We talk to School Rep, Georgie Harris, about mental health and wellbeing while studying abroad.
We know that studying abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but what do you do if you start to struggle while you're away?
This Mental Health and Wellbeing Week at the University of Edinburgh (13th-17th November 2017), we’re turning our attention to the ‘year abroad’, a time of great change and great opportunity, which forms an important part of many undergraduate degrees in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).
Georgie Harris, a fourth year student, has recently returned from her year abroad in Madrid, where she studied at Complutense University.
As this year’s Undergraduate School Representative for LLC, Georgie is the driving force behind our Mental Health and Wellbeing Week event, ‘Travelling light’, which takes place on Wednesday 15th November 2017 (3-4pm).
Tips and tricks
Speaking about why she decided to organise the event, which is run by students for students, Georgie says “I went on my year abroad last year and, while I had some amazing experiences and was lucky to be able to live in a different country for a year, it wasn't easy.”
“I think lots of people who go on the year abroad often feel the same but don't like to talk about it. There's a tendency to romanticise the whole experience, but you've got to be prepared that it isn't just a year-long holiday!”
Sharing her tips and tricks for keeping on top of things, Georgie says “Don't let people overlook, or put down, any worries and bad experiences you have. Use the services available from the University of Edinburgh, from the Student Support Officers in your School - who are available by email - to online counselling services. They're all there for you to use whenever you need.”
“Travel around as much as possible, visit new places and try new things - this is especially easy if you’re going to Europe, where transport tends to be cheaper and you’ve got an Erasmus grant – but also keep in touch with your friends at Edinburgh so you have a support network back here and can be updated about what's going on, so you don't feel left out!”
‘Travelling light’ is open to any students, from any School, who are interested in a year abroad and want to find out more about being prepared. As well as group discussion on the challenges you might face, the event will focus on sources of help (including useful websites), and tips/tricks from people who’ve been there, done that. You don't have to book. Just turn up and join the conversation. #letstalk