Struggling on your year abroad?

Hi everybody,

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Mary here, from the Global Opps team.

I hope those of you who are abroad are having an AMAZING time. However, if you’re not, that’s normal too!

A lot of students have a difficult time when they’re studying abroad, and sometimes it’s not all it’s hyped up to be.

Although it can be the best year/ semester of your life, it can also be difficult, and this is the side that you don’t see on other students’ Instagrams, because everybody is posting about the good bits. So you may think you’re not normal for thinking this, but you are.

I am writing this blog to give you some ideas of resources that are available if you are struggling. (Alternatively, if you are going abroad next year, this blog can remind you that there will be lots of support for you, despite being in a different country)

  1. The Global Opps Team 
    Don’t know where to start? Contact us. We can liaise with colleagues across the University to find the best form of support for you. Whether you need help with: culture shock, mental health, disability, finances, crime or anything else, we would always rather you told somebody, than keep it to yourself, so you are always welcome to email us: globalopps@sheffield.ac.uk Whilst we may not be able to give you advice ourselves, we will be able to direct you to somebody who can.
  2. Your Department
    Each department has a Study Abroad/ Erasmus tutor, who you can also contact for support. If you are thinking of leaving your year abroad or having academic difficulties, you can always contact your tutor, or their admin assistants:
    The lists are here:
    Study Abroad: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/studyabroad/sheffield/advisors
    Erasmus: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.816091!/file/ErasmusTutorsforweb.pdf
  3. Nightline
    As a reminder, you are still a Sheffield student, even when you are abroad, so you are welcome to use Sheffield resources, such as Nightline:
    https://www.sheffieldnightline.co.uk/
    Nightline is a student-run, confidential and anonymous listening service, who are open all night, if you need to talk to somebody!
  4. Your host department or University 
    If you need help closer to where you are, we encourage you to talk about your struggles with somebody in your host university or department, if you feel able to.
    If you need their contact details, you can Google your institution, or email us and we will give you their details.
  5. SSID resources
    Student Services Information Desk, despite being based in the Union, have a lot of online resources which you can use:
    – Staying Safe:
    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/students-going-abroad/staying-safe
    – Health and Wellbeing:
    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/health-wellbeing
    Money Management:
    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/money/managementAnd many others! Just take a look at the SSID webpages.
  6. Other student’s experiences
    Read our student blogs, and understand that it’s normal to have difficulties: You’re in a completely new country! Lots of students talk about how amazing their year abroad is, whilst also acknowledging the difficulties:Amy’s “What to do when you want to quit”
    https://uosstudyingabroad.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/studying-abroad-what-to-do-when-you-want-to-quit/Rosie’s “Embracing homesickness”
    https://uosstudyingabroad.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/embracing-homesickness/You can also find external blogs written by students who found it difficult, on Global Graduates:
    https://globalgraduates.com/articles

The most important thing to do if you’re struggling is to talk to people. Whether it’s somebody at your host university, somebody at Sheffield University, or somebody close to you.

Lots of students have a difficult time when they are abroad. Remember, you are not alone.

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