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I Had To Leave My Study Abroad Program Early

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Channel: storybooth
Categories: Society / Culture   |   Psychology   |   Social Science  
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By Elizabeth | Subscribe: |

When Elizabeth first went on her school's study abroad program, she was so excited to learn about a new culture, see beautiful sights and experience everything that study abroad had to offer. She was always told that the study abroad program would be the best experience of her life and that she wouldn't want to come home by the time it was over.

But when Elizabeth got off her flight and headed to her dorm, she couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of dread. She felt alone, overwhelmed and scared. She called her family for support, and her sister helped ease her mind.

After the first week, Elizabeth was able to meet some awesome people and see amazing sights. However, even though things seemed to be going so well, she couldn't shake the feeling of dread. People would text and email her, asking how the program was going, and Elizabeth felt like she had to pretend that everything was great and that she was having the best time. She felt so much pressure to have a perfect experience. Because her parents had spent so much money on the program and her education, Elizabeth felt an added pressure to stay - she didn't want to hurt or disappoint her parents.

Finally, after months abroad, Elizabeth called her therapist and made the difficult decision to go home. She told all her friends why she was leaving, and she created a post on social media explaining why she was leaving her program early.

Now, when she's approached by people she knows, she still has a hard time describing her study abroad experience. Even though she was in a beautiful place with great people, she says to herself, "I had to put my mental health first."

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