Anxiety About Going Abroad

Published Originally: August 13, 2019
by Maryah Desir, ATP Student Ambassador
Studying at: The University of Brighton

Change can be separated into four different types: There is unexpected change, unwanted change, necessary change, and positive change. No types must go with a specific other, they are interchangeable you will find.With change can come shock, fear, and anxiety. However with change can also come joy, happiness, and inspiration. Moving from one country to another to study for university is one of the biggest changes one can make in their lifetime. Anxiety is the top hinderer when it comes to moving someplace new, especially a new country. However, there are ways to overcome it. 

(Sabine Appel)

Anxiety about going abroad is not uncommon. Many students and travelers in general struggle with it. When feeling anxious about change it is important to remember to keep inner balance, and keep yourself centered. Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Remind yourself of your dreams and your goals. Remind yourself of how hard you have worked to get where you are. Remind yourself that you are capable. Remind yourself that you have help and resources. You are not alone. Especially not with your ATP advisor on your side. 

Think to yourself what it is that is making you most anxious, or worried. Is it the new environment? Meeting new friends? A language barrier? The fact that you will be far away from home? Really soul search and pin down what it is that is making you hesitant.  Moving away in any capacity can be an exciting yet still scary experience. Add moving away to another country to the mix and you have quite the concoction. There are a ton of factors that make it worthwhile, and tons of things already in place at University to help you with your anxieties. 

(Michela Parisi)

When dealing with my own anxiety about going abroad I found that registering for social events that my university had set up was very beneficial. Social events like International Orientation were especially helpful because I met other international students and it was really comforting to know that we could all relate to each other and share tips. The mutual understanding created a strong foundation and possibility for great friendships. We would all have to learn new things, but now we could learn them together. A good amount of my anxiety went away because of orientation, and I felt so much more confident in my familiarity of my new home. Signing up for Orientation is something I highly recommend, and if possible, signing up for International Orientation as well. 

Being away from family is one of the hardest parts of going to university abroad. Alot of my own personal anxiety stemmed from that when I first moved abroad. It gets especially hard during the holiday season. However, I made it by making videochat my new best friend. I recommend trying to set up specific times for catch ups with your friends and family back home. This helps tremendously. Print tons of pictures, and things that remind you of home. For me, it helped make my loved ones seem not that far away. 

(Leah Flores)

Once you get to University abroad, be sure to take it day by day. Find your joy, join clubs, and discover your new home. Ask questions, be sure of yourself. After time you will find that a lot of your anxieties will fade away. Not immediately, and not without help. But they will fade, and you will be okay. Perhaps going to university abroad will be the most positive change in your life. 

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”  – C. JoyBell C.

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