12 Emotional Stages You Experience Before Studying Abroad

Pre-departure butterflies: very real and very normal. Thankfully, WSA Intern Kylie Walsh (Oxford, Fall) gives the lowdown on what you can expect before hopping across the pond to study abroad:

  1. Indecisiveness- You’re staring at a list of schools given to you by your study abroad advisor. Do you want to go to Spain? Germany? Greece? Thailand? Argentina? Brazil? India? You make dozens of pros and cons lists but end up falling in love with every country you look at. How are you ever going to choose?

  2. Inspired- After a lot of thought, you have finally settled on a place to study abroad. Now you’re planning like there’s no tomorrow. You have lists of national monuments, historical sites, quaint towns, and the best places to dance all night. You need to see everything. After class of course

  3. Energetic: You can hardly sleep. You can’t talk about anything other than your plans to study abroad. You are beginning to drive your friends crazy because all you can think about is your trip.

  4. Optimistic: You're about to live in a new country for four months- You’re walking on air. everything is going to be absolutely perfect. Nothing can go wrong.

  5. Anxious:  ...You're about to live in new country for four months. You begin to wonder if you’ll be able to fit everything in. You want to see the world but you only have limited weeks and school to pass. You spend hours working on budgeting, trying to make sure you can actually afford this semester.

  6. Open: You tell yourself that whatever happens, happens. You are adventurous. You are ready for anything.

  7. Courageous: You begin planning trips alone. You’re ready to take on the world. You are fearless.

  8. Sad: You realize suddenly that you’re going to be on the opposite side of the world from your friends and family. Yeah, you’re getting the chance to meet new people from new cultures, but you’re really going to miss Saturday brunch with your besties.

  9. Overwhelmed: Wait, there’s so much to do before you leave. Visa paperwork, transcripts, registering for classes, packing, doctor’s appointments. You seriously doubt that you’ll be able to get everything done.

  10. Worried: You worry about getting homesick, whether you’ll meet new people, how bad jet lag is going to be, getting through Customs. You just want to be abroad already but you can’t shake the nerves.

  11. Hesitant: You’re at the airport about to get on the plane. You begin to wonder if you can actually do this, spend a semester abroad. You pause slightly before handing the flight attendant your ticket.

  12. Ecstatic: The plane pulls away from the gate. You have an enormous grin on your face. The semester of a lifetime is about to begin.

    By Kylie Walsh, WSA Intern



Mary Reagan, Saint Louis University

Happy Backpackers

The trip to Budapest was amazing! I did not know what to expect from Budapest because my roommate just told me to go with her so I was up for anything, but it ended up being one of my favorite trips so far of my study abroad experience. The hostel we stayed at gave us an excellent taste of the Budapest night life while Bogi took us to places that I definitely would not have been able to get to on my own or had known about if not for her WSA tour. It was a great weekend and I highly recommend it.

Mary Reagan, Saint Louis University ~ St. Louis University, Madrid, Spring 2015

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