“It’s not what we have in life but who we have in our life that matters.” I love this quote because you automatically think of the people you love the most, your family and friends. Family is a major factor in making an exchange (or any trip) successful. First, your guardians must give consent for you to solo travel as a teenager, which is a major choice. Here are some tips to help you get a, “yes!” from your parents.
• Information – Gather all the information possible about the program you are going with, and do this by yourself. Collecting all the information by yourself shows your parents you are serious about going and that you are acting responsibly.
• Presentation – If your parents are on the edge of letting you go or not give them a presentation. Yes, this may seem lame, but it works. Write out costs, rules, the positives of going, the negatives, everything. (I did this and got to enjoy 9 days in Costa Rica, aka paradise, over winter break!)
• Money – This is almost always a problem in every family. If you are lacking funds and that’s the main reason your parents are against the idea of going abroad then you need to earn the money yourself! There are hundreds of ideas on the Internet for teens to raise/earn money. Do them! This shows a lot of responsibility on your behalf and shows you’re willing to work for what you want. It also makes the trip that much sweeter getting to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
• Trust/Responsibility – Your parents have to have a large amount of faith and trust in you to let you travel as a teenager. Show them that you are worthy of this trust by acting responsibly! Get home 15 minutes before curfew, do extra chores, quit nagging a sibling, or go out of your way to help a family member. Small tasks such as those (performed consistently and over a period of time) can go a long way!