When children reach a new milestone in their education, it is always a proud moment for them and their parents. Finishing high school or secondary school is an achievement that deserves recognition and celebration. However, with that comes the next stage in their lives, which is planning for their future. Preparing for higher education can be exciting but also stressful, as there are many costs involved. 

Before going to college, you can help your teen prepare for this next phase of their lives in many ways while saving money at the same time. So don’t worry thinking pre-college courses are the only thing helping them with the transition from secondary education to higher education. While this equips teens for the distinct learning styles needed at a higher level, they can engage in many other beneficial, inexpensive activities that can prepare them in different yet relevant ways. This way, they learn new skills and can even save up their earned money.


This is an activity that universities and colleges appreciate a great deal when they evaluate applications. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to realise your strengths and apply them to a real-life situation. It’s an experience that teaches people how to deal with certain situations as they learn to adapt to unpredictable circumstances. On the other hand, it can show your child what their dislikes are or how to tackle their weaknesses, which can be extremely useful before choosing to apply to a college degree. 

Acquiring this knowledge about skills and areas of improvement through volunteering will make your teen more motivated to keep exploiting ways in which they can utilise their potential. It (literally) doesn’t cost anything to volunteer. Apart from the advantages mentioned above, volunteering can help with your child’s mental wellbeing from adolescence.

Having this on their CV when applying for colleges might help them financially as well. This might help your teen become eligible for specific scholarships, which can remove the stress associated with the costs of attending higher education.

Going abroad

Living abroad for some time is a great learning curve that comes with becoming independent and being surrounded by different cultures and traditions than what your children were used to so far. 


You might think that sending your child abroad will be a significant expense, or that is a cost that is not worth it. However, many affordable exchange programs allow your teen to study in a different place where the living costs are not too high. This independence will help them when they start attending university, especially if that will be in another country. Moreover, having to live alone and on a budget can make your child more aware of the importance of managing their money with responsibility. In this case, they will become more interested in getting a job to earn their money, which is a good habit to learn before going to college.


Apart from high school exchange programs, you could register your child for camps abroad. For instance, in the U.S., there are summer camps in Brooklyn NY which can be beneficial for your teen, as they get to interact with other children from all parts of the world. What’s more, summer camps include a lot of activities, from sports and arts and crafts to more technologically-based ones. So, the combination of indoor and outdoor events and socialising, all in a completely new environment, can prepare your teen for life at university. Their emotional intelligence is developed further while also gaining more practical skills. Such camps are affordable and all-inclusive, so you don’t have to worry about extra costs for grocery shopping and accommodation. 

Summer jobs

The summer between finishing high school and leaving for college can be used effectively to help teens prepare for college’s unknown environment. Taking advantage of this time to work is an excellent opportunity for your child to learn things that cannot be taught in school. For instance, applying for a job during summer, regardless it is only for a limited period of time, will better prepare your teen for the entire hiring process. It is vital to get used to interviews as it will probably be a requirement as part of the college application. 

What’s more, your child will be able to build resilience as, regardless of the job time, there will be times when they will have to work under pressure. This will also develop their strategic thinking and problem-solving skills. Such strengths can help students succeed at university as well as when they start building their career path.

With a summer job or internship, your teen will have the opportunity to learn how to manage their own finances, becoming more financially responsible. This will also be a great chance to save up money for their soon-to-come college move. Employment helps teens earn their independence and sense of responsibility which will prepare them for future challenges.

Gap year 

It has become a known fact that taking a gap year has many benefits in the long-term. The time after high school and before starting a university course is valuable and should be seen as an opportunity. Not only will your child be able to travel and get to witness different cultures, but they can try different jobs or activities to figure out their passion. 

A gap year abroad is a unique experience that can put things into perspective when it comes to important issues in the world. Acquiring emotional intelligence is an attribute that will benefit a teenager both socially and professionally. Not to mention, this is a chance for them to decide what it is they want in life – starting with their preferred area of focus at university and starting to build a career.

What’s more, given that your child will be travelling and working during a gap year, you as a parent won’t have to worry about expenses. Your child will be able to earn money and, who knows, even putting some money aside for when they come back to start their higher education.

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