How to stay connected on your year abroad

Sophie advises on the best way to stay in touch all the way from Buffalo, New York.

Sophie McNally
27th September 2021
Image: Pixabay @DariuszSankowski
Landing in a different continent over 4000 miles away can feel more than a little overwhelming. The new sights and sounds are enough to knock you off balance before you’ve even stepped foot out of the airport and, as magical as it is, it can easily all start to feel very intense.  

So, how on earth can us study abroad students feel connected to our University when its on the other side of the world? Let’s just say you better have a phone and some good Wi-Fi connection on your side. 

Active communication is undoubtedly at the heart of how you can feel connected when you’re on your year abroad. Even something as small as an email to your study abroad coordinator or personal tutor to check in, or swiping up on your society’s Instagram story can make a whole world of difference. 

The technological age we live in is an absolute godsend for this. A quick double tap or swish on the keyboard can make you feel immediately connected when you’re feeling cut off from it all back in Newcastle.

Don’t get me wrong though, technology and communication are certainly not a one-stop-shop solution to feeling isolated from everything back home. Things can get tough really quickly sometimes when you’re out there by yourself and your support network is on a totally different time schedule to you. So I definitely urge anyone on a year abroad to reach out to Student Health and Wellbeing (and any equivalent service at your university abroad) if things start to get too much.

Another massive pitfall of feeling connected to the uni when you’re abroad is that you mostly have to instigate that communication. If you don’t take that step, then you probably won’t get any more connected than bi-monthly emails from uni staff wondering if you’re still alive. 

To anyone who’s on their year abroad right now, just know that no matter how hard it gets this is going to be one of the best years of your life and you’ve got this in the bag. I promise :)).

If you’re ever struggling, remember you can always reach out to the Student Health and Wellbeing Services on: 

+44 (0) 191 208 3333, 

Or via the enquiry form

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AUTHOR: Sophie McNally
Deputy Editor, History undergraduate, UB's The Spectrum alum and former KultureHub staff writer.

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