One student's story: coming back from study abroad

This semester I was supposed to be in Russia studying abroad. I was able to be there for two months and I was there through a non-affiliated program, but earlier this month the University required all students and faculty who were traveling to return back to the US, so they pulled me from the program. I’m very happy that they did when they did because the situation was getting really hairy—flights were getting cancelled out of Russia and I was getting nervous about how I was going to leave. At the same time, I was really disappointed because I had this planned for a long time, I was really excited for it and it was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to be there for the entire semester. But I’m happy I got to go at all!

The first two weeks coming back were really hard; I was very sad. Between the time that I found out I had to leave and when I was actually back at home was about two days, it was really emotional. Once I got home I had a lot of trouble coming to terms with what had happened and no longer being in Russia. It was a huge shock. It was sad that I lost out on this opportunity to study with native speakers in Russia. And I had to say goodbye to all my peers that I met in the program that had similar interests as me, and of course I had to say goodbye to my host family. Now that I’m back in the states, they’re still continuing classes for us, which I’m very grateful for, but it’s been hard figuring out how to do these online classes. It’s kind of uncharted territory—our professors don’t really know what’s going on, we don’t really know what’s going on, just like everyone else, but on top of that, we have to deal with the time change. It’s been hard, yeah.

A lot of the normal things that I would do to deal with stress, I can’t really use as outlets anymore because I can’t really leave the house. So I can’t go to coffee shops or the library and study, I can’t go and see my friends. Because I was doing a non-affiliated program, I wasn’t technically a fee-paying student at the University, so I don’t have access to the resources that would normally be available to me as a student, so my therapist at Boynton I was seeing, I am unable to contact him. So that’s something that’s also been hard. There’s just a lot of things that have made it hard to cope with the new situation.