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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUC chapter.

Studying abroad has been a large part of the college experience for some time. It’s an opportunity that people hold with them for the rest of their lives.

What happens when your partner decides they want to jet off for a semester though? While the first initial thought may be to panic about going a semester without them, this situation is manageable on both sides. Here’s what you should expect when your partner is studying abroad for a semester.

You’ll miss them a ton. This one may be stating the obvious. However, it’s a truth that’s hard to think about. Long-distance relationships are difficult for anyone, and this is definitely no exception. 

As difficult as it may feel to think about, this is an opportunity for both of you to grow. Long distance has benefits that aren’t always first thought of. You appreciate each other even more when you’re apart. Your love will strengthen as a result. It will come with challenges and difficulties the two of you will face, but ultimately you’re facing it together.

Time difference. For example, Rome, Italy is 7 hours ahead of Chicago, IL. Be aware and look into the time difference you and your partner will have. From there, you can be aware of what time it is for your partner and reach out accordingly. Your partner may be asleep by the time you’re just starting to get ready for bed, so make sure the time change isn’t a huge surprise for you. 

A helpful tip is adding a widget to either your phone or apple watch with your partner’s time. This will make it easier for you to see what time of day it is for them and it keeps you connected.

Consider downloading relationship apps. There are tons of different apps that exist out there to connect you and your significant other. 

For example, the app Love Nudge is free to download, and it teaches you about your partner’s love language. The app caters to the specific needs of your partner and communicates them to you in the form of a “nudge.”

Be flexible. Both of you will have stuff going on, and one may be too busy at the moment to immediately answer your text or pick up a FaceTime call. The key is to communicate that you may be busy, but that you could talk at a different time. 

Getting frustrated with your partner won’t get you anywhere in your relationship. Instead, try putting yourself in their shoes. Have a conversation about how you feel and come up with a solution together. At the end of the day, both of your worlds have changed substantially, so it’s natural to feel upset or stressed about it. You are not alone. 

Communication may look different. Chances are, with the time change, adjustment period, and type of phone plan, your communication with your partner may be different from how it was before. Talk about how you plan on communicating while they are abroad, and you may need to download a new texting app or have to pay for phone calls. Whatever the case may be, preparedness is key. 

Prepare for some more alone time. Now that your partner is abroad, you will have a lot more alone time on your hands. At first, it may seem scary. You are used to having your significant other around you or easy to get to. What do you do now? 

Alone time can be really beneficial. Indulging in an interest or starting a new hobby can be really productive and fulfilling for you. Another way you can use your time is by connecting with friends and exploring the relationships in your life. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure your own needs are being fulfilled and taking care of yourself.

Raven is a Multimedia Journalism student minoring in Global Studies and Spanish at Loyola University Chicago. Originally from Tennessee, when not writing she can be found grabbing a coffee with friends or reading the latest on celeb gossip