How to make sure your child is prepared for University
Waving your child goodbye as you leave them at their student accommodation for the first time can be an emotional experience. Whilst technically your precious little son or daughter is now technically an adult, more often than not this will be the first time they have lived away from home and both you and them will be filled with anxiety about the situation.
Whilst the facts that you will miss them and worry about them being away from home are unavoidable there are some things you can do to prepare for your child leaving home that will make it a less stressful day for everyone.
Make sure you are insured
With student debt ever increasing and the average now working out at around £20,000 cutting costs wherever possible is of paramount importance to both students and their parents and insurance is no different. Students will take expensive items such as laptops and TVs with them to university so it is vital they have contents insurance, whilst some more expensive items will require additional cover many will be covered on their parents existing home insurance policy so you won’t need to spend a penny on making sure your child’s valuables are protected.
Peter Harrison, insurance expert at moneysupermarket.com advises “Students gearing up for the start of university may be more focussed on the fun of fresher’s week than thinking about their insurance cover. But students are a prime target for theft and burglary and many will have a number of expensive electrical items which will need protecting, so foregoing insurance could prove a false economy.
He continues, “It’s vital to take out adequate insurance to protect belongings such as iPods, laptops and mobile phones and one way of bringing down the cost for this cover is to add students onto their parent’s home contents policy. Parents should be aware however, that any claims made will directly impact their own claims history and may lead to them losing any no claims discount and result in increased premiums in the future.’
Many people like to ensure that their son or daughter has the right equipment to be able to work to the best of their abilities and one of the ideal things to purchase them before they go to university is a laptop. This will provide them not only with something that will help them keep up to date with their work and assignments but it will also provide you a way of communicating with each other, via emails or social networking sites, your child having a laptop with them will mean they never have an excuse not to drop you a line to let you know how they are doing.
Of course laptops are an expensive purchase and before you make the decision to buy one it is important that you do your research, there are many great deals to do had, particularly around September time before the university term begins. To find the best deals on cheap laptops use price comparison sites to compare prices and keep an eye out for those offering free extras, including a Microsoft office package can save you a great deal of money and it is essential when doing university work. If you can stretch to a printer as well this could be very helpful for your child, however if not it is not essential, late night trips to the library to print off assignments due to be handed in only hours later is all part of the experience of being at university!
An essential for all students is a good student bank account and the best time to get this is after your child has received their confirmed place at university but before they actually start. A good student account will provide your son and daughter with an interest free overdraft which can be very useful whilst they are away from home, or course it is important that your child is aware this isn’t free money and once they graduate they will be paying it back with interest. During their time at university though it can be very useful in between student loans for that little bit of extra cash.
Of course this is another area where research is needed, shop around for the best overdraft offers and keep your eye out for the free gifts the banks are offering, 3 year rail cards can prove very useful when living away from home
Above all when your child does leave for university remember they are only a phone call away! And whilst you may miss them you have given them the best possible start to enable them to stand on their own two feet! This feeling of missing them will also be ever so slightly diminished when they arrive home 3 weeks after Fresher’s week to stay for the weekend armed with a bag of clothes for you to wash!!
With thanks to http://moneysupermarket.com