4 Replies from Mentors
AmyGraduate StudentUCLAOne of the major reasons why I was uncertain whether I could study abroad (aside from financial reasons), was a fear of leaving my family and friends. But you really do get caught up in all of the opportunities available to you abroad and the close friendships that you make with others in your program. Traveling has also tended to connect me to previous friends and family members in new ways. We can talk about the same places, events, festivals, etc. that we visited separately and the unique impressions we had. Even short trips can have this kind of impact; so for those people who are fearful of leaving friends and family back home, they might try out a shorter program and then decide if they want to apply for an extension near the end of the trip.
KimberlySenior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityI had these same concerns of leaving my family and friends behind. However, I realized that all the people and events I thought I would miss turned out to be exactly the same when I returned home. No matter how long you are gone, family and friends will always be there for you no matter what. Nothing can beat the experiences and friendships you gain while abroad. If anything you expand yourself as a person by going outside of your daily routine. You are traveling, learning from others, and gaining valuable assets that you will need later on in life, such as appreciation and tolerance.
AshleyJunior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityFor me, since I am away from my family and friends for most of the year (since I’m from Hawaii and go to school in California), I was used to not being around them. But it was still nerve-racking since I was going to a different country alone without knowing anyone in the country or anyone in my program. I kept convincing myself that the benefits of this experience will greatly outweigh these anxious feelings, and of course, it did. I was a bit scared before I left, but as soon as my group got together we all immediately got along and turned into best friends in a matter of days. Living in a new country is constantly new and exciting so there really is no time to be homesick or miss people. You will be too busy taking in the new culture and lifestyle.
JanethJunior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityThere are very few opportunities where you’ll have the opportunity to live in another country without any real responsibilities besides your school work. It is a completely new experience and even though at first it may seem daunting at the end it is completely worth it. Your friends and family will be back when you arrive and throughout your time abroad there are many ways to keep in touch. Not only will you make new friends but you discover a whole new country and have an unforgettable experience.