Is your family nervous about you going abroad? There are, of course, many reasons why your family is a little uneasy with you jet-setting around the world. First, they may have never been to the country or can even contemplate what life will be like in the country you’re going to. Second, they may have never studied abroad themselves and so the experience to them seems foreign. Third, they won’t be able to contact you as easy as they can here. Fourth, you’re just out of the nest and that in general makes them worried. For all of these reasons and the many others that come to mind, I’ve come up with great ways to combat the anxiety while you’re gone. My family felt the same way, so I know these work!
1) Keep your family in the loop at all times!
2) Give them all of your contact numbers, i.e. Office of International Education, Program phone/email, in-country contacts, host family’s phone/email, etc….
3) Show them the DU Study Abroad website—they can check out the family tab, read stories from other students who have studied in your country and stay plugged in throughout the process
4) Set-up regular times to chat with them, either over the phone, through email or on Skype—and stick to them!
5) Don’t feel afraid to assert yourself when you’re family is overwhelming you with issues back home—set a time that you will talk to them, tell them you love them and that you’ll talk soon
6) Keep a blog, so that your family can stay clued on to your life abroad.
7) Take tons of pictures and upload them to your blog, flicker, Facebook, or another website that they can see and get excited about.
8) If you make travel plans, try to let your family know, because they will probably be glued to the news making sure your country isn’t annihilated!
9) If something does end up happening in your country, even if you are nowhere near it or at all involved, send your family an email verifying your safety!
10) And….don’t forget to get them a little something before you leave!
Don’t forget…your family loves you and you love them!! Go enjoy every moment abroad!
Kelsey Guyette, OIE Peer Advisor