My name is Jennifer Glancey, I’m from the UK and I’m on a gap year before studying Law with Spanish at University. When looking into experiences and programs to do in my gap year, I came across Adelante Abroad and I knew it was the perfect program for me. Adelante’s program allowed me to do
Dealing with Loneliness Abroad
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Considering studying or interning abroad and worried about being away from home for too long? Loneliness abroad is a completely normal feeling, and anyone can have some discomfort while in a new place, whether it’s culture shock or being on your own for the first time.
Here are some ways to ease your transition when living abroad:
Put Yourself First
Allow yourself enough space and comfort when adjusting, and give yourself a break if you need to. Your physical and mental health are the most important; taking care of yourself always comes first when dealing with loneliness abroad.
If you’re feeling under the weather in any way, give yourself some time to rest – use Adelante Abroad’s resources provided during your trip if you feel the need to visit a local doctor in your city. Use common de-stress methods such as breathing exercises, yoga, writing in a journal, or even soaking up in a bubble bath. Do whatever you can in order to feel “at-home” in your new place abroad.
Search Online for Other Expat Blogs
Chances are that someone else has travelled to the same city that you’re going to (okay, pretty high chances). Our team provides you with as much information as we can about the neighborhood you’re staying in and the resources available to you with your package; however, there are several websites and blogs made from expats currently living or have experience living in the same area.
Adelante also provides you with access to a private Facebook group before and during your travels so that you can network and potentially meet up with other Adelante Abroad candidates staying in your city.
Join the Club
Outside of working or studying within your program abroad, you can join fun clubs or groups in your neighborhood area, where you can mingle and network with locals who share a common interest with you. Try looking for a group on Meetup, for example; you might even discover a new hobby while abroad!
Take a Class
You may sign up for any classes offered locally during your free time while abroad. Take up an art class with other like-minded locals, or even take tours in nearby museums to learn more about your city’s culture. You can learn something new while also meeting someone new!
If the above ideas are not available, you can go out and introduce yourself to new people in the city. While this may be a scary thing to do for you, getting out of your comfort zone may be the solution to your homesickness. Ask the locals about the best places to purchase lunch or dinner, offer to spend time with someone, or even give a simple gesture to a stranger.
Please note: Make sure to follow any resources provided to you before and during your trip about safety when going out alone in the city. By staying safe and following city guidelines and tips, you’ll have no problems meeting new people and having a happy experience.
Get Used to Being on Your Own
Being homesick is a feeling that should be taken seriously, but it can also be temporary. Many candidates abroad experience this for a couple of weeks and then adjust to their environment soon after.
Set weekly and daily goals for yourself, such as creating a routine before your internship or classes, or making at least one new friend each week. Focus more on absorbing your new environment and less on reminiscing with people back home (maybe call your family here and there to let them know you’re okay).
Going abroad is an amazing opportunity, but it is okay to go through regular ups and downs while travelling. Learning to deal with loneliness abroad is part of the adventure. Remember that this is only a temporary part of your once-in-a-lifetime experience!
We recently had a chance to catch up with our former intern abroad candidate Jasmine Wilson for our alumni candidate spotlight. Jasmine was a Speech Pathology intern in Seville, Spain with Adelante abroad in 2019. Find out about her experience in Madrid and what advice she has for future candidates below. Speech Therapy Intern with Adelante
Life on the Coast of Uruguay – Intern Experience Amber Bortner Amber Bortner is a social media and promotion intern for la Herradura Spanish Language school in Uruguay. She is from Pennsylvania, entering her last semester at Penn State in spring (2022) and majoring in Hospitality Management and Spanish with a concentration in Event Management.