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Education Abroad Office

Mental Health

Studying abroad can be both an exciting and challenging experience for everyone. There are stresses associated with leaving your comfort zone and entering a foreign environment.

For those with a current mental health issue, it is beneficial to have conversations with your mental health care provider prior to departure to ensure resources are in place to address any issues that may arise while you are abroad. Additionally, it is normal for many travelers, whether they have previously experienced a mental health issue or not, to experience new challenges and emotions that may impact their mental well-being.

Here are a few guidelines and resources to better address mental health needs:

  • Meet with your mental health provider prior to departure to discuss any anxieties, depression, or other mental health issues that may impact your experience. Such conversations can help in identifying resources in a study abroad destination.
  • Feeling bouts of homesickness and loneliness can be common while studying abroad. Maintaining a strong support system at home and abroad can help cope with those feelings.
  • Culture shock can be difficult for many students. Keep in mind that part of studying abroad is learning about and experiencing new cultures, and that you will soon adapt to your new surroundings.

If you feel like you or a friend would benefit from additional resources prior to studying abroad, contact the UofSC Counseling Center at any time. Additionally, if you or a friend experience mental health issues while abroad, please reach out to the main Education Abroad Office at 803-777-7557 or to any of the staff in our office. 

Anxious, stressed and/or sad while abroad? Sign up for Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) wherever you are and receive access to evidence based educational modules and practice tools that can help. Learn stress management, mindfulness skills, problem-solving and more while abroad. For more information, visit Student Health Services and be sure to use the enrollment key: StudyAbroad#2018. Therapy Anytime, Anywhere!

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