Mental and Emotional Well-being Abroad

Studying abroad is an exciting, life-changing experience - one accompanied by many growth-opportunities. New and ever-changing situations require quick thinking, patience and self-awareness. For many students, studying abroad is an opportunity to explore new passions and learn new cultures and languages. It is only natural that these new situations and circumstances bring on new or unfamiliar emotions.

Mental and emotional well-being abroad is just as important as physical well-being. Before you go, it's very important to speak with your Study Abroad Advisor about any pre-existing conditions you may have experienced before or are currently experiencing. This will help ensure that your study abroad site has the appropriate resources ready for you upon arrival. While away, try to follow these tips to keep on a good mental and emotional track:

  1. Eat well, observe healthy sleep habits and exercise -- it's easy to be so excited about your new situation that you can't sleep, or so in love with the new foods (I see you crepes) that you fall out of your normal eating and sleeping habits. Remind yourself that a balanced life is a happy life and that sleep and nutritious meals are really important! 
  2. Don't forget about your family or friends back home (reach out and check in!) -- you also have your study abroad advisors at GEO who are happy to hear about your new adventures and see pictures, or talk about any hiccups and unexpected changes
  3. Engage in the local community and culture -- making friends locally will not only help you adjust, but will also give you an insider look at your new culture
  4. Relax and go easy on yourself -- It's okay to "take a night off" and stay in every once in a while
  5. Remember, this adventure is time-confined -- While it's easy to feel like situations are everlasting, your study abroad will not be. When the going is great, use this as a reminder to super enjoy it! And when the going is rough, use this as a reminder that this, too, will pass and you will get through it (with a great story for when you get home)!!
  6. Know that you are not alone! -- In the "Resources" Tab below, you can find a number of resources to read, listen, watch, or reach out to!  

If your new situation starts to feel too overwhelming, reach out to your study abroad advisor, who can help you track down the appropriate resource and connect you with locals who can help. 

This tool is used to meet our Lobos skill development and educational needs in well-being and behavioral health. It can be used to provide self-help on issues like mindfulness, communication, problem solving, and much more! Interested in building resilience within yourself? Need a little stress management guidance? Then look no further, Lobos. TAO is here to help! 


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