How to Mentally Prepare Yourself for a Semester Abroad

As Spring semester begins, many of us are able to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. Everyone says that this will be the time of your life, and to enjoy every second of it. Of course, you want to do that, but moving to another country for four months is not an easy thing to do for everyone. Whether you are an in-state student or out-of-state, you are going to be further away from all of your loved ones than you have probably ever been. In order to take full advantage of the amazing opportunity that you have been given to go abroad, here are some tips to prepare your mind for the distance from everything that you are comfortable with.

Stay Away from Your Phone

Posting all of your new abroad pics is going to be great, but it's important to not be on your phone as much as you normally are. This will help you to prepare to leave, as well. You are going to be in a different time zone, doing things that your friends and family will hopefully be jealous of. Be present, and try to not be in constant communication with everyone in your life. Take this time abroad to unplug in a sense, and focus on yourself and your amazing new surroundings. You can post the Insta, but don’t update your story every five minutes.

Remember that You’re Coming Back

Saying goodbye for abroad can be difficult, but it is important to remind yourself and your friends that, this is just a semester after all. And while you are living it up in another country, your friends' lives do not stop. They’ll miss you, but that won’t stop them from having the time of their lives as well. Know that you’re coming back, and it might be hard at first because they will be continuing to make memories together. But, you’re making memories on your own, and when you come back, it will feel like no time has passed.


It is so important to reflect on your experiences before, during, and after going abroad. You may be feeling anxious, excited, or both. Write it down! It will help organize your thoughts, and you’ll feel more ready than you thought you could.

Keep an Open Mind

Reminding yourself that you are going to be outside of your comfort zone every day is important. Upon arrival, you’re going to be mixed with a bunch of people you don’t know in a place that you don’t know. Just telling yourself that there is going to be a transition period will help calm your nerves and be more willing to go with the flow because, frankly, you have to.

Set Goals

Writing down what you want out of your experience is super helpful. It will help you start the trip off knowing what you want out of it, and hopefully avoiding situations that you don’t want to be in. This is a time of growth and excitement, so get what you want out of it!

I hope this helps you as you prepare for your time abroad! Deep breaths; it’s going to be amazing.

Thanks, Tumblr, for the photos!