computer equipment to a friend to get enough money to keep going until he starts work again. That was a good thing as Martha would say, LOL.

He has found out about life and the "school of hard knocks". I am glad that his mother and stepfather have given him the message that he has to be selfsupporting. He has a loving home to come home to every night but he is not being babied which is wise IMO.

Will he go back to school? I sure hope so. But after being involved with four children and now seven grandsons I truly know that some have a good strong idea what they want to do with their life and make the decisions that get them there. And others drift and have their head in the sand so to speak.

The ones that kept getting bailed out took a long time to mature. The ones that did not get bailed out matured prety darn fast. Again the school of hard knocks.

And this particular grandson's younger brother. He knows what he wants and how to get it. He told his mother the other day "boy, I am not going to screw up like my brother has!"!

Hopefully all our young ones will work out their lives so that they have good lives and are productive citizens.

Now about the messy bedroom and being sullen amwosu, if you figure out the answer to that let me know and I will tell my dear daughter, LOL. It really is too bad that your son and my grandson can't be thrown into an apartment together. They sound like two peas in a pod.

Best wishes to you and your family in your decisions. And don't give up...somehow it all works out.
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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***And this particular grandson's younger brother. He knows what he wants and how to get it. He told his mother the other day "boy, I am not going to screw up like my brother has!"!***

Sounds familiar! Makes life interesting and has opened my eyes. Having two completely different kinds of kids makes me more empathetic to my students' parents. If I had two studious, conscientious, well behaved children I might actually think I was the reason they were so wonderful! Having polar opposites living in the same house with the same parents, expectations, rules...I know that while parents play a major role in shaping their children there are some things parents can't control or take credit or blame for.
amwosu is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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I would encourage him working for a nonprofit, I'm just brainstorming here - what about a job teaching music to low income kids or helping a non-profit organization with its computers? Does he have any interest in landscape architecture?
BetsyG is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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Hello, Teens are a problem. One of mine took a gap year and though he finished college he never really enjoyed it and always felt an outsider. He wanted to take a year off but ended up in the hospital after a dog bite in Africa - very nasty, rabies shots etc. Another child was very reluctant about going to college and wanted to drop out of high school so I examined other possibilities. There are many courses, cooking, art in venice or Florence, business and language in France but no matter how much work YOU do in researching he has to decide what he wants to do. A gap year can put you off further education for life or it can stimulate you into a career and further education. If he doesn't want to do anything have him get a job at any fast food restaurant for a few months or the holidays and he might be seriously motivated to think about his life.My last two children all work and go to school - which has been better for them as they have a taste of the real world.Have him stay at home, go to a community college and get a job.
oldtrout17 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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Sounds like more than a few need to consider the USMC.
mikemo is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 04:30 PM
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mikemo- With great trepidation I will add religion and politics to the mix.

#1 We attend a Quaker Meeting and aren't big on the military as an option for our son.

#2 As DH likes to say, "We're making more enemies than we can kill."
amwosu is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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Hello mikemo, the USMC. That is what my youngest grandson (the 14 year old)has been talking about for the last two years. We have all "gulped" but didn't say anthing.

He just started HS and has joined the ROTC. He is in the HS band but had to give up being in the Marching Band as that conflicted with ROTC.
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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Amwosu, I think that the military, for too many reasons to list here, would be the wrong option for the young man you describe.

When our daughter was a junior in high school we researched a program in Oxford ---not at an Oxford constituent college but a program for h.s. and one year post-grad h.s. using junior dons and Oxford grad students for tutorials. I can't remember the name of the program but it seemed very well-run. There was more than adequate dining and housing, and the student could choose a few areas of study among many. This could be a priceless opportunity for your son to delve into some subject he's interested in and learn to research, and to write the weekly essay. It could only help him the next year in college.

We ultimately ended up sending our daughter to an early-college boarding program here for which she won a full scholarship. It was easier to do this as she completed her h.s. requirements alongside her college coursework. Socially, it was a mixed success. I rather wish we had sent her to England but know that it would have made her applications to college that much more difficult.

By the way, if you consider an overseas gap year you may want to get his college acceptance and then defer it, as his trying to send apps from abroad to arrive in a timely manner could be problematic. If he has his acceptance before he leaves, he is free to spend the year learning, traveling, etc.

I will go through my files and see if I can come up with the name or website of that organization. Good luck with this decision. For what it's worth, I think that a year at a ski resort would not help him as much as spending a year learning how to really master a subject area. Any subject---because once you get the process, it applies to any class. My 2 cents!
kswl is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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Well don't know why my half way post posted??? Anyway, one of the options this grandson has for an additional class is "learning how to build rockets" through ROTC and this is what he has chosen. He did an online search and announced that he is going to join the Navy as the Marines are the ones that are "shot at the most".
And as much as he loves his music he decided that the "learning to build rocket" extra class would be more beneficial to his future then signing up for ROTC marching band or the flag unit.

Sorry amwosu, I know how you feel. And I sure understand. And your DH's comment is true.

All of the men in our family were in the military except for a few with health problems. So guess this young lad of ours is making a decision that others before him have made. It does, to tell you the truth, make me cringe especially the way our world is today. But I do truly respect this young fellow for having goals and dreams and setting his life up in the way he wants it to be. And I know my late husband, who was a naval officer, would be proud of him.

I just pray all young ones will make choices that bring them happiness and a life they can be proud of.

LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 06:14 PM
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Klondike said: "My parents' philosophy was continue your education or pay rent."

Same here, Klondike. If either my sister or I had said we didn't want to go to college, or even if we had wanted to put it off, my parents would have said ok, get a job and make your own way. My folks wouldn't have paid to send me anyplace. And I wouldn't have expected them to.

Amwosu, honestly (and I'm saying this in a nice way not a mean way), this discussion should be taking place with your son and husband, not with strangers on a message board. Only the three of you know the real situation and the best way to proceed. We here are on the outside looking in. You clearly have your own ideas--hash 'em out with your family and see what comes of it. As others have said, things have a way of working out--at some point, you have to let go and let them. Good Luck!
DejaVu is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 06:27 PM
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It sounds like maybe he's scared of the pressure to have everything all figured out as to what he wants to do in life at age 18, if there is a lot of talk about how if he doesn't know all that, college is going to be a waste of money, etc. that's a lot of pressure on a kid. It is very normal for someone to not know what they want to do at age 18 -- one thing I regret is worrying about that so much when I was that age and the intense pressure my family put on me. I felt terrible in comparison to some friends who knew exactly what they wanted to do -- major in nursing, become a teacher, etc. I always loved school and learning for its own purpose, however, so wanted to go to college just to learn. You find out after taking classes and various jobs what appeals to you, and encountering difference professions and people.

I personally think college is the best place to learn these things, not taking off a year to do some crummy job. That could motivate one to go to school, however, so the rest of your life isn't full of dead-end jobs.

I don't know about this attitude of not wanting to do things if you don't feel like it, though. I am also not a big believer in the idea that high school is just so boring to brilliant people that they slack off and don't do homework. I don't buy it. Some people just aren't interested in learning in general, or don't like classrooms and "book learning."

My brother was in the Peace Corps, and I know others who were, and they wouldn't want someone like this (which I don't think was a real consideration, just a proposal by someone). They want college graduates who have a strong work ethic, aren't discouraged easily, can adapt, and have some particular skill. It is rare they will accept someone without a college degree -- you'd have to have some real skill.

I think too much is being made of this computer thing. Liking to play video games is nothing, nor is fooling around with computers. I work for a defense contractor, and they would not even interview somebody like that, let alone the idea that he could heard $100K as someone said.
Christina is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 06:28 PM
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I have just returned to this post and read, with intense interest, all the comments.

Wow, amwosu, you certainly have a lot of food for thought.

I fully understand your questions and think it most wise to get 'anonymous' opinions before your broach the subject with your family. I'm sure Fodors wont be the only source of advice you seek.

I wish you all the best with your decision-making and look forward to hearing the outcome!!
EmBee is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 06:41 PM
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I agree that the discussion and decisions will be between us. I simply threw the idea out there for discussion on this board to see what experiences others have had with such travel since this is a travel message board that many seasoned travelers use. I was simply looking for suggestions on overseas travel for teens and not advice on how to raise my child from strangers. Our lives are all vastly different and we live in different parts of the world so what works for one won't work for all. I didn't realize I would get so defensive to some of the responses. Lesson learned.

At this very minute, DS plans to go to Purdue next year but that decision changes on a week to week basis. One of his friends is a freshman there this year and loves it. He seems to be spending his evenings playing computer games with my younger son which is what I'm afraid my older son will be doing NEXT fall. Again, just researching every possible option before he has to commit.

BTW, he did pick up all the clothes on his floor today but only because I told him he'd be taking the bus to school all week if he didn't. Now if I can get him to clear off his desk!
amwosu is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 06:53 PM
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Christina- he isn't afraid of any pressure. The discussion about college being a waste of money has purely been between his father and I. I would never say that to my son. We have simply told him that as long as he is academically successful in college (meaning at least a C average and I don't think that is too much to ask) we will pay for most of his education. We just worry that he will not be academically successful as a freshman as he has shown little interest in his coursework in h.s.

I'm not the one who said that genius kids are bored in school and thats why they get poor grades. As a former classroom teacher of both m.s. and h.s. I heard that excuse frequently. He isn't bored by his classes. He is lazy and choses not to do the work. I don't fault the teachers for that.
amwosu is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 07:17 PM
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I've been playing on my computer at fodors all day when I should have/could have been doing work around the house. DS has been playing on his computer all day writing trumpet music for symphonic season when he should have/could have been reviewing school work and cleaning his desk area. That's MY boy!
amwosu is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 12:58 AM
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A gap year before university is a well-established practice in the UK (and increasingly later in life as well). A google on'gap year' produces all sorts of websites with information about opportunities in the UK and abroad, and though it will be aimed at students starting from the UK, it might give you and him some ideas that might encourage him to broaden his horizons.

But if you're asking how to get him to motivate himself.... well, maybe it's enough to say you'll be happy as long as he's committing himself to something he'll really work at, but not if it's just a matter of going through the motions of a conventional transition to higher education when he could be stretching himself.
PatrickLondon is online now  

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