Having your child study abroad is an exciting experience. Studying abroad is something that they will never forget and be forever thankful to you that you helped them go. A lot of times, students studying abroad will miss things that they either can’t get in the country they are in or are simply too expensive. From food to certain clothing brands, being in a new country also means being without some of what students are used to from home.

A lot of parents visit their children when they study abroad. It allows the student to show their parents around and gives you the chance to explore a new country or city too. This is also a great time for students to ask their parents to bring things from home that they forgot, are missing, or just need in general.

So, if you have a child studying abroad, here are some tips for bringing a piece of home to them.

1. Ask them if they need anything from home when you go to visit.

While this gets rid of the element of surprise, you will know for sure that the things you are bringing are items they need and will get use out of.

2. Food items are harder to travel with.

For food, it is best to bring things that are nonperishable and don’t break or leak during travel. Remember that other countries do have some of the same foods we do in America, so be sure to make sure what you’re bringing is something they don’t have easy access to, so it is worth it. For example, in Florence specifically the things my friends and I noticed were that peanut butter is very expensive, ranch dressing is pretty much nonexistent, and mac and cheese is hard to come by. These simple things from home really do make a huge difference to students who are used to eating them.

3. Timing is everything.

If your child is studying abroad for a semester, visiting halfway through and bringing different clothes to swap with the clothes they have can be very helpful. Especially when students are studying abroad when the seasons are changing, being able to send home the bigger bulkier clothes in exchange for lighter ones will make a huge difference for them.

Even if they don’t admit it, students at a minimum are missing the people from home that means something to them. If they aren’t specifically saying they need something, it’s always nice to surprise them. I had previously studied abroad in London and found that pretty much all my favorite snacks and clothing items I would need were easily accessible, so I wasn’t missing any of those material things. Instead I was missing my friends and family, so my parents sent me a box of chocolates and flowers for Valentine’s day with a custom written note from local flower and chocolate shops in London. Not only was it good chocolate and beautiful flowers, but it was a sign from them that they were thinking about me and it was really heartwarming.

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