Juggling between raising a family and studying overseas is one of the most difficult decisions to make and faint-hearted people often fail at it. As someone in the early or middle youth, it’s common to face the dilemma of whether to focus on bringing up a family or chasing after some extra academic qualifications. Out of frustration, people tend to choose either of the two but not both.
Something that will first strike the mind of an ambitious yet married person in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Canada, Australia, or Eastern Europe when they get an offer to study in Scandinavia is the family. Questions such as will I leave my family behind? Will my long-distance marriage stand? How will my young child relate to me? Will I regret leaving my family behind to go and study?
For people who are still single, everything is just easy since it’s all about chasing your dreams with not many decisions to hold you back. But there is one thing that makes Scandinavia stand out for higher education students coming to study but already married in their countries.
Challenges studying in Scandinavia without spouse around
Coming to Scandinavia as a student in higher education can be so rewarding but there is a great challenge to it as well. The fact that someone is already married in their own country means that the decision on whether to bring the family along kicks in.
The rules in Scandinavia allows people to bring their nuclear family to accompany them as students but there is a great premium to the process. One has to demonstrate ability to cater for every other accompanying family member as the social system will not be able to take care of them.
In case one takes the choice of not coming with the family, the social burden of being disconnected from them can be overwhelming. The social culture in Denmark is such that people are closed and keep to themselves. The only way most people try to cope is by getting a girlfriend or boyfriend to keep lively. This may be problematic as a married person is already committed at home and starting a new relationship is not so easy.
Accompanying spouse and Family member to a student in Scandinavia
Most people applying for scholarships overseas may shun away from expressly stating that they are married even if they surely are. Such shunning is misinformed by the thought that the issuers of scholarships may be reluctant to sponsor a family person because of the logistical and social issues related to it. But far from it, declaring your married status may just give you an edge.
The European system had recently realized that people use education as an easy way to be granted a visa and residence after which they get married resulting in sheer population transfer. Though covertly, the system will highly regard a married person due to their attachment to their home country. On the other hand, declaring you are married then gives you a chance to apply for accompanying spouse and family member.
An accompanying spouse is allowed to move to Scandinavia with you for the entire period of your stay, can apply for study as well, and work full time as you study. Although it will set you back a couple of bucks to get an accompanying spouse and children, the benefits far outweigh the costs involved.
How the Accompanying spouse and family members scheme work in Scandinavia
Anybody who has been admitted for a higher education in Scandinavia is eligible to come along with their families. The only disclaimer to this is that it is a requirement to be able to document ability to support each of the accompanying family members.
The family in this case must be demonstrated to be having a close relationship either as a wife, child, or a cohabiting partner. The Danish agency for integration recruitment and integration (SIRI) has an elaborate requirement of which documents to be provided to them for the sake of processing accompanying family members.
An accompanying family member can come alongside the admitted student but can also come later when the student has already been enrolled and continuing with studies. Either way, the decision to bring along accompanying family members will greatly save the social burden that comes with being away from them during the period of study.
How to cope as a student in Scandinavia with a family overseas
Honestly, it is a tall order to cope with studying with a family away. This is not to mean that it is impossible but very challenging. The idea which anyone will agree with is that to dedicate more time for studies and research, having a peace of mind is paramount. This peace of mind only comes when the social attachments are largely settled which is not the case when one is separated from family for two, three or four years depending on whichever program they pursue in Scandinavia.
In the event that it is very impossible to come with the family, then there are a few ways to juggle the need to keep connected to family and studies. First, constant communication with spouse and children is a necessity. Secondly, if one has more than one year to study, it is important to spare time to return home at least once every year throughout the study period-this may seem expensive but very critical for holding the family together.
Because students are allowed to work for 20 hours, it is important to get some income and send home to support the spouse in meeting the family needs. Maybe the other spouse back home has adequate financial sources to keep the family running but the act of sending something as well binds the relationship. Actually, spousal relationship is more emotional than physical and this is what a foreign student should understand.
Inviting family on short term visa as a student in Scandinavia
As a foreign student in any of the countries in Scandinavia with a family left overseas one decision to bring them in occasionally is through short-term visa invitations. This can be done by you as a sponsor who sends an application for 3-6 months so as to okay the family to come.
The immigration authorities provide the specific requirements that someone has to meet before being able to invite family members for a short-term stay.