Your time studying abroad will be full of emotions and will be over before you know it. If you’re considering studying abroad and having some doubts, allow me to tell you about how you might feel once you’re halfway through your time abroad. For me, I experienced these feelings in the middle of my semester at University of Eastern Finland.
Congratulations! You’ve made it this far, which seemed impossible when you first arrived. You know where to get your groceries, how to get to your new university, what time the buses run and where… You finally feel like you live here, instead of just being a visitor.
It’s only natural, since you’re going to be hitting midterms/finals, and more than likely, you’ll be dealing with things like course registration for your home university. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, because things that once seemed so easy to handle back home now seem to drive you up a wall.
Once you’ve settled in and found your way around your new city, you’ll feel a little more comfortable exploring and traveling in your new country. For me, that meant a long weekend trip to Helsinki with a few new friends. It was still a little daunting, but I loved it!
I’ve always been really independent, but even I’ve gotten homesick a few times since I arrived. I think the hardest part for me was when I traveled to Helsinki. I got to have all of these American things that we don’t have in Joensuu, and my traveling companions and I told stories about our friends and family back home. It made me really realize how much longer I have left to go, and long to be home again. So, yes, I’m halfway through and ready to leave. But, that’s where the next item comes in!
Not so much lost in place as you are in time. Where has the time gone? I’ve been here for two months, and it feels like I just got here yesterday. I’ve taken some really amazing courses, seen some fantastic sights, and met amazing people. I’m really sad that come December, I have to leave them all. So, enjoy every day of it, because it’ll go by faster than you think!
Just take it one day at a time. It’s easy to get caught up in missing home. But if you dwell on it, you’ll miss the really spectacular parts of being abroad. So you took the wrong bus, or you can’t find your favorite candy. Just think of it as a chance to explore. Try some new things, see more of the city. It’ll all be okay. And by the time you’re halfway through, you won’t even remember it happening.
So, adventure on, because it’ll be over before you know it!
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