Leaving home: Emotional preparation for studying abroad


Written by Nana

20 May 2024

So, you’ve made all the big decisions about studying in Sweden—and it’s about time to leave your home country. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal to have some “what-if” anxieties and a touch of sadness. With a bit of emotional prep, you can ease your mind and embrace the unknown with confidence.

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“What if I don’t like the city or country?”

🌼 Mental shift: a door to a whole new world is open for you
Think of it this way: studying abroad opens a door to a whole new world. The growth you’ll experience comes from facing new challenges and learning to rely on yourself to find solutions. You don’t have to be perfect; just try your best and stay as open-minded as possible. Every city and country has its unique charm, and part of the adventure is discovering what makes your new home special.

“What if I can’t make any friends?”

🌼 Mental shift: you haven’t met your new best friends yet
This is a fear that many share, but remember, you haven’t met all of the people who are going to love you—and the people you’re going to love. Maybe you will meet one or two or many while studying in Sweden! Who knows?! Making friends might take some time, but be patient and open to meeting new people. You’ll find that many others are in the same boat, looking to form new connections.

Annamaria wrote some tips to make friends outside of class in Sweden

I found really good people as my support system while I’m so far away from home 🙂 //Photo: Nana

“What if I can’t keep up with my studies?”

🌼 Mental shift: it’s okay not to know everything
Don’t set overly high expectations for yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, it’s okay not to know everything. Studying abroad is as much about learning outside the classroom as it is about academics. There will be support systems that your university offers, like tutoring services and study groups. Reach out to them if you’re struggling, and you can always seek help when you need it.

“What if I can’t fit in with the culture?”

🌼 Mental shift: new places help us see life differently
It might be time to let yourself be more open-minded and see things from a different perspective. Embracing cultural differences can be one of the most enriching parts of your study abroad experience. Learn about local traditions, try new foods, and participate in cultural events. This openness will help you fit in and appreciate your new environment.

Leonilla shares her perspective on living in a foreign country

//Credit: Happy The Best Is Yet To Come GIF By Bells And Wishes

💐 Final thoughts: What if it all works out? 💐

It’s natural to have worries about studying abroad, but with the right mental shifts, you can turn these fears into opportunities for growth and discovery. Embrace the unknown, knowing that it’s part of the adventure. Every challenge you face will help you grow stronger, more resilient, and more confident. So, pack your bags, open your mind, and get ready to embark on a journey that will shape your future in incredible ways. Your Swedish adventure awaits!


Written by Nana

20 May 2024