I had only been outside of the United States twice by the time I went to college and studied abroad – Mexico on a cruise, and Italy on a quick week-long trip with my high school Italian class. And although I went to college 2,000 miles away from home and took many flights alone, the longest flight I ever took, was about six hours. So, taking that fourteen-hour flight when I traveled to Italy to study abroad, was so difficult, especially knowing that I was about to study abroad and live in Italy while not knowing anyone else in my program. I knew there would be highs and lows but looking back at my time abroad, it was all worth it.
Navigating your mental health while studying abroad is tough when you feel like you are all alone, BUT it’s something that everyone deals with! I’m so happy and proud that the SAI on-site staff are there to provide any help they can! Our on-site staff manage a comprehensive list of English-speaking doctors, and staff is always available to accompany students to doctor visits in severe cases. Throughout the term, SAI on-site staff hold daily office hours and are available to offer assistance with personal issues that are common when studying abroad as well as academic problems that may arise. Program coordinators serve as advocates and advisors, offering support, guidance, and encouragement, and acting as liaisons between students and host school administrators. Halfway through the term the on-site staff holds an SAI Reorientation, which is a structured time to reflect on goals, discuss any challenges, and ensure that all students feel comfortable and safe in their programs.
To share more resources, we’ve compiled a list of blogs from alumni and current students about mental health subjects and how they were able to overcome different instances.
For more information on SAI’s Health and Safety, you can visit here.
For more information on SAI’s On-Site Support, you can visit here.