Studying abroad can be a bit scary at times. The comforts of home aren’t at the tips of your fingers. Your family, friends, and way of life get left behind as you begin an adventure of a lifetime. It can be difficult to go about all of this alone, and in actuality, you don’t have to be alone in your adventures abroad. Building a support system in your host country is a lot easier than you’d think. Many people, especially those who are also on exchange, have the same worries, anxiety and difficulties as you. This situation does sound a bit sad now that I am writing it out, but that is not the case at all. This situation really allows for the growth of amazing friendships and an empathetic support system. It can be a bit intimidating to put yourself out there and make new friends, but it is well worth it! While keeping in contact with people at home is always a good thing to do, sometimes it can be difficult for those loved ones to really understand how you feel or what is going on. Talking about problems or just relating to life abroad with others who are abroad can be a truly helpful thing.
I have been extremely fortunate to have made connections and relationships with people abroad, that have proven to be instrumental in my individual growth. I think it is safe to say the same for my friends here in Cork. We all take time to talk about our lives, and the differences we experience while abroad. It is also wonderful to talk to my friends who have lived their entire lives in Ireland. They present different perspectives and help make the place feel more like home. So, while it may seem like studying abroad is an individual endeavor, it doesn’t have to be. Meeting new friends, and building a support system abroad is definitely achievable.
Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.