Studying abroad: how to deal with emotions
Studying abroad is often one of the first international adventures in a student’s life. Leaving is exciting: you dream of a new life and experiences which are wonderful but it would be wise not to overdo it. Idealizing your adventure could lead to heavy disillusionment, and even a feeling of depression that pushes some students to go back home earlier than planned.
When you finally get to your new country you might experience some contradictory emotions: stress, excitement, loneliness, euphoria, nostalgia…and it’s absolutely normal!
It is normal to feel stressed
Facing the unknown, speaking another language, recreating a social network, studying new things might turn you apprehensive even before getting in the new country.
To prepare yourself, it might be a good idea to talk to other people who have already been to the country you are going to study in and who, like you, may have followed a similar path. You could learn from them the challenges they faced, understand what worked for them and what did not.
In addition, if you have friends who live there or if you have the opportunity to meet people on the net, already knowing what awaits you will help you to face expatriation more calmly.
From euphoria to nostalgia: what to do
When you arrive in the new country, you enter the phase of discovery: you’re probably going to be enthusiastic, curious, and to think that everything is better here. You’ll be like a tourist who marvels at everything, and this excitement will help you face all the difficulties you might encounter at the beginning: getting to know new people, learning a new language, finding an accommodation and maybe a student job.
This happiness may eventually fade one day, and you could miss what you left behind in your country. In bad moments, you could even find yourself saying that after all this experience abroad is not so good and that it does not suit you.
In these difficult moments, it’s very important to keep in touch with your family and friends back home, but don’t isolate yourself, and don’t consider returning back home at the first sign of the blues. Running away from difficulties will certainly not boost your self-esteem.
If your problems are bigger and you have difficulty dealing with them, do not worry: many universities have mental help support where you will find all the help you need.
Between locals and expats from all over the world who are in the same situation as you, there are wonderful encounters to have! Force yourself to go out and meet other people. Of course, at the beginning it will not be easy, but step by step you will get to know new people. Many student residences have common spaces, so you might want to start there and make a new circle of friends.
To start off on the right foot and reduce stress before leaving, rely on us to find the perfect accommodation, where you can study, rest and meet new people!