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Answered anonymously , Jan 20th 2015, 19:01

Whilst it is understandable that a year abroad is a chance to be independent and not have to rely on your tutors, I feel there is a fine line between this and students feeling totally alone. It was months before we had anyone contact us to ask us how we were getting on, and this only seemed prompted by the recent devastating events in Paris.

Personally I struggled with anxiety for years and my university were well aware of this, and whilst I don't feel a visit would have been entirely necessary, more information about what to do when we need support, or just an email to check how we are doing, wouldn't have gone amiss.

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Answered anonymously , Jan 20th 2015, 14:06

I had a YA rep that came to visit me during my time in Spain, and it was such a waste of time meeting up with her. I think it depends on what kind of experience you are having as to whether it would benefit you or not. Also, my university offered support so I knew I had people there that I could ask if I really wanted to know something or speak to about something.

I definitely think a YA rep is necessary but they should be emailing the students and keeping in contact every now and then to check on them and ask how they are getting on. I definitely would have appreciated that, and knowing that one of your teachers is praising you and guiding you along would definitely give year abroaders the little boost they might need.

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Florence Robson
Hiya, thanks for your response - you're right that knowing that there's someone there if you need them is very important, even if they don't visit in person!

Hannah Smith Hannah Smith, Jan 20th 2015, 16:02

I am similar to Emily in the sense that I lived in a very small village in my own apartment. The stupid thing was, the girls teaching at the college were allowed to live together in the boarding school bit. But as I was teaching primary I wasn't allowed to live there with them. 

I would have benefited greatly from a visit, I kept in contact with my year abroad officer but a visit from someone from Nottingham Uni would have helped to put things into perspective when all was lost. 

Nottingham Uni has a program called Nightline which is completely anonymous. They have set up a Skype account for people abroad so I would recommend people of other unis finding out if that kind of thing exists as another alternative if needed. 

Generally, university have a counselling /student support section. I have skyped a university councellor before for help too and if you reach out they could be used instead of seeing someone abroad. Especially if you're not confident enough to speak in the native language. 

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Florence Robson
Thanks so much for your tips Hannah - and great to know that Nightline have a Skype service! Definitely worth investigating for other universities.

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