IGC News Blog

Stay tuned about events, publications and other news of IGC!

Leaving friends and family behind in your home country - Part 1

Referring to an old German saying, one could state: All farewell is tough – especially when you leave your home country, your family and friends behind for the first time. A new chapter of life begins, you long for new horizons, unknown territory. That’s the way life goes for young people, and it is totally normal, only if it wasn’t so hard and painful. Because at the same time, a previous chapter of life ends. You part ways, say goodbye to loved ones and start your journey into the unknown. A huge opportunity is presenting itself to go to another country for a longer period of time, to get to know its people, its culture and all facets of life. You yourself are very excited, but at the same time you feel a bit of melancholy and sadness. Here are a few tips from us on how to deal with this new situation and what you can do in order to make this a positive experience for everyone involved.

Leaving friends and family part I

Before Saying Goodbye

 

First of all: Everyone is entitled to an own life, own decisions and their own, self-determined path. The people at home, where you grew up and became who you are, should understand and respect that. You aren’t trying to tell them what to do with their life, either. But all this is of course easier said than done. As soon as the news spread that you go abroad for a longer period of time, you are facing all kinds of positive and negative reactions from relatives and friends. Those can range from the majority being excited and happy for you all the way to some egoistic and even envious remarks.

Understandably, the parents have a hard time getting used to the thought of letting their child go far away. This can lead to a variety of reactions, and as their child you should show some understanding for your parents’ situation and feelings, despite your independence and excitement for the upcoming chapter in your life. Of course, the parents are proud and happy for their son or daughter, but at the same time they look towards the future with sorrow and pain because their child leaving means a lot of insecurities and a loss of control for them.

Hence our first hint for you: Go in peace and harmony with your parents, that is very important for both sides. Tell your parents how much they mean to you, even tell them things you may have never told them before. And never forget where you come from, that it was them who raised you and contributed a huge deal to this opportunity of yours.The same goes for relatives and friends. The former you cannot choose, neither their reactions. Just take them as they come and make use of the hints and advice some might be able to give you for your time abroad. It is similar with friends, although with them you actually have the choice of drawing conclusions from their particular reactions. You might even go as far as taking it as a test for the current state of each friendship.

Second hint: True friends will always be happy for you when they learn that a unique opportunity has presented itself and you intend to take it. Your friendship will not be jeopardized by this, despite the geographical distance. In other cases, you may find yourself painfully realizing that they do not really grant you the success, but even that will be good for you to know after all.