Beyond the known "culture shock" suffered by students from elsewhere, there are other risk factors that occur once settled which greatly aggravate their proper adjusting process and prevent them from having a good experience.
After months of preparation and expectations they finally arrive to Barcelona, but nothing is what it seemed; sometimes it even rains and Spaniards speak so fast and with such a weird accent... Aspects which never crossed their mind, but can get used to by transiting through the common culture shock process.
However, there is another set of factors that tend to erode as a Malayan drop and that take their toll within two or three weeks. These are caused by their personality traits or exceptional situations they might go through.
So, if studying abroad seemed a simple thing, being able to turn it into a satisfying experience, ultimately depends on: previous factors and situational factors that take place while abroad. Among the most important:
- Not belonging to a group of friends in the first month.
- Not relating to any of the students in the program.
- Feeling anxious, listless, unmotivated, not wanting to leave the room, feeling sad ... all of which with no apparent reason.
- Feeling overwhelmed and extremely lost.
- Feeling deeply anxious and unable to be alone or to not keep themselves constantly busy.
- Having something serious happening to their loved ones while being in Barcelona.
- Constant difficulty to concentrate in class and even needing to run away.
If any of these vital circumstances appear it is recommended to ask for help AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to a psychologist who is familiar with this type of issues. In most cases, if the intervention is at the beginning, there is a very high chance of being able to redirect the problem. Fortunately, human beings have a great capacity to adapt, and more when receiving support. Hence most students end up being able to go back to track and transform hell in a very good life experience.