Contact ANTC

Life in Oxford 2013

Parental Considerations

Planning for your child’s overseas education

Studying overseas in the UK is an inviting prospect. There are great Universities and Colleges here. The UK has a good international standing and English is a very widely spoken language. What could go wrong?

Although the UK is a great place for international students to study at, there are plenty of things which could go wrong! But they don’t have to. It is best to be well-prepared and consider matters carefully in advance. Studying in the UK may well be amongst the best educational preparation you can find in the world, but it is not a magical formula for success.

Coming on a summer school will certainly help towards the goal, but one also needs to think about how to use this experience in connection with the question of how to take the next step.

The first hurdle

The key to studying overseas is maintaining the child-parent relationship. My wife and I have welcomed hundreds of overseas students into our home and I have taught hundreds of overseas students. I have undoubtedly found that the students who have close contact with their parents are able to adapt much more easily. These parents are not only interested in their child, but also in all those people that are involved with their child’s education. They want to work together and are willing to co-operate to find the best educational opportunities for their children.

At All Nations Tutorial College we aim to communicate closely with our agents so that we can listen to the concerns of parents. So please do keep in touch with us directly or through your agent, and get any message or concern sent through.

Planning the next stage

This has a lot to do with expectations for your teenager. What can they achieve realistically? Perhaps they are top of the class or maybe they are more average in their educational attainment. This is not so important. What counts is that your child is given careful and consistent attention so they can achieve the best possible result. You cannot ask more than they give their best.

Planning for them includes paying attention to their willingness to apply themselves. This is not quite so easy because of some of the differences between the UK and China’s educational system. In the UK there is more emphasis on developing that child’s ability to think and to develop themselves rather than on discipline. Discipline is still very important – but the emphasis is different. Some students find this difficult to adapt to and so spend a lot of time playing computer games instead of completing their homework. Host families, guardians, parents and schools need to be clear and consistent in encouraging students to adapt to the type of personal discipline required.

Summer school preparation

Some Chinese parents are concerned that a summer school experience may not be the kind of experience a child needs to prepare them for studying overseas. This may or may not be so. One of the problems is that many summer schools focus exclusively on English. Whilst the language is the key hurdle to overcome this is often not related to the subject that the student intends to study.

At All Nations Tutorial College we aim to link the child’s interest in with their language study to help prepare them for overseas study of other subjects. Since we also teach these other subjects at A level we are equipped to do this. We are very interested to find out what the student’s aims for the future are and to use their English study to move them towards this.


Many Chinese students aim to come and study at University. It is good to get a taster of University life. We aim to show students around the Universities in Oxford to help them get a feel for it. Then they can ask themselves the question: is this really the kind of place I would like to study at? We will also give them a chance to talk personally with people that work at the Universities and students that study there. This will make them feel more comfortable, assured and prepared.

Culture and interaction

Living abroad is about more than studying. Discovering English culture and meeting with English people is exciting and important for personal development.

Students coming through All Nations Tutorial College will get a chance to stay with host families and will be encouraged to interact with families. This is a great way to know what English life is really all about. Meeting real English people in their own homes!

There is also an opportunity to visit places of historical, cultural and educational importance. All this helps to stimulate your child’s interest in life in the UK. Please find further details here. (Please wait for a link to be added- thank you).

Enjoying their visit in the UK environment is off course crucial. Students need to be encouraged to make friends with other English children rather than hanging around with people from their home country all of the time. We understand this is not always easy and that it is also important for Chinese students to retain a strong sense of their own identity. We are looking for ways to make this process easier for students so they can prepare themselves to get the most out of a time of study in the UK.

Final remarks

A summer school does not guarantee a place at University nor does it guarantee your child’s academic success, but it can certainly move them forward towards the life goals that you and they share.

There is a way to prepare for studying in the UK!

                                                    Posted by Mr Nick Bensted,
                                                    Principal, All Nations Tutorial College, Oxford