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The Lasting Effect Study Abroad Had On Me


I’m only still talking about it because you’re still asking about it. I swear people who I see often—or less often— will still ask, “so how was Australia?!” And it’s like... that was two years ago, since when has that became my identity?

I’ve learned to accept those interactions because I’m guilty of hyping it up so much before leaving in July of 2016. I truly believed it was going to be the best time of my life. But it wasn’t.

Notice my face in every photo of these two collages:



My expression looks genuinely and severely unhappy in each photo.

What was wrong with me? I had a once in a lifetime chance to study abroad literally across the world with my BEST FRIEND and I was incurably depressed.

Each week would go by filled with me crying numerous times a day asking anyone who I spoke with, “when will I stop being homesick?” After two months went by and nothing improved, I knew I was more than homesick.

The first day we arrived in Australia did not feel real. The group of friends I traveled with and I got off the plan with no guidance; just a handful of Americans who have no idea what the next step was.

We finally found our way to the dorms via bus ride and got settled In. I vividly remember unpacking my room and feeling numb. Culture shock? Maybe. I just felt like I didn’t belong.

And that feeling only grew stronger the duration of the trip. Everything I tried to involve myself in to cure the emptiness never worked and trust me, I wanted it to. Who wants to be the girl who bragged about going to Australia, cried, then came home? Exactly. I sucked it up the best I could for as long as I could and made the best of it. I went out and tried to convince myself that I was having fun.