How To Say Goodbye To Your Study Abroad Country (In Friends Gifs)

Before you know it, your 3 month, 6 month, or even year long study abroad is dwindling down to the last couple of weeks. Just when you were finally settling into your home away from home it’s time to pack your bags and leave. The same panic arises that you had leaving your friends and family begins to unexpectedly creep on you again.  For me, the reality of leaving Tokyo after 6 months of study hit me like a ton a bricks, but there were a few things I did to ready myself for my return home.

saying goodbye

When I realized that I only had a month left before I left Tokyo and  hopped on a plane back to America, I decided it was now or never to knock out my bucket list. Now was the time to go to all of those cool shops, restaurants, and cat cafes that I kept telling myself I’d visit. I made time to visit famous landmarks and other touristy spots to lessen my chances of FOMO when I returned home.

While you are checking out some new places, don’t forget to revisit some of your favorite spots and eat some of your favorite foods you cannot find when you go home. For me, I had to revisit my favorite Japanese curry restaurant that I ate at too many times to admit. Even though your list of favorite places might be long, choosing a few to revisit will give you some closure after you leave.

say goodbye - food

Before I left, I made sure to spend sometime with and say goodbye to all those who I have meet while abroad. The relationships that you create abroad are special. I mean, who else can say that they have friends from all over the globe? For some, saying goodbye may potentially be the hardest step when preparing to leave, but just remember, goodbyes don’t mean forever!

An important thing to remember when you are worried about saying your final goodbyes and buying silly souvenirs for your friends is to make sure to go through the withdrawal procedures for your school and country. Since my length of stay required a visa, I had to go to my local Tokyo ward office and withdraw from the national health insurance. From there, I had to withdrawal from school, and fill out immigration papers as well. This is an important step when leaving because if you don’t take the proper steps it could be difficult to go abroad again in the future!

say goodbye

If you find yourself with some spare cash, now is the time to buy that cool antique, those cute shoes, or that awesome painting that you have been eyeing.  At this point, it is okay to splurge on those few special items. Do not forget to pick up a few things for your loved ones at home as well. Just make sure it fits in your suitcase!

Know that no matter how much you prepare to leave you will probably face some culture shock when you get back.  The life you have created and the person you have evolved into now has to return home and readjust. Some may not understand the kind of changes you went through while you were way. Therefore, don’t forget to surround yourself with people who you love and who will bring you back to sanity when you are frantically searching for ways to return to your study abroad country.

say goodbye

When you have to come to the conclusion that your magical time abroad is coming to an end, remember not to panic! Take it slow and enjoy the last few days so that when you hit the road you can leave with peace of mind. Even though your time abroad is over, you are leaving with a plethora of experiences that will forever leave a mark on you.

images: giphy

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Kellie Parker

Hey! Kellie is a 22 year old super senior working on her International Studies degree and completing a TEFL certificate at the University of Central Florida in sunny Orlando, Florida. Her hobbies include: traveling, studying Japanese, obsessing over kawaii things, going to 2000s hip-hop nights, making her friends take pictures of her in front of mural walls, binge eating Hot Cheetos, petting puppies, using only the stair master at the gym, being a Mario Kart champion, getting free samples, and posting all of the yummy food she eats on her foodie IG @futari_food.

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