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What To Do If You’re Struggling Studying Abroad

What To Do If You’re Struggling Studying Abroad

What To Do If You're Struggling Studying Abroad

God, I got depressed in exchange. I went into the experience hideously unprepared – I brought my ticket the week before I left, did zero preparation and believed it would all magically come together. Trust me, it certainly did not.

I left the sunny shores of Sydney Australia for the four hours of light a day of Denmark. The instant seasonal depression was real! I’d just come out of the busiest year of my life, had a packed social calendar and felt pretty comfortable in life. Turns out going halfway across the world with no friends or family was a pretty quick way to blow up all that. Within a few months, I’d lost three phones, a laptop and my dignity. I’d gone off my ADHD medication and made a speedy descent into quasi-alcoholism. Studying abroad got real dark, real quick!

TBH I often wanted to throw in the towel and book a trip home before I went any deeper into the ongoing disaster that was the supposed “best experience of my life!” Instead, I decided to keep fighting and ended up my time studying abroad pretty proud of myself – at the very least it taught me a hell of a lot.

Realise You’re Not Alone

Reality check, studying abroad isn’t all pretty Instagrams and #livelaughlove for everybody. Many of us feel lonely and out of our depth – we just feel like we can’t talk about it. So don’t be afraid about being honest about how you’re feeling. I spent so much time in a depression k-hole overseas because I was so scared of acknowledging I wasn’t going great. Boring! It is only natural to struggle in a new environment, so go easy on yourself.

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What To Do If You’re Struggling Studying Abroad

Pick Up the Phone

Often, all you want to hear is a familiar voice. Thanks to modern technology we can now also see a familiar face. Honestly, it was phone calls with my mum that so often got me through a tough day studying abroad. I also relied on my friends heavily, who reminded me of all I had waiting for me back in Sydney. Most of all, keeping in touch with those you’ve left behind is a great reminder that not a whole lot is changing back there – before you know it you’ll be back so why not arrive with some great stories?

What To Do If You’re Struggling Studying Abroad

Make an Effort, Fix Ya Shit

It wasn’t until I went travelling after my semester studying abroad finished that I truly felt my time overseas take flight. However, I wish I got there sooner. I should have looked harder for my type of people, moved out of this shitty room I was forced to share with a weird mute and made the choices that would have allowed me to carpe diem to the max whilst overseas.

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What To Do If You’re Struggling Studying Abroad

Why Not, Take A Crazy Chance

My best memories are all the times I did take a chance, went to the party or got exploring the unfamiliar lands of Europe. Luckily, I got my shit together eventually – how else would I have discovered Berlin nightlife goes off so insanely that you can cook it up on TUESDAY!

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What To Do If You’re Struggling Studying Abroad

Appreciate the Life Lessons and Growth

I think every day you spend studying abroad you should remind yourself that this is the one chance you’ll get to access everything this privilege offers. Looking back, I now see such an experience is often one of intense highs and difficult lows. But what really matters is how much I learnt – I wouldn’t have the confidence to move cities after graduating and deal with adulthood as well if I hadn’t spent time studying abroad. So sometimes the going gets a little tough, but at the end of the day it’ll be worth it. Keep going!

What To Do If You’re Struggling Studying Abroad

What tips do you have for people struggling with studying abroad? Share them below!

Featured Image Source: https://www.ulc.org/ulc-blog/loneliness-affects-health
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