If you are studying abroad you have probably heard that you will get something called culture shock. Basically, you are told you will go through a few stages that most people feel when they travel and live in a different country. I completely believe they are happening to me. The first stage is called the honeymoon stage. This means you will be entirely delighted about studying and living in a new country. Everything around you is interesting and new! Believe me, there is definitely a lot to look forward to in a semester studying in Europe. "The city is beautiful, the people are beautiful, and I can't believe I am going to live in Europe for six months!"
The stage after this is not as pleasant however. After falling in love with the new place you are in for about a week, then comes the realization that you are in a very different place, very far from home. My advice to give you when you realize this; STAY CALM! Take a deep breath, rant about it a little bit if you must, and then realize that this is only for a few months. You just have to get used to it. Symptoms of this stage include: a new fierce sense of nationality ("AMERICA! Oh you mean the best thing that ever happened to the world"), followed by a new found hatred for all things different in your new country ("What do you mean you can't buy groceries in bulk?!?"), which eventually turns into a new hatred for everything around you ("My roommates suck, I hate not having any friends, I am always hungry, it feels as cold as Alaska and the school I'm going to is the worst run organization I have ever been to in my life"). Sound familiar? Because it is probably happening to you too...
Yes, it is going to suck for a while, but I am told it will all pass. I have faith. And it helps that I bought myself a very large American size chocolate bar and had a very large American Style pizza for dinner (literally that was the title of the pizza box). I have said and felt everyone of the quotes I have stated, but looking back on them I realize how incredibly stupid they sound. So my advice to you is stop stressing out and keep yourself busy so you don't have time to think about how much you miss home. Hang in there because things will change for you too.
Until next time,