One of the first things I thought about when I first entertained the notion of studying abroad is what my family would think of my trip. Prior to my trip, I had never even been on an airplane, much less traveled out of the country. Surprisingly, my family was extremely supportive of my desire to study abroad, but they still had a few concerns and feelings about me going to India. My family’s initial thoughts ranged from “India?! Why?!” to “That’s a great idea!” I wasn’t worried about the naysayers, I knew I would be able to convince them eventually with the help of other family members.
One thing to consider though is make sure you take the time to tell the people close to you first before you tell everyone, I accidentally hurt some feelings by getting ahead of myself and not telling my sister and boyfriend my plans before other friends.
When I asked my family again what their overall thoughts were the day before I left for my trip their feelings were all generally excited for me and jealous about getting this experience.
Another thing I was curious about was my family’s expectations about what I would experience on my trip and my feelings once I returned to the US. My family expected that I would come back more thankful for what I have in the US (my trip is focused on studying poverty in India), that I would be excited to tell stories about what all I saw, that I would have an incredible time and finally that I would awaken a restlessness to continue to explore and travel the world. My family also wanted me to check with them at least daily during my trip to make sure I was safe and of course to share my adventures.
Having a good support system back home is very important, in my opinion, when studying abroad. You need someone to be able to check in with back at home during your trip and to impress with awesome stories! If studying abroad is something you really want to do, chances are your family and friends will support you!