My study abroad experience : The beginning


Everybody says that change is good, change means moving forward, growing and learning, all the new beginnings, and the exciting starts in life, yes; change is amazing and very constructive to ones soul.

But nobody tells you that change can be devastating before it gets amazing, nobody talks about how low it could take you before it starts leading you higher, nobody mentions how much you could lose before you’re rewarded again, and definitely no one will tell you how long you’ll suffer before you start seeing what everyone loves about change.

Exactly a month ago, my life changed radically when I left my home, my family, my friends and my country to go on a journey that I was and was not prepared for at the same time.

It’s something that I unfortunately can’t fully describe in words, an experience that you’ll have to go through in order to fully understand what I’m talking about.

The best way to describe it is that it comes in waves. A week before I left I had mixed feelings of great excitement and crippling fear, it would come out of nowhere, a feeling of crushing homesickness when I hadn’t even left yet, I would look at my surroundings and my heart would clench at the thought that I don’t know when I’ll be here again. It was a confusing feeling of helplessness, like somehow I was forced to go when God only knows how much effort I made to finally reach what I wanted, I had all these doubts and fears and I would question everything that I was once sure about. It was a hard process, to accept the fact that this is a necessary step and that I have the choice between living it and letting it bring the best of me, or letting it destroy me.


Goodbyes were the hardest, as they always are, I had never imagined a moment when I’d be saying goodbye to my best friend without knowing how long it’ll be before I’ll see her again, I didn’t want to imagine a moment like that, and yet the day came sooner than I’d have ever wanted and I said my first goodbye to a piece of my heart that I was unfortunately destined to leave behind.. The day I left was also probably one of the hardest in my entire life, to the point that it was emotionally draining to handle, saying goodbye to my family and leaving until God knows when was is the scariest feeling in the world and I don’t really know how did I manage to deal with it.

Anyway, no matter how hard are the challenges life brings to us, to each their own way to deal with them; face them, run from them, hide and store them in a place deep in the mind and heart, find a distraction and pretend that they don’t exist, or let them sink you and leave you paralyzed.

The first few days were easier than I thought, it’s a new life after all and you can’t help but surrender to the awe of being in a totally new world, the fact that I wasn’t alone helped tremendously and it is something that I’ll always be grateful for. However, every precious lesson comes with a hardship that equals its value, every great gain in life comes with great moments of loss.

It finally hit me one night, the realization that I am indeed more alone than I had ever been, that the people I truly love are too far and that no matter how much I want to see them; I can’t. A thought like that can do terrible things to ones mind, if you’d ever let it overwhelm you, it’ll make you feel utterly helpless and isolated, like a prisoner, it’s how I felt for a while and all I could think about is had I known that it would be like this, that it would feel like this, I would have never done it. It was too big of a cost and too much to regret, and it was something I had never experienced in my entire life, I didn’t even know that a feeling like that existed, what’s worse is that I didn’t know if that feeling would ever go away.. I most definitely didn’t think change is good at the time.


One of the things that can make life much easier, is remembering the promise that God gave us, that which tells us that he only tests you with what you can handle, no more. At a certain point in life you’ll have to learn that you are stronger than you think, that life carries more good than you might be able to see, that hardship carries ease within it, but you’re meant to experience each one at its right time.

Thankfully I’m at a better place right now and even though it’s only been one month, I’ve learned and experienced what I haven’t in years, responsibility, change and a new environment would do that to you, and it’s a life changing experience to say the least. I still miss my friends and family, I’ll always do, I still get scared and the whole thing is a nonstop ongoing process, but I have managed to put it under control and deal with it with a positive attitude, regrets lead nowhere, I never really believed in regret, everything happens for a reason and everything is destined and planned, wanting to change what’s already done is a waste of time, and I felt that way in a moment of weakness and denial.

What I went through is personal and it doesn’t have to be the same for everybody else, it never is. It gets better nonetheless, it is good even if it starts badly. I’m thankful that even though I went through the dark side of moving abroad and away from family, I am lucky enough to experience the bright side, which is another thing that helped making it easier for me day by day. If you ever feel the same way as I did, just know that it is just in your head, it is not as bad as it seems, and that it will get better.


Traveling abroad to study is an enriching experience, or so they say, anyway I’m yet to learn what it’s truly like, what I’ve learned so far, is the other part, the leaving-your-life-behind part, and handling-your-new-responsibilities part, and to be honest those are not the things I thought about and prepared myself for when I was doing everything I could to be able to be where I am right now, I guess that was an unconscious mistake that I wouldn’t have made had I been able to go back in time, would that have made it easier ? I can never know. All I know is that everything I felt; every moment of agonizing longing for my loved ones and every moment of doubt and regret, was not for nothing, and it all left a mark on me that is meant to change me toward something better. It is after all, the way we grow.



6 responses to “My study abroad experience : The beginning

  1. Hi Amal,
    Thanks for wonderful expressions and anticipation of fear associated with CHANGE is very much understandable but I will be lying if I don’t say that I was expecting some thing special to change your life in a foreign land.


    • Thank you so much for your feedback, I understand why you would expect that, that post was written only a month after I moved abroad, there were no special changes still, as time went, more events occured and that’s when the real change began, anyway that’s something I need to write another post about. Again thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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