4 min read

How to Help Your Child Move to University

Andrew Macfarlane
How to Help Your Child Move to University

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Having your child leave home to go to university is an emotional experience. Whether the emotional response is one of jubilation or sadness, you need to help your child leave home.

Before your child even leaves the property, the entire process starts with exploring their options.

Explore the Options

It can be daunting to decide with so many choices for your children. And while some schools will assist by providing pamphlets to look through, it’s up to you, the parents, to help finalise the decision because you will know what interests your child has and an environment that would suit them the most.

It’s no secret that tertiary education is expensive, so it will be worth your while to investigate whether or not there are scholarships available. And if they need your help to apply for financial aid, you can assist.

Some tertiary institutions will be close enough for your children to live at home, but more often than not, they will be far away, and your child will move out to attend. The boarding options will be even more expensive, but bursaries will cover them too.

Make sure to visit the campus as a family if you can. Going on open days is best, but if you aren’t available, then any walkthrough opportunity will be helpful.

Speaking of helpful.

Be Supportive

This is going to be a stressful situation for your child. Offering assistance where ever you can help them achieve their larger goal.

Provide support throughout the application process, which can be tricky and involves a lot of paperwork. This will allow them to confirm details and start planning for the actual move.

When you’ve both received confirmation that they’ve been accepted, it’s time to discuss budgeting.


While some parents can assist with financing this new adventure, not everyone is financially blessed. Either way, you will need to plan a budget with your child.

They might be required to take a part-time job to ensure that they keep within their budget.

Once you’ve crunched the numbers, make sure your child sits down and writes a concrete plan.

Now let’s talk about what you can do in preparation for moving your child out of the home.

Prepping For Your Child to Leave Home

No parent wants to send their child out into the world without a few household items. Depending on your child’s accommodation situation, their needs can vary widely. Let’s first discuss a situation where they are staying in the hostel on campus.

Staying on Campus

If you’re fortunate enough for your child to stay on campus, they won’t require a lot of household items.

Most universities will supply you with a list of items which would include:

    • Bed mattress
    • Kettle
    • Desk
    • Bedside table
    • And if allowed, a cooking stove.

You will need to provide:

    • Bedding
    • A fan
    • A small fridge if needed
    • And a small amount of cutlery and crockery.

The stove is a maybe, as most campuses will supply food for their students. But before rushing out for the other items, you think they’ll need, or searching through your storage facilities, make sure to find out the room's dimensions.

There’s nothing worse than arriving to find you’ve bought the wrong things.

Staying in Digs

Those co-habiting in a home close to campus will be staying in a digs. Extras can vary widely, depending on what each student brings to the home, and what is included in the rental.

As a parent, make sure to inform your child that they should create a list of appliances and items the new home needs. This should include the following:

    • Fridges
    • Couches
    • Microwave
    • A TV
    • Crockery and cutlery
    • And so much more.

And once this has been completed, we’d recommend getting a quote from the best moving company.

But once the boxes have left home and the nest is officially empty, some parents will struggle with the change.

What should parents do after their pride and joy leave home?

What Parents Can Do to Help Children Move to University

A problem that children have when leaving home is a lonely parent. It may be odd for you [as the parent] to try and come to terms with not knowing what they are doing daily, but you need to let go.

Remember to try and keep yourself busy. If you’re still employed, now might be the time to push that dream project through the works.

If you are retired, and at home, it might be time to take up a hobby. Any will do, as long as it keeps you busy.

Many psychologists recognise empty nest syndrome. But keeping your mind busy with a practical skill will help. And when they do call for help, answer and assist where you can.

After a few years, all children miss time with their parents, just give it time.

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