When you've found your dream course, and you're excited to start University the next step is persuading your parents it's the right choice. Tejinder shares how she convinced her parents that studying Dentistry at Queen's was a perfect combination.
Parents can definitely be over-protective of their children and mine are no different. Consequently, this can make it difficult when parents are faced with the prospect of their children moving away from home for university. Also, if your parents are the ones paying the tuition fees so they can sometimes feel very strongly about whether you are making the right choice or not! This might especially be difficult for international students who are not just moving out of the house - they’re moving countries or continents away! I definitely faced this; before moving from Canada to Belfast, I had to convince my parents that I had made the right choice. Here is what I found useful.
First and foremost in importance for my parents was my safety; they wanted to ensure that I am not going to a dangerous place. What might be useful in this case is to take a trip with your parents to tour the campus and the city before deciding to come to Queen's. This may be beneficial to help your parents understand why Belfast is a safe place to live in and how Queen's has a great and beautiful campus; and in the process, they will see for themselves the safety of the city.
I realize that not everyone is financially able to do that (like me!), so visiting Belfast before I came here was not feasible. However, I found that the campus tour videos on Queen’s YouTube channel were very helpful in showing to my parents what the campus looks like. These videos cover a lot of ground and showcase the main campus usually, but it really helped my parents get a feel of what I could expect on campus. I think everyone can be afraid of uncertainty or the unknown, so this just helped my parents have some peace of mind.
My parents were not super aware of Queen’s before I moved here, so for them, the reputation of Queen's was not obvious right away. So, I had to explain to them that Queen's is part of the Russell Group of universities - which means that it is considered very highly in terms of research, its standard of teaching and success of students. This really helped my parents understand how well-reputed Queen's is - I think the fact that this is a well-regarded, highly competitive and big university gave my parents a sense of security in knowing that my degree would be extensive and well-rounded.
My parents were always supportive of me wanting to study dentistry, so that did not take any convincing but they were a bit apprehensive about whether the dental program at Queen's was competitive and hands-on enough for me to excel at my career in the future. I utilized the website for the dentistry course at Queen's to show how, even from the first year, the degree is very hands-on, and how I would get so much real-life experience working on real patients at the School of Dentistry, that I would definitely hone my skills and excel.
Whatever course you choose, make sure you know the ins and outs of what to expect in it so that you can inform your parents - trust me, they’ll ask EVERYTHING! Utilizing the Queen's website is helpful but also emailing someone from student guidance can be beneficial.
Once you’re at Queen's, make sure you keep reassuring your parents that you are satisfied and happy with the choice you made! It will give them a lot of peace to know that their support of your decision was the right choice!
Dentistry| 2nd year | Canada
I am a 24-year-old Canadian girl through and through! I came to Belfast in Sept 2017 to start my degree in Dentistry. While I do have a degree from Canada (in Biochemistry), coming to Belfast has been an entirely new experience. I am part of the Canadian American Student Association and I am also a Residential Assistant, so if you see me around, say hi! I love reading, sports, singing but above all, I am a coffee fanatic, so I am always up for a chat over a delicious cup of coffee!
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