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Travel | Pi Magazine 716

Mary Katherine Newman gives advice on how to survive and thrive during your year abroad

new city that you could use someone that is willing to support you if needs be. This way you can drop them a message when you’re having a bad day without having to explain everything. Friends like this can be difficult to find initially, but being honest helps and having such a friend can potentially provide you with great relief and reassurance when you need them. • A talk with your doctor and/or personal tutor could help to ensure that you are medically and academically supported. It might be scary to make an appointment, but know that they’ve heard it before and know what to do to make sure you’re in your best possible place before you go. While you’re there: • The first months are usually the toughest - but remember everyone is feeling this strain. Many universities will have tandem programmes in place that will set you up with someone looking to learn English, providing a great way to meet locals with minimal pressure. Also look out for Erasmus groups and other societies. Again, getting good people around you can help you to feel much more settled and welcome.

The year abroad is an incredible opportunity • Don’t worry if you have to take a day off. Go and watch a movie by yourself or spend the day in your room with the stash of digestives you brought from home and some Netflix (in English). Although this may be

harder in a work placement than if studying on Erasmus, what you’re doing is difficult, there are no two ways about this and at times you deserve a break. • Try to assemble a set routine. It is easy to slip into permanent holiday mode, but making sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well and moving about because this can have a major positive impact on how you feel.

don, live a different life and travel the world is an indescribably rewarding experience. For others, it can prove more of a challenge because the experience itself, however rewarding, is intrinsically demanding. Recognising your own limits when the challenging turns into the damaging is a key message here. Whether you’re having a tough time, or if you’re dreading leaving, from one year abroad student to the next: you can ask for help anytime, so do.

getting good people around you can help you to feel much more settled • If things get tough, UCL should be there for you. Contact UCL Study Abroad and your Year Abroad Tutor. They have handled this before and it is quite literally their job to care about your situation and support you. They can offer you practical guidance with online counselling programmes, provide project extensions and even set up help at your placement university or workplace. • Sometimes, it is okay to give up. A year abroad is not for everyone. If after some thought you decide that you can’t do it anymore, let UCL know as soon as possible and they will work with you. In the end, your happiness and wellbeing will always be the most important thing and needs to be taken into utmost consideration. The year abroad is an incredible opportunity. For some, the chance to get out of Lon-

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Profile for Pi Media, UCLU

Pi Magazine, Issue 716 - The Mind  

Our Second Issue of the 2016/17 academic year is focused on 'The Mind'. We delve into topics such as mental health, neurological disease, an...

Pi Magazine, Issue 716 - The Mind  

Our Second Issue of the 2016/17 academic year is focused on 'The Mind'. We delve into topics such as mental health, neurological disease, an...

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