I'm feeling unhappy whilst studying abroad, what do I do?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/24/2009 11:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I am a UK university student on a compulsory year abroad study programme for my course, I'm a 3rd year studying French and Italian, placed in Italy. Although I understand the value of this year in so far as my language is concerned, and meeting new people and having new experiences, I have been here for 4 months (with Christmas at home) and to be completely honest I'm fed up.

A friend here has told me I'm just worried because of the exams going on at the moment, and I should just keep slogging on with it, but I've been having a lot of crying episodes and feeling very very alone in spite of having friends here who I go out with frequently. I find myself trying to avoid going out at times, and being insistent that I have to go out at others - I'm really trying to be happy here. But pretty much the last couple of months I have been miserable (except when I was at home with my family).

I think it is a requirement that I complete the year abroad to progress to the final year of my degree, but I am fairly sure with permission from the University you can get out of it. I've left my boyfriend at home, and all my family, and although I visit as often as money allows I can't seem to stop being tense and upset and wishing this year was over.

There are 5 months left and I'm not sure I can manage with it. What do I do? Get in touch with the University and talk my options through with them? Talk to my parents about it? I don't want them to feel ashamed that I couldn't even manage for less than a year in a country that isn't that far from home, and where I'm supposed to be gaining amazing life experiences which everyone envies. They know I have had a couple of rough patches, but I can't help but feel this is more than a rough patch and that I want to just pack it in and go back to the UK.

Any thoughts you have would be much appreciated, I really don't know what to do.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 1/24/2009 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Heej Vaelora,

Welcome to HW! I think I can understand where you are going through at the moment. This winter I've stopped my study because of not feeling too good. Anyway, talking always helps. If you aren't happy there, something needs to change. Your parents and friends can help with the support, the university can provide alternatives, so it will be good if you have a chat with some of them. Please remember it is nothing to be ashamed for. Everyone is different, some can do it with easy, others can't. And that's it.

5 months is too much time to be unhappy I believe. If you train yourself to "sit things out", you can end up doing that your entire life. Whilst the alternative is seeking a cure, seeking happiness. In fact, if your newly found source of happiness is strong, you won't have the same problems with living abroad again. So it is an investment in your life. It might take a couple of weeks, months, years, maybe even decades, but it will be worth it. So it could be a wise decision to take a break, put things on halt, and work on your state of mind for some time. Ow, and that ain't selfish, since everyone will benefit from you if have a positive and joyful spirit :-).

I hope this somewhat helps.

All the best Vaelora!
Acceptance is the key

The World is but a reflection. Smile, and it will smile back.

Try to keep smiling! :)

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40402
   Posted 1/24/2009 1:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Vaelora,

Welcome to healing well. I think that you will find that this is a good forum.

I would suggest when you aren't sure what to do, take it one day at a time. Don't stress about the future or dwell on the past.

If you are really that miserable, you might want to step back and take a break for a while. But will you regret the fact that you stopped what you are doing. My best advice is to live in the moment and see what comes of it.

Best wishes,

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/24/2009 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Vaelora

Welcome to HealingWell.

I agree with Karen, when your not sure what to do, go slowly and don't make any rash decisions. You have 5 months to go............try to think of that as a short time and think positive.  It will soon be in your past.

Know that you are a wise and wonderful person and this is something that you can  get through.

Keep talking to us and Believe.



Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

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Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
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