Studying abroad is a life-changing experience and a real adventure. You are leaving your home for an extended period and this is a courageous decision. You might be packing your suitcase and searching for some speaking classes to improve your language. The new cultural environment as well as the many exciting changes await you. And being in a relationship while studying abroad could be easy or tough for you depending on how you prepare to survive an international long-distance relationship.
You could have a girlfriend while you study abroad and promise that your relationship will last over the distance. This might be a decision you have made. Both of you know that this is going to be a challenging experience, but you are convinced that your love is worth it. That’s great, but as you may know, distance can ruin relationships. So how to save them?
Should You Stay In A Relationship When You Study Abroad?
You could or you could not. There really is no definitive answer to this. If you are in a loving relationship, know that it is not actually necessary to break up with your partner just because you are moving abroad to study. Yes, things will definitely change once you move away. And we are not just talking about the difference in time zones.
You will have different priorities. You will definitely get busier and may not be able to talk as much as usual. You will have new friends, newer responsibilities. All of this can put a strain on your relationship. Of course, the physical distance will not help either. You will not be able to see each other or run into your partner’s arms after every argument, every problem. But that does not mean a relationship will definitely crash and burn just because you moved to a different country or continent.
Can a study abroad long-distance relationship survive the distance?
A study claims that over 75% students are in a study abroad long-distance relationship. And a lot of them are able to successfully maintain them too. While being physically apart from each other and having an evolving sense of self and priorities means that the dynamics of your relationship will change, it is also true that as long as you put an effort into communicating and being upfront with each other, your relationship may not only remain intact, but may actually become stronger by the time you return home. It is important to focus on both, yourself and your evolving relationship, during this time.
Try not to keep things to yourself. It is much harder to tell someone’s mood and thoughts over a call than it is in person. The keywords here are trust, respect, and communication. As long as you trust your partner to not dishonor your relationship, you respect their time, decisions, and changing priorities, and openly communicate about any feeling, any want, or problem, you should be able to have a happy and fulfilling relationship even while studying abroad.
So, if you love your partner, your soul other, don’t think you have to break up with them just because you are going to study abroad. Ask yourself if the effort will feel worth it as long as they are in your life. If the answer is a resounding “yes”, definitely stay in the relationship and continue working on it together even when you move away to study abroad.
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How To Keep A Long Distance Relationship While Studying Abroad
It’s not easy to keep an international long-distance relationship going especially if one of you is busy studying abroad and the other one is back home. While you have a new life and new challenges, for the other person not much has changed. In a scenario like this, the distance can creep into the relationship if you are not careful about putting in the extra effort. If you are in a committed relationship while studying abroad, here are a few tips for long-distance relationships in college that can help you keep your relationship going successfully.
1. Keep the honesty flowing
It is important, to be honest and trust each other when in an international long-distance relationship. This is a golden rule for any relationship, but when you are abroad, you must pay special attention to this moment. Never hide anything and be honest with your partner. If you have a crush or suspect your beloved one is having one, discuss this openly. Fact is, your relationship is more important than an episodic affair. You might be feeling lonely or lacking physical contact. Discuss any situation of that kind and cultivate transparency.
2. Visit each other
Make sure that you can visit each other at least a couple of times during your international long-distance relationship, especially if you don’t study too far from home. Your other half needs to see you and understand the experiences you are having abroad while being in an overseas long-distance relationship. If your beloved sees the environment, your friends, and your daily routine, he/she will get a better sense of your life and stories. Talk and show. Maybe, you have been using some academic resources for learners, and you can tell your partner about your ways of dealing with papers? Show them your college library, where you sit for hours studying or doing research. Take them to the places and cafeterias you visit and they will visualize you drinking your favorite latte before your classes or walking in a park after they are over. The stories you tell of your everyday life will be understood better. Your partner will feel more included in your experience, and the feeling of separation won’t be too heavy.
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3. Stay in touch, but don’t be fanatical
An overseas long-distance relationship doesn’t mean that you must sit at home and wait for the day you will come back home and see your partner. Explore new hobbies, make friends and discover new opportunities. Communicate with your partner regularly, but don’t spend all of your time missing him/her. There are so many exciting things around you.
You need to be smart and mature here. Try to find a balance between your new life and important things. Don’t get fanatic about your relationships, but try not to lose sight of it either. Similarly, remember that this phase in your life is also an incredible opportunity so soak up what it has to offer.
Keep the communication open, write messages, call each other, and tell your partner about your plans and schedule.
4. Be patient and caring
While studying abroad and maintaining an overseas long-distance relationship, you might face more quarrels and disagreements during your time away. Arguing is healthy for relationships, even when it comes to long-distance relationship grad school, but you might find that they become quite different when you are separated. The thing is that it might be the separation itself which can become a subtle reason for your fights. Whenever you find yourself arguing, try to understand what is the root of the argument. Try not to make things even worse.
Learn to express your feelings clearly and discuss problems in detail. Explain what disappoints you instead of blaming your partner for everything. Competing accusations will make your quarrels really nasty and destructive.
5. Pleasant surprises
You can continue being caring and loving even when you are in a long-distance relationship in grad school. Order flowers, send letters and small gifts to make your partner feel loved and remembered. Record videos, take photos, and say something sweet. Your partner will feel all warm and loved-up, assured that you care about him/her just as much as before. Small surprises and delightful gifts make relationships stronger. because they are signs of your love and care.
Separation can bring frustration, and it is quite normal for people who love each other. However, try to build healthy relationships and encourage each other to have their own lives, interests and passions.
One of the most useful tips for long-distance relationships in college is to learn to support each other and try to find ways to express your feelings over the distance while being in the long-distance relationship grad school. If you are feeling lost and depressed or going through culture-shock when studying abroad, having a supportive partner can make everything much better. While you should keep in contact all the time, try not to regard your relationships as paramount and the only important one. Discover new places, people and activities! Be patient, and remember that long-distance relationships can be beautiful and fulfilling.
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Remember to make your studies your priority, but also give importance to the relationship. If you are busy with classes, tell your partner that. They will understand. Schedule video call dates and movie nights together on the weekends you are free. But also make sure to get used to spending time having fun and going out without each other. The key here is balance. Do not jeopardize one thing for the other.
Some people do cheat on their partners while studying abroad, because it is easier not to get caught when the partner isn’t even in the same continent. but it honestly depends on the person. While the physical distance between you and your partner may make maintaining the relationship a struggle, if your partner chooses to cheat on you when studying abroad, it is still they who are at fault and not the distance.
Be open and honest about your feelings. Communication is important in any relationship, but especially in a long-distance one. Pick your battles wisely. Not all arguments are worth having. Know that those small arguments are resolved easily when you can meet your partner in person.
The physical distance between you will make such arguments harder to resolve and can lead to a buildup of frustration and irritability in the relationship. So, if you do not like something, communicate those feelings calmly instead. Finally, always try to find new ways to connect with each other. Take their friends’ help to surprise them on their birthday. Have Netflix dates. Eat meals on video calls together when possible, etc.