Stresses of Studying Abroad

There’s no doubt that studying abroad will be the most amazing experience of my life, but preparing for it all seems like a NIGHTMARE! There are so many things that are so stressful, and, no surprise, packing is one of them. There is so much to do in what seems like so little of time. If you’re planning on studying abroad, and it’s freaking you out, I can assure you that you’re not alone. Here are the top 8 struggles of preparing to study abroad for a semester.

1.Getting Paper Work Done

The application process was quite a stressful one. Surprisingly, the essay was the easiest part. It was no problem writing about my desire to explore another country, but the other forms seemed endless. I made about 29 too-many-trips to the “Danielle’s Important Papers” box to dig up information.

2. Getting Prescription Medications

Fighting with pharmacists, doctors and insurance companies pretty much sums up my winter break. For some reason, they did not understand that I wasn’t going to be in the country for 4 months, and there would be no other way to receive such a bulk of prescription meds. Thankfully, I won the battle and got 115 days’ worth, but it was challenging.

3. Remembering the Stupid Little Things...

I’ve never traveled out of the country before, so I kept forgetting that Europe was pretty different than America. I was told to bring feminine products (enough to last 4 months) since they were sometimes “different” over there. While packing, I had to keep reminding myself that there would be no local Walmart or CVS that sells Playtex.

4. F.O.M.O. on a Semester with Friends

It is obvious that I’m about to embark on an experience of a lifetime, but I still laid in bed some nights thinking of everything that I’m going to miss on campus with my friends this spring semester. It’s sad knowing how many hangouts and other activities on campus that I’ll be missing out on.

5. Scheduling Times to Say Goodbye to Family and Friends

The last week before I left was most definitely the hardest. Seeing all my family and friends one last time before I left really made it sink in that I’ll be gone for so long. I’ve never been away from them for this long, but I know that being abroad will fly by. I’ll be back home with them all soon!

6. Anticipating Culture Shock and a Time Difference

I’m so used to the American bubble that I had no clue what to expect once I got to Europe. Would the bathrooms be a lot different? Are washers and dryers the same as home? Will I have trouble making transactions with Euros rather than the American dollar? Will I even understand what anyone’s saying to me?

7. Missing T.V. Shows

While I’m gone these 4 months, I’m relying heavily on my T.V. to record all my favorite shows that I’ll be missing. Even though I’m sure I’ll see tons of spoilers online, I’m still planning on using all summer to catch up on everything.


Being a typical girl, I most definitely over packed, but I just wanted options. Technically, I wanted to bring my whole entire wardrobe, but that just wouldn’t fit into two checked bags. I found many different resources online which listed what to and what not to pack, but I still over packed anyways.

And, there you have it. The 8 struggles of studying abroad. Once you get past this phase and sit down on the airplane, you will feel a huge weight come off your shoulders as you realize that the time is finally here. All the little stresses were worth it, and now, you can forget the little things and just enjoy your time abroad!