Studying abroad is great. We all know about it. Meeting new people, making friends all around the world, discovering new places, experiencing different cultures and all of this while getting your degree. Sounds like a dream, right?
Finding yourself in foreign country, speaking new language, being far away from your old friends and family without knowing for sure when you are going to see them and studying a lot might affect you in a way you wasn’t really ready for.
I wanted to shed some light on this issue because I personally faced it. The start was pretty good. I was going to get my degree in two different European countries, traveling a lot and learning something I really like! There was no way I would even think that something might go wrong ! And after feeling down and being depressed it took me quite a lot of time to be happy again, to be proud of my choices and to really enjoy my journey.
So if you do feel down, and things don’t look the way you expected to, you are not alone there. It’s actually more common, then you would think!
Studying abroad can be hard, but you are not alone and there are plenty of things you can do in order to get out from this. I am going to share with you some of the tips I personally tried and it worked for me and hopefully you might find it useful for yourself.
Try to find “your” people on the program
We’re all different, so it might take sometime, however really give it a try to make new close friends, with whom you can share your thoughts.
Yeah, don’t forget why you are here! You will never be so young and free as now, during your program. So use this chance! Positive emotions are always welcome!
Try something new
Being in a new place is like starting everything from a blank page. It is a chance to get over your fears and do something you always wanted to. Dancing classes, yoga, languages, tracking, acting and many many other activities are available for students (especially in Hamburg!). There are many of them in English, however you might use it as a chance to learn new language. I learned my Italian in the gym, by the way.
Don’t over study
Devote a reasonable amount to your home works and exam preparation, but don’t stress yourself more then needed. If you don’t get something – ask your colleges or professors. Chances you’ll pass are very hight! I mean, you are already there, so you must be good
But it’s really important that you also do something else apart from your studies. Balance is important.
Talk to previous generations
Sometimes just hearing “I know how you feel, I’ve been there. You’ll make it” will do all the work.
Make friends outside your program
Being 24/7 with same people all the time is already stressful enough. In “real life” we have friends from different parts – hight school mates, friends from the gym, colleagues etc. Meeting different friends helps you to keep your balance. Especially during exams, when everyone is stressed, its really important to take some time of and get out. Having someone you can talk to outside your studying group about things you like can be a life saver.
If you can, take a couple of days off and go home
Few days with your friends and family can give you tones of energy and positive emotions. Totally worth it!
Invite your friends/family over
Now you can host your best friends in a new country! Why don’t you invite them to discover new places and food together? Meeting someone you really care about helps to keep going!
It’s okay to tell the truth to your closest people
Everyone at your home would expect you to be happy and happy And yeah, there are many things you should be happy about! But it’s okay to tell your closest friends how you really feel. You might not even know how supportive they can be!
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Probably you were one of the best in your class back home. And now things are different. You heard it a lot, just repeating grades are not that important. All of those who graduated from the probram got jobs/Phd’s. With different grades
Ask for help
If you feel like things are not getting any better, if you always feel down and nothing works for you, talk to someone. Look for the professional help at your university. Your health comes first.
Of course there are plenty of other things you can do. I just shared my personal experience. I really hope you won’t feel down and really enjoy one of the greatest chances life has given you! Take the most of it.