Certainly the ability to pay tuition and fees for education abroad options in the U.S., Canada, UK or Asia is crucial. However, the students I currently have the pleasure of working with benefit directly from their family’s strong commitment to see them succeed. I meet several times weekly with these students via skype or in person to clearly map out their university selection process and admission plan of action. With heads and hearts working in sync, we cultivate a strategic plan that enables us to create a final concise list of the institutions they will apply to, understand admissions deadlines, organize required documents and register for the SAT and TOEFL exams, etc. Throughout this process we transition dreams into concrete realities and learn to look at the bigger picture that also takes into account costs, scholarship options, location, size, safety and more. We deal with a variety in terms of the amount parents and families can pay so the challenge is to try to identify an opportunity within a range of tuition costs.
The passion and energy of my students does not falter. While, the final year of secondary school is a rigorous often overwhelming period, I marvel at their composure and stamina. Even if it is necessary to meet for fifteen minutes or 1 hour at 10 pm they are always available. In addition, just a phone call away are their parents who also communicate with me frequently by email, telephone or skype.
While the parents may also focus on external factors related to their child’s education including safety or campus drinking, we work to put this in perspective. Recognizing that we may never identify a 100% drug free, alcohol free and sex free campus, the reality I tell them is that we need to make sure their children are empowered and prepared to address such issues of drugs and alcohol when or if they are confronted with this situation. In addition, despite my reaction to some education choices, Mother Nature has a way of putting everything in perspective. For example, the massive snowstorm several weeks ago in Buffalo, New York was enough for one of my families to understand weather can be a factor in choosing a college location.
The parent/family commitment I am seeing did not happen overnight. It was evident in each and every selection of a primary or secondary school where their child would study. This commitment, for many, has involved great sacrifice because when these parents saw their child was willing to give the maximum they also gave the maximum. It is often a commitment that was cultivated in the belief that educating this child will be a life changing experience that will prove to be a solid long term investment. My pleasure is to be able to best utilize my extensive professional and personal experience to facilitate this process and journey with my young learners on their road to success.