Texas Tech University

Emotional Support & Encouragement

Pre-Study Abroad Jitters

It is not uncommon for students to feel apprehensive about study abroad. These feeling can be compounded if parents, family members, and guardians are constantly telling the student how much they will be missed. Typically it is more helpful to focus on the positive and new experiences that your student will have.

Receiving Complaints from Abroad

Students might experience certain difficulties within their first few weeks living abroad. Things that used to be routine might take much more effort in a foreign country. If your student calls or writes to you about these challenges, it is important to keep in mind that you are not expected to solve their problems; your student probably just needs to vent to someone they trust. Try not to be troubled by your student's complaints because in addition to the frustration they are experiencing, your student is without doubt having many wonderful experiences as well. With time, their feelings of frustration will lessen as your student becomes more familiar with the flow of life in their host country.

Seeing Where They Live

Parents and guardians often enjoy having an opportunity to visualize their student's housing. Consider requesting photos or a video of your student's living accommodations so that you have a better idea of the space where they are staying. Your student can describe for you their daily routine and tell you about their classrooms, favorite restaurants, or go-to places where they hang out with new study abroad friends.


Feeling homesick is natural and can happen to anyone regardless of age. A student who is studying abroad might encounter homesickness to one degree or another during the course of their program. Below is a chart that shows what your student might experience while studying abroad. It is important to recognize what your student might be going through so that you can do your best to understand and encourage them along the way.

Sometimes students make the mistake of asking for a ticket home when homesickness strikes. Parents and guardians who support their student by actively listening and offering words of reinforcement can help the student see themselves as resilient and feel reassured that they can successfully complete their study abroad program.

Stages of Cultural Adaptation

Be sure to read about Cultural Adjustment & Culture Shock for more information that will help you to be emotionally supportive and encouraging of your student while they study abroad.