7 Excuses That Shouldn’t Keep You From Studying Abroad

There are two emotional stages of receiving your acceptance to a study abroad program.

The first is pure joy, cloud nine, walking on water-filled happiness.

The second? Fear. The universe has finally granted you for the chance of opportunity and the admissions office fairies have accepted your application- this is everything you ever wanted.

Yet, you are only 50% overjoyed… the other 50% feels like someone is punching you in the chest.

You’re not alone—this reaction to a study abroad program is completely natural and normal. However, whatever you do, don’t let these 7 common fears drive you away from the best opportunity of your young life.

Photo by Steven Lewis courtesy of Unsplash
Photo by Steven Lewis courtesy of Unsplash

“I’m going to miss out on so much cool stuff that happens at your home.”

I know homecoming and frat parties and formals are like, the coolest things ever. But I have a little secret for you… they really aren’t.

Within no time studying abroad, you’ll actually look at the things happening at home and realize how much more life-changing your experiences across the globe really are. You’ll even feel somewhat embarrassed that you depended on those moments at home for fun.

“Everyone at home is going to forget about me.”

People don’t forget people. Heck, I still remember my boyfriend from kindergarten.

Also, you are going away from a semester, not a lifetime. Think about how quickly a semester flies by. It probably feels like just yesterday you were still in high school, and that was heaps of semesters ago. Time truly flies, and friends are timeless.

Plus, it’s 2016. You can call, Skype, connect on social media, and find tons of time to tell are your friends back home about your amazing adventures studying abroad.

“I’m not going to make friends abroad.”

Photo by Zoe Baum courtesy of Unsplash
Photo by Zoe Baum courtesy of Unsplash

Everyone else going abroad to the same place is thinking the same thing, so find these people! People who travel abroad are typically people who want to meet new people and see new places.

As long as you’re not a total Scrooge, you’ll be fine. Introduce yourself, go out on excursions, and be the smiling face people can’t wait to get to know.

Also, connect with locals! They’re great people to make friends with, and can help you learn your new home’s best kept secrets.

“I’m going to get homesick.”

Yeah, that’ll happen. But only because you have something worth being homesick for.

Getting out and exploring on your own for a bit makes you realize how grateful you are to have such amazing people back home. And even if you get homesick in the moment, you’ll discover that you’ll get homesick for the place you studied abroad when you return home!

You can’t beat homesickness, just let it exist and call someone from home to make you feel level again.

“I’m going to be completely on my own.”

Sure, this can be a bit scary—but it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. For once, you won’t be in your comfort zone surrounded by your friends. This will teach you things about yourself that you never even knew, and will help you grow in countless ways.

Being abroad taught me independence and self-sufficiency in a way that I would have never even known I was missing out on until I took a moment to evaluate my growth.

It helps you grow up and become an adult, and shows you just how incredibly capable you are, you little human!

“I may not like it.”

Honestly, I feel like someone could study abroad in the weirdest, most remote location on the planet and still have the best semester of their life.

There are no bad days when you’re abroad, and besides, life is too short to base your life off of the negatives that may happen moment to moment.

Think about it, you’re across the globe… and you won’t be there forever. Everything is fresh and new to your eyes and just because you aren’t in the home you grew up in, it doesn’t make this new place any less of a home for now.

There’s nothing to properly prepare you for being out of your comfort zone and feeling vulnerable in a new place. However, I promise that you’ll enjoy every minute of it if you get out there and take full advantage of each and every day.

“I’m afraid of coming home after a semester abroad.”

Photo by Morre Christophe courtesy of Unsplash
Photo by Morre Christophe courtesy of Unsplash

Yo. This is actually scary.

It won’t be the way you’re probably thinking, though—that you missed so much while you were gone and that everyone has grown closer without you.

On the contrary, you’ll realize after your semester abroad that the real fear of coming home is leaving the home that you made all on your own while abroad.



Studying abroad is all about jumping in, taking risks, and seeing what you’re truly made of. The best advice is to just toss your fears to the wind, get out there, and go travel the world through the study abroad program you’ve been dreaming about.

Featured image by Joshua Earle courtesy of Unsplash.

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Adele Hunter-Shields

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