Written by Pelayo Lobo Conty
MA Corporate Communication
Studying abroad has it pros and cons when balancing family life. On one hand, you do not have to stress too much when dealing with timetables. Likewise, you do not have to follow certain things such as meal times, which I used to do while I was living with my parents. On the other hand, sometimes it is difficult to cope with the homesickness, especially after you have not visited your family for a long period.
These days there are many resources to keep in touch with your relatives and friends. The use of technologies such as Skype or Whatsapp have become tools to communicate with your family almost every day. Others, such as Facebook or online media are really helpful to keep informed about what is happening in your country and to share what are you doing here. The trick is to manage all this in order to establish a daily routine and dedicate time to everyone.
One of the most relevant aspects of living and studying abroad is that you realise the importance of the family, probably more than when you are living near them. I am quite used to living away from home, but at the same time this is a thing I will never be used to entirely.
Certain dates you feel much more homesick than others. For instance, I had my birthday just the week after of starting my Master’s … I missed my family a lot that day –who would not feel the same way? Thankfully, my Bournemouth family were supportive and made this day a special one.
Now, there are just a few weeks until the Christmas holidays. I started counting them a few days ago. Every time I do this I feel grateful for not living so far from the UK and being able to spend such special dates at home. At least Spain is just a couple of hours by plane. However, I cannot forget about some friends, whose families live much further, such as Swaziland or South Africa, and who are not being with them this year.