Advice: Preparing Teens for University

For teens who have never had to work a washing machine, cook a meal or change a bed sheet, the concept of moving overseas and living independently from their families can be quite daunting, not to mention a steep learning curve in how to take care of oneself! WSA offers some friendly words of wisdom to parents to help them prepare their 18 year old for leaving home and surviving life at university.
Advice: Preparing Teens for University
Do your children attend a UAE school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.

With a new year close upon us, many parents will be thinking ahead to September and their teenage son or daughter starting university for the first time.  The team have prepared these top tips to help you (and them!) get ready for the first big step towards an independent adult life.


Life in the UAE can spoil our children, and many kids expect to maintain the same standards of living on their student allowance, which often isn’t possible! It is a parental responsibility to teach our children that a budget is fixed and any spending over and above that has to come from their pockets, whether from a part time job or from their savings.

A good tip from one parent is to pre-order their food online,

“As students seem to spend their money on socialising it is a good idea to give them some of their budget in a supermarket shop which you can order online and have delivered every week anywhere in the world.”

Teach your teens how to budget before they head off to uni!

Get the school involved!

Many schools will offer specific sessions on surviving the first few weeks at university, financial planning and budgeting, personal safety, cooking, home skills, DIY skills and even changing a car tyre! If your school doesn’t offer these lessons, why not suggest it at the next parent teacher meeting?

Teach them to handle their freedom - carefully

If your child has been brought up in the UAE, they will already have experienced many different cultures, which can make them far more mature, well rounded and culturally aware. However, coming from a relatively ‘safe’ society, they can be quite immature in certain areas and not as ‘streetwise’ as their new classmates.

For example, alcohol is a big part of the university experience in many parts of the world. Where in the UAE, the laws have meant that drinking alcohol before they reach 21 is illegal, when they get to a country where the legal age is 18, they have a lot more freedom to experience this element of university life. Teach them to abstain, or at the very least, handle alcohol carefully and sensibly.

Train them in the kitchen

For every teenager who is a capable cook, there are ten others that have never so much as boiled an egg! Lets face it, a student will inevitably live on noodles and pizza for much of  the time but despite this, it’s important to educate them on the benefits of eating healthy food. 

Teach your teen the skills to whip up a healthy, balanced meal at least a couple of times a week. Well before they fly the nest, start on the basics of cooking for one, such as how to prepare staple meals like pasta, jacket potatoes, omelette, chicken curry and even beans on toast!

Basic cooking skills will help any teen in their new independent life...

Encourage independence

Your child is leaving home and you as a parent are likely to be feeling a mixture of anxiety, well as a big temptation to continue to run every area of his or her life. Try to hold back!  Your child is now a young adult, and needs to be aware that now is the time for them to take responsibility for managing their own life.

To help with this, begin to transfer responsibility to your teen in small steps before they leaves for university.  Encourage them to take risks, and let them deal with the emotions and other challenges that life at university will bring.

Want to find out more about starting uni?  Tune in to the Unipod Podcast HERE

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All